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Wearing Helmets with Cochlear Implants

June 23rd, 2011 by | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

Charlotte New, a cochlear implant recipient, shares her experiences and tips on wearing helmets with her CI on her head.

Really, I didn’t have any special adjustments. I just spent A LOT of time in shops trying on so many different helmets. The one i bought for skiing, I bought it in Austria as UK had very limited types of helmet for skiing and I felt they weren’t enough. When I was in Austria, they are more knowledgeable about the safety and were very interested in my safety on the slopes (unlike UK) and asked me many questions about the CI!  I was just 6 months post implant when I tried my latest helmet.  It was perfect and then, at first, the coil slipped off quite a lot.  I tried to adjust it by putting sponge around the coil area but that failed as the sponge made the helmet slip forwards. I emailed back to SOECIC to ask for their advice.  They suggested stronger magnet which I recieved when I returned to UK. Few months later, back in Austria, I tried the stronger magnet and it worked well.  I never had any problems until this season where I found that my skin over the implant had gotten thinner that I could feel the comb on the coil.  It was causing me a lot of discomfort. My mum suggested covering it with moleskin. I now have a spare coil with stronger magnet and covered in moleskin for when I am wearing helmet.

Charlotte with her Skis

It’s not the only helmet I have owned, I also own a Jockey skull (horse riding helmet) which is one size bigger than my pre-implant helmet. as the padding is so thick it’s difficult to keep the coil on when putting the helmet on.  The solution is to use the spare “skiing” coil :-) By law, I cannot do any modifications with my riding helmet as it would fail the British safety standard.

I like both of my helmets as they have roomy ear space where I can wear and adjust my CI without having to take it off.  The ski helmet has soft ear covering which is nice and soft, and it does not interfere with the sounds coming in which is bonus.

Everybody’s head are shaped differently.  It would take a needle in haystack to find the comfortable helmet that fits over the CI without modifications.

4 Comments

Cecile

July 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

Great suggestion about the stronger magnets on a separate coil!

My son ski races and sometimes finds it very frustrating when the helmet knocks off his coils.

This year I’m going to try buying an FM for home use. An audiologist told me that the outdoor range is up to 100 ft and he should be able to hear through a helmet and a ski jacket. He’d get frustrated that it was harder to hear the coach.

Will also add ear gears to replace our old system of safety pin & eyeglass cord. Thank you!

BILL STEPHENS

April 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm

MY SON MAX HAS BEEN WEARING A HOCKEY HELMET SINCE 5 AND HE IS NOW 12 YEARS OLD. HE WEARS A UNDERARMOR STOCKING HAT TO KEEP THE IMPLANT FROM MOVING AROUND. IT WORKS EXCELLANT, NEVER MOVES ,NEVER SHIFTS. HE RECENTLY STARTING PLAYING LaCROSS WITH A DIFFERENT HELMET. WORKS THE SAME NO ISSUES, RECENTLY WE PURCHASED A REEBOK CHEEKLIGHT TO KEEP A EYE ON ANY IMPACTS TO THE HEAD HE THAT MIGHT HAPPEN. A GREAT IDEA COMES WITH ITS OWN STOCKING THAT WORKS BETTER THAN UNDERARMOR, I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST A CHECKLIGHT WITH A COCHLEAR IMPLANT!!IT IS A EXTRA SET OF EYES ON A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON WEARING IT.

Liz

June 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I would be really interested in getting in touch with Bill who responded above as my 2 boys have had a year at ice hockey and the helmets they are using are hurting them due to the coil on their cochlear implants. I hadnt thought about using an underarmour stocking, which I will look at now. I would be interest to know what type of helmets your son has used over the years as the ones we have tried are not great, they seem fine at first but then start to hurt so I am reluctent to ‘buy’ different kinds without trying them or hearing that others have used them with more success.

Bill Stephens

July 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Hello Liz,
Max started out wearing a CCm that had super hard foam that we notched out to fit the CI.
Crazy idea but there was not much on the market back then.
The last 4 years he has worn a Bauer helmet that has loads off space for the Ci to move around, The helmet has to fit your child just right. all helmets have a different taper.
This year Max has been wearing the new REEBOK 11k. I believe it is the best helmet made so far for hearing aids and CI’S
Super soft base and a inner air support to cushion impacts. I have spoken to Reebok at great length about the material used and it will not cause interfence with the CI.
Have you checked out AHIHA HOCKEY.EMAIL me at gtprace@comcast.net with any questions