For people with implants:
- Hearing ranges from near normal ability to understand speech to no hearing benefit at all.
- Adults often benefit immediately and continue to improve for about 3 months after the initial tuning sessions. Then, although performance continues to improve, improvements are slower. Cochlear implant users’ performances may continue to improve for several years.
- Children may improve at a slower pace. A lot of training is needed after implantation to help the child use the new ‘hearing’ he or she now experiences.
- Most perceive loud, medium and soft sounds. People report that they can perceive different types of sounds, such as footsteps, slamming of doors, sounds of engines, ringing of the telephone, barking of dogs, whistling of the tea kettle, rustling of leaves, the sound of a light switch being switched on and off, and so on.
- Many understand speech without lip-reading. However, even if this is not possible, using the implant helps lip-reading.
- Many can make telephone calls and understand familiar voices over the telephone. Some good performers can make normal telephone calls and even understand an unfamiliar speaker. However, not all people who have implants are able to use the phone.
- Many can watch TV more easily, especially when they can also see the speaker’s face. However, listening to the radio is often more difficult as there are no visual cues available.
- Some can enjoy music. Some enjoy the sound of certain instruments (piano or guitar, for example) and certain voices. Others do not hear well enough to enjoy music.
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