COCHLEAR IMPLANT AWARENESS, EDUCATION, INFORMATION AND SUPPORT FOR ADULTS

 

Tips for Maintaining and Maximizing Your Cochlear Implant

 

Cochlear implants (CIs) are life-changing devices that can open up a world of sound for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Just like any piece of sophisticated technology, a cochlear implant requires regular care and maintenance to ensure optimal functionality and longevity. Here are some recommended tips to help you maintain and get the best out of your CI.

1. Keep it Clean

Daily Cleaning: Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the processor and coil of your CI every day. This will help remove any sweat, dirt, or oils.

Weekly Deep Clean: Once a week, use a cochlear implant cleaning kit or a soft brush to remove any debris from the microphone inlet and other crevices.

2. Mind the Moisture

Dry & Store: After a day of use, place the external parts of your CI in a dehumidifying container or kit. This helps prevent moisture damage, which can impair functionality.

Avoid Direct Contact: Don’t wear your CI when showering, swimming, or in heavy rain. While many newer models are water-resistant, it’s still recommended to keep them as dry as possible.

3. Handle with Care

Ensure that your CI is securely fitted to reduce the risk of it falling off. When not in use, store it in its protective case.

4. Regularly Check Batteries

Rechargeable batteries should be charged daily. For non-rechargeable batteries, have spares on hand and replace them as soon as you notice the power depleting.

Remember, over time, rechargeable batteries can lose their ability to hold a charge. Consider replacing them annually or as needed.

5. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Don’t leave your CI in places where it can be exposed to extreme temperatures, like a car on a hot day or near heaters. Extreme cold can also affect battery life.

6. Stay Connected with Your Audiologist

Regularly schedule follow-ups with your audiologist. They can help with software updates, mapping adjustments, and ensure that your CI is working optimally.

Inform them immediately if you experience any sudden changes in hearing or if the device malfunctions.

7. Protect from Electromagnetic Interference

While CIs are designed to handle most daily electromagnetic interferences, be cautious around strong magnetic fields, such as those found near MRI machines or heavy-duty electrical equipment.

8. Consider Insurance

Accidents happen. Consider insuring your CI or checking if it’s covered under your current policy. This provides added peace of mind against unforeseen damages or losses.

9. Educate Yourself

Stay informed about advancements in CI technology. This will ensure that you are always getting the best auditory experience possible.

10. Engage with the CI Community

Connect with other CI users online or in local support groups. Sharing experiences and tips can be beneficial in learning new ways to care for and maximize the potential of your device.

In Conclusion

While cochlear implants are robust devices, they require regular attention and care. By following these recommended maintenance tips, you can ensure that your CI remains in top condition, providing you with the best possible hearing experience. Remember, always refer to your specific device's user manual and consult with your audiologist for personalized advice and recommendations.