Switch-on appointments will be scheduled over a period of up to 3 days. We encourage you to bring a family member or a friend to support you during these appointments. A lot of information will be covered. Due to limited space however, we cannot accommodate more than two of your guests.
During your switch-on appointments you will work with your audiologist to create a MAP. A MAP consists of a variety of parameters that control how your cochlear implant will electrically stimulate the hearing nerve, which in turn will allow you to hear. Each MAP is unique to each individual. Once your unique MAP has been created, your audiologist will activate your speech processor and allow you to hear with your cochlear implant for the first time.
What To Expect
Patients often report hearing with the cochlear implant for the first time is confusing. Since hearing with the cochlear implant is different from normal hearing or hearing with hearing aids, patients often report they can hear sounds, but are unable to understand what those sounds are or mean. The process of learning to attach the appropriate meaning to the sounds from the cochlear implant takes time and practice. Some patients accomplish this somewhat quickly, others take much longer. How much you understand initially does not predict how you will do later on. The more auditory training or listening practice each recipient commits to, the better they will hear.
In addition to creating MAPs, your audiologist will work with you to teach you how to practice listening so that you can continue to practice when you return home. Your audiologist will also spend time with you reviewing your equipment to be sure you are familiar with how to use it. You will also complete a series of baseline tests. These tests will be repeated at each subsequent appointment so that your performance with your cochlear implant can be monitored.
Follow Up Appointments
After your initial switch-on appointments, you will be required to return for follow up appointments. These appointments will address any concerns you may have and will be used to optimize your MAPs. It is important for us to monitor your progress and ensure that your equipment is in good working order. These appointments are generally scheduled for 2 hours and occur at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months intervals after your initial switch on appointments. After the 12 month appointment you will return for follow up appointments on an annual basis.