Susan B. is deaf, yet she works in a job where it’s her primary responsibility to listen to audio recordings of meetings and transcribe minutes for the Commission of Post-secondary Education for the State of Nevada. This is made possible with the latest technology from Cochlear, the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor.
“This is a huge accomplishment for a person with normal hearing, but for someone who is deaf? People who meet me and learn what I do for a living don’t understand how I am able to work in a job where one of my primary responsibilities is to transcribe meeting notes verbatim, and my response is, ‘Cochlear changed my life” said Susan. In 2012, Susan received her first Cochlear implant in her right ear and in 2014, became a bilateral recipient when she was implanted on her left side. Susan feels she not only received the gift of hearing but gained the confidence she needed to pursue dreams and live her life to the fullest.
In addition to her work for the state and her part-time work as a virtual paralegal, Susan finds time to volunteer for Cochlear and meet with others experiencing hearing loss and share with them the difference Cochlear technology has made in her life, and the difference it can make for others struggling with hearing loss too.
Sharing Insights at the Consumer Electronics Show
Susan recently volunteered at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the renowned conference for all-things technology, where more than 180,000 attendees gather to share next-generation innovations. As Susan talked to media, other exhibitors and attendees, she was shocked at the number of people who stopped by the Cochlear booth with hearing issues, either themselves or someone they knew.
“I met a gentleman who became emotional discussing his father’s hearing problems and a woman who used the same kind of hearing aids I did before my implant,” Susan said. “Like her, I used to place my fingers on my neck to feel the voice box vibration for volume control! Now, with my Nucleus 7 technology, I can hear in many different types of environments, including noisy ones like a convention floor.”
Susan admits “I am not a fan of change so when I upgraded in the fall of 2018 to the Nucleus® 7 from the Nucleus® 5, I was scared because my thought was if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.” Susan now says “that could not be further from the truth!” Susan’s favorite features of the Nucleus® 7 includes Smart Sound IQ ® with SCAN technology, ForwardFocus, and the ability to stream direct from her iPhone® to her processor. “I can listen to audio for my work without disturbing others, and of course play music, listen to books, and watch videos on social media, YouTube and Netflix. The scan capability of the Nucleus® 7 is so fast I don’t realize it is changing. The ForwardFocus capability was my “best friend” at the recent CES convention. “’I could still hear all the background noise (in a reduced volume) so I was part of the experience and yet understood every detail of conversations with people visiting the Cochlear booth too.”
“Mom, can you hear me?”
Susan knows what people with hearing loss are going through and the daily struggles that comes with it. She also knows the excitement someone feels in anticipation of hearing again for the first time after being implanted.
At her first activation, Susan’s family was there and everyone was nervous. When she was activated, the first person to speak was her ten-year-old, whose first words were, “Mom, can you hear me? I love you.” The tears started. That same night at her surprise 50th birthday party, one of her longtime friends told her they would start having telephone conversations again. They’ve been talking on the phone ever since.
These days Susan is busier than ever. In addition to her job as an administrative assistant with the State of Nevada and serving as a Cochlear volunteer, Susan enjoys knitting, sewing, cooking and just started painting classes. She also enjoys going to movies, musicals and even the gym now that she can listen to audio books while she works out!
Importantly, she feels a freedom with her implants she didn’t have before. “I’m not dependent on someone to pick up the phone to make a medical appointment. I can go through a drive-through and order a cup of coffee. I can go to a restaurant and order food, and understand the staff. The list goes on and on.”
Susan says one piece of advice she gives new recipients is to be willing to do the rehab work after activation, just like one would after healing a broken bone in a cast. “Spend the time it takes listening and doing the programs that’s offered through Cochlear’s Communication Corner. It really does work.”
Watch here to learn more about Cochlear implants, how they work, and how the innovative technology can be customized to recipients’ lives and specific needs.
ForwardFocus can only be enabled by a hearing implant specialist. It should only be activated for users 12 years and older who are able to reliably provide feedback on sound quality and understand how to use the feature when moving to different or changing environments. It may be possible to have decreased speech understanding when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment.
SmartSound® iQ (SSiQ) technology3 uses dual microphones to zoom in on preferred sounds, such as speech, and filter out surrounding noise. when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment. 3. It is recommended that SNR-NR, WNR, and SCAN be made available to any recipient, ages 6 and older, who is able to 1) complete objective speech perception testing in quiet and noise in order to determine and document performance and 2) report a preference for different program settings.
Apple, the Apple logo, FaceTime, Made for iPad logo, Made for iPhone logo, Made for iPod logo, iPhone, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.