Innovations in wireless streaming technology offer a number of benefits to children and adolescents who have undergone cochlear implantation at Lurie Children’s. Yael, a Chicago area eighth-grader, explains how this wireless technology has changed her life since being trained in its use by her audiologist.
“I was born with hearing loss and underwent cochlear implantation surgery on my left ear in July 2015. Since receiving my implant, I’ve enjoyed using some of the new wireless streaming devices in school, at home listening to music, at karate lessons and with my cell phone.
One device is called a Mini Microphone or ‘Mini Mic,’ which transmits sound from the person speaking into it directly to my implant’s processor via wireless technology. This has opened many doors and allows me to better experience the hearing world.
One thing that hearing people take for granted is easy access to music. Before my implant surgery, I had two hearing aids and used delicate ‘hooks’ instead of earbuds to listen to music. They were awkward to use. Now I just plug an audio cable from my Mini Mic into my iPad and I can listen to Selena Gomez or Adam Lambert wire-free.
I have also used the Mini Mic in my karate classes. The gym is really echoey, so using the Mini Mic makes it easier to hear the instructor.
The Mini Mic has made a real difference in classroom situations, where a teacher can clip it to the top of a shirt or blouse. This is especially helpful in loud classes. The sound is so clear, and it’s easy to use in workgroups and student presentations, too. My principal even wears it at assemblies!
Another cool device is my Phone Clip, which helps me when I receive a call on my cell phone. After the initial pairing of the Phone Clip to my phone via Bluetooth®, now all I need to do to answer a call is to click one simple button and the audio is sent directly to my implant.
I’m so grateful for the technologies that have helped me in so many ways, and I’m super excited to see which new advances come out next!”
Lurie Children’s Cochlear Implant Program is supported, in part, by the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation. Visit fhsr.org.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of Heroes magazine.