Location: Des Moines, Washington, United States

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rachel's 6 Month Follow-up

Rachel had her 6 month hearing follow-up for her right ear on Friday.

No surprise that her right ear was still unable to understand any of the words in the booth test. With the ossification, and only having 8 active electrodes, she may never be able to use that ear alone to understand speech. Her left ear has 100% understanding in a quiet environment. The real question was how well did she do in noise. With both implants on, the doctor did the test several ways. With the background babble on the right side and the sentences she was supposed to repeat on her left side she tested 12% below normal hearing. When it was switched, and the babble was on her left (good) side, she tested at 13% below normal. When the babble and main voice were equalized, and both sounds were going to both ears (true bilateral hearing) she tested at only 6% below normal hearing.

The doctor was thrilled with this outcome. She said that it showed that Rachel's brain was really able to utilize her hearing in her right ear even though she couldn't really understand anything in it alone. It also showed that the bilateral hearing was making a big difference when hearing in noise.

We had three things we wanted Rachel to achieve with bilateral hearing that she didn't have with her single implant. Better distance hearing, better localization of sound, and better discrimination in noise. All three of those objectives have been achieved, and she has only had her right implant for 6 months. It would be icing on the cake if she could actually understand speech with her right implant alone, but even if that goal is never realized, she has benefitted immensely from getting bilateral hearing, and we are thrilled with her progress.


Blogger jennifer said...

What wonderful and exciting news.
So very happy for Rachel and the
"Mom" too.

11:59 AM  
Blogger McB said...

Yay! Congrats to Rachel on the progress.

11:36 AM  

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