You will have your own expectations and hopes about what the implant can do. Most implant users do experience improved hearing. However it is impossible to predict beforehand how well any one person will do with the implant. The amount of benefit varies from person to person. Do not expect ‘normal’ hearing. Some situations might still be difficult e.g. background noise.
There is a range of benefit: some CI users can talk on the phone, others cannot. For others, the implant provides only improves lip-reading. As time goes by you may have to adjust your expectations upward or downward.
- Relearn the trick of concentration. Pay attention. Listen.
- Avoid pretending you have understood what was said.
- Do not be afraid to ask people to repeat, rephrase, or speak louder or more slowly.
- Remind people to speak directly to you and to look at you when they speak.
- Watch the speakers. Pay careful attention to the lips, facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Position yourself to take advantage of good lighting.
- Realise that hearing in noisy places is a problem for all listeners.
- When listening over the telephone, position the receiver carefully over the microphone of your speech processor or use the telecoil.
Remember – talk to your implant service and they will give you guidance and support to help you develop your listening skill. You can improve with practice.