Fiona is having surgery this Friday for a cochlear implant on her left ear. This will make her a bilateral implant user. There are several reasons why bilateral implants are recommended for profoundly deaf children. This Advanced Bionics article provides a good explanation and I’ll abbreviate the points below:
- Easier to hear in noisy environments.
- Localization of sound. Where is that noise coming from?
- Easier speech perception making it less strenuous to keep up in conversation.
- Enhanced sound quality of language and music.
We are happy that Fiona is receiving a 2nd implant at such a young age (13 months) since she is in the critical window of making use of sound to develop language. Earlier is also better so that her left auditory nerve can receive stimulation and not atrophy over time.
We’ve noticed several situations where Fiona can’t localize sound. Here are a few examples: Once our dog was barking from the back of the house. Fiona looked towards the front of the house to find him. Also, when Fiona was in the hallway I called her name from the nursery. She started walking in the other direction towards our bedroom to try and find me. Its clearly difficult for Fiona to localize sound.
We will be sure to keep everyone posted on this Friday’s activities. Then Fiona’s activation date for her left ear will be June 19th and I’m sure we will record it. 🙂