COLORADO SPRINGS – When Charlene Kellogg began to struggle with her hearing, even wearing hearing aids it made enjoying being around people a real challenge.
Charlene recalls, “Sometimes I would simply smile and nod my head, or say ‘yea’ or something like that. I had no clue what people were saying.”
After weeks of careful decision making she decided to go ahead with a cochlear implant. Dr. Longoria is Charlene’s audiologist at Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs. Dr. Longoria says, “One of the things that we really work with our patients on before implantation, is realistic expectations. It requires you to learn to listen in a completely different way than you ever have.”
The device is surgically implanted in the skull and basically wired directly into the auditory nerve.
Dr. Longoria says the initial transition isn’t like having hearing as most people know it restored. “When we initially turn it on they’re going to hear a lot of noise, and a lot of different sounds that they might not want to hear at the beginning. It’s a process of getting the brain firing in a different way.”
Charlene remembers the moment her implant was turned on. “When they activated it, all you could hear was sound. There weren’t words. They were just sounds. The process of hearing with a cochlear implant really comes when I put forth the effort to learn the sounds have words. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.”
Charlene says now when it comes to spending time with people, “It’s a joy. I enjoy hearing other people laugh. I like to make them laugh. I like to laugh, and now I can hear the punchline.”
Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family