Listening to learn: Welcome to Cochlear’s Family Education Day in the UK

cochlear-mind-the-gap-family-dayThis year’s Listening to Learn Conference is being held in the UK and is jointly hosted with The Midlands Hearing Implant Programme (Children’s Services) in Birmingham. The two-day conference for health care professionals will be followed by  one-day FREE Family Education Day for parents, family members and carers to people with hearing loss.

The theme  is “Mind the Gap”. It stems from our focus on parent coaching and guiding, using Nucleus 6 and Baha 5 data logging, as well as the respected work of Hart and Risley (1995, 2003).

Their study showed differences in parent-child interactions that produced significant discrepancies in children’s knowledge with some children being exposed to 30 million more words than others. Follow-up studies have shown that the gaps in language and interaction experiences have lasting effects on a child’s performance later in life. The resulting gaps in vocabulary growth and language development are something that we all should be mindful of. This finding proves that the home holds the key to early childhood success.

The main conference will be held at The Studio, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham from Thursday, 15 – Friday, 16 October with the FREE Family Education Day taking place on Saturday, 17 October.

On Saturday, 17 October, workshops and lectures will be held to help parents, family members and carers supporting their child by giving them the tools and confidence to live, learn and grow with all of life’s experiences. The programme will include discussions and development of practical skills to support their children to increase the word count in family life. This informative day also offers you the opportunity to speak with Cochlear staff regarding various topics that will interest you about your child’s Nucleus system or Baha System.

Read more here!

Am I a candidate for the Baha System?

Question: I have had hearing loss since birth. I am now 54 years old and I am struggling with my hearing. I cannot hear in one ear at all. I wear a hearing aid in the good ear. I struggle hearing conversations etc. One hearing place that I got a couple of hearing aids said they no longer help me because the hearing aid is not working for me.

So I went to my ENT doctor and after a couple of appointments he felt I would be a good candidate for the Baha device. But the audiologist I see said I wouldn’t be because my good ear doesn’t have a certain decimal for in order for the Baha System to work for me.

My question is if I am not a candidate for this, how can people that are totally deaf from birth have this done? Thank you!!

//Veronica

Answer: Dear Veronica,

There are many causes of hearing loss, and this will dictate which hearing solution that will be the best choice. The Baha System is mainly useful for candidates that are deaf in one ear and hear normally in the other ear – or if you have a problem in the outer or middle ear where bone conduction can bypass this problem. For people that are born deaf the cochlear implant is the solution of choice. This is also a technology that we have developed at Cochlear.

Every hearing loss is unique and your hearing care professional is trained to counsel you on how to treat it. Another option is to seek the opinion of another hearing care professional.

Best of luck!

~ Fredrik Breitholtz, Head of Training and Clinical Communication, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

In the news: Insights from the Maker of the Smallest Implantable Hearing Device

baha-5-cochlear-smallest-sound-processor

Qmed has an in-depth article about the Baha 5 Sound Processor and Smart App where they feature an interview with Mats Dotevall, Director of Design & Development, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions, Sweden.

Dotevall begins with explaining the difference between hearing aids, cochlear implants and bone conduction hearing solutions, and how the latter actually work:

“[A Baha System] is for people that have some sort of issue with the outer ear, the ear canal, or the middle-ear bones […] Basically, your inner ear might be very healthy but sound doesn’t reach it. So what we do is put an implant into the skull that integrates with the bone tissue. It vibrates and helps transmit sound to the inner ear. A sound processor picks up sound, amplifies it, and then vibrates the skull bone. The inner structure of the ear, the cochlea, and the hair-like stereocilia in the inner ear also vibrate. In that way, you can bypass the standard way of sound coming through the inner ear.

There is also another indication where the device is used: single-sided deafness. One side is completely deaf, which can be quite a big handicap in social environments, in the car, and so forth. For those patients, we put the device on the deaf side and then vibrate over to the hearing side.”

Qmed: How did the company make this the smallest bone conduction sound processor on the market?

Dotevall: “The key engine in all of this is the electromagnetic vibrator, which is small and it is driven by a small hearing device battery. We are using a different kind of architecture. The previous architecture had a simple design but it was asymmetrical. We made it symmetrical, which makes it more difficult to manufacture. Having this architecture makes the device much more efficient. With the same battery size, power output, and the same force from the vibrator, we could reduce the size substantially.”

Read the rest of the article here

Stay connected with the Cochlear wireless accessories

cochlear-wireless-accessories

People using the Baha 4 Sound Processor have been able to enjoy the wireless accessories for over a year and a half. We’ve previously shared how 4-year old Noel’s parents particularly liked using the Mini Microphone, and how Baha user Lee loves his Phone Clip!

The wireless accessories are now available across Cochlear’s entire product range. This means that cochlear implant recipients using the Nucleus 6 Sound Processors also can benefit from them. Cochlear is actually the first and only company that delivers this truly wireless freedom – without any need for cables or dongles worn around the neck.

Read more about the wireless accessories here!

 

When is a bone-anchored implant the right choice for my child—and why choose this option over traditional hearing aids or a cochlear implant?

This month’s ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association) Leader’s top article is directed to parents who wonder, “When is a bone-anchored implant the right choice for my child, instead of traditional hearing aids or a cochlear implant?”

If your child has a hearing loss, it isn’t always easy to figure out which solution would be most beneficial for him or her. Is it a behind-the-ear hearing aid? A Baha solution? A cochlear implant? Well, first you need to know what type of hearing loss your child has.

ASHA Leader’s editor-in-chief, Bridget Murray Law, talked to pediatric audiologist Jillian Kimberlain to get clear answers to all those questions. Read the article here.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered? Please use our own Ask the experts-function!

Baha-Attract-magnetic-hearing-aidChild with the magnetic Baha Attract System

Baha sound processor on a Softband

cochlear-implant-children-bahaChild with a cochlear implant

hearing-aid-children-bahaChild with a behind-the-ear-hearing-aid

Cochlear sponsors film “unindian”

cochlear-implants-unindian-film

Cochlear Limited, Cochlear APAC and Cochlear India are co-sponsoring Australian-Indian romantic comedy unindian (pronounced UN-indian).

The film stars Brett Lee, former Australian international cricketer, who plays a teacher who introduces migrants to Australian language and culture. The lead actress is taken up by Tannishtha Chatterjee who portrays a divorced career woman, constantly urged to marry “a nice Indian man”.

Cochlear CEO Chris Roberts said, “unindian was a unique opportunity to increase public awareness about hearing issues. Our involvement with the film helps draw attention to the impact of hearing loss and the technologies that can help restore hearing for millions of people around the world.”

“360 million people worldwide have a disabling hearing loss. The problem is enormous but the reality is that many people are not aware of a cochlear implant. We have to do more to increase the awareness of severe to profound hearing loss and the solution. By supporting this film, we hope that it will play a part in helping to increase public awareness,” Roberts continued.

cochlear-film-unindianImage from Jane Goodfellow, who plays a receptionist at Cochlear Ltd in Sydney, in the movie

The film is due for release in June 2015.

Watch the teaser below:

Parents of Baha users reflect on Cochlear Celebration

The 2015 US Cochlear Celebration was a fun-filled and information-packed event, which attracted more than a thousand Baha and cochlear implant recipients and their families.

There were sessions, presentations (including a top secret look at the future of the Baha System, for everyone who signed a non disclosure agreement!), check & clean your sound processor, EXPO, social gatherings etc. For a lot of recipients, the most important thing is to meet others in the same situation. Especially for parents.

Meredith Berger, mother of 4-year old Baha user Eila, wrote on Twitter:

baha-parent-twitter

Hilary Masino, mother of Tjellström scholarship student Camille, revealed to us how much the Celebration event meant to both her and her daughter:

 

The Cochlear Americas blog The Wire has more pictures and a great recap of the event!