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Distance and Cochlear Implants

Where my cochlear implant lets me down (if I could say that!) is in distance.

It canít pick up the range of sounds from a distance in the same way a hearing person can. As an example, my husband can hear cows lowing in a paddock a kilometre away but I have to be about 200metres before I can start to pick the sound up. While hearing cows from a distance is hardly important (smile) I use it as an example because there must also be a distance issue with every day sounds which I am not hearing as clearly as a hearing person does.

Conversation behind me from another room is more difficult than for a hearing person, because of the distance etc.

I asked a group of implant recipients how they feel their distance hearing is when compared to a normal hearing person.

"I can hear sounds well when they are close by, but I can't understand when someone speaks from the next room (I know they're talking, butÖ). I don't hear the normal doorbell and I can't hear the phone ring when Iím outside but others in my family will." J

"I can only hear when the source is a few feet away so I have to sit right up the front at talks." D

"I do notice my kids can hear softer and more distant sounds than I can, but not that much better. I had put this down to my age, as the kids hear better than my wife (without hearing problems)." J

"I have not noticed not being able to hear things as far away as a normal hearing person normally but of course when using noise programs or lowering the CI sensitivity the distance at which I can hear sounds will decrease dramatically." J

"Distance does have an effect, but not so much as I notice greatly, as in compared to hearing people." P

"As for how far away I can hear sounds from a distance, but thatís a hard question. Some examples; if I am in my front upstairs room (at the front of my house), and someone comes in my front gate, I can hear the click of the gate latch from upstairs and know someone is coming to my front door. I can also hear the door bells of my neighbours' across the road and thatís with the window shut. So I think that is a pretty good. Distance can be a problem sometimes, just depends on what program I am using at the time to how much or how far I can hear." F

So it would seem to me that most of us feel there is some limitation in how far away we can hear sound.

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