Happy 1st Birthday Robot Ear!

Happy New Year to all my readers and Happy 1st Birthday to my Robot Ear!!

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I can scarcely believe it has been a year since I received my suitcase full of gadgets, batteries and a myriad of alien instructions for my CI. It was without a doubt, the best decision I made following my SSHL diagnosis the previous year.

When I received my Med-El suitcase and user manual that could have rivalled Tolstoy’s War and Peace, there seemed to be a lot of instructions on what you COULDN’T do, rather than what you CAN. I’m going to outline a few of these today and (hopefully) give you a better understanding of why you can’t do these things and also dispel some of the myths  – though please, please note that these are my own personal experiences, always err on the side of caution and take the manufacturers recommendations above my own!

Rules

Explanation/Revisions

  • Do not play contact sports such as Rugby/boxing/kick boxing

  •   This is because of the risk of  blows to the head and dislodging or damaging the  Internal part of the CI.
  • Do not go swimming with your CI
  • This is actually misleading – what is meant is that you shouldn’t go swimming with the external part of the implant on as it is not waterproof. If you wish to swim without the external part, that is perfectly safe! However, there are now some models that offer waterproof accessories to cover these external parts so if you are an avid swimmer, make sure you check with your preferred CI manufacturer to see if this is available to you.
  • Do not scuba dive
  • For the most part, this is true. This is because there is a risk to the implant from the pressure. However, all models of CI’s are safe to 10 metres, different models are approved to different depths so check with your manufacturer.
  •  Do not bungee jump
  •   This is definitely the case for the first 6 weeks following surgery. It isn’t actually known whether there are any extra risks to CI users but obviously external parts would need to be removed.
  • Do not use virtual reality headsets
  •  The headsets are believed to be safe, the only downside is that the sound quality may not be great dependant on where the microphone is placed on the headset. Also, remember, don’t fit the headset too tightly over the site of the implant!
  •  Do not use sunbeds
  •  As far as I am aware, there is nothing to suggest that sunbeds can damage the internal part of the CI, but removing the external part is vital, due to moisture from your sweaty body!
  •  Do not go through shop security scanners
  •  It was thought that the scanners located at the exit/entrance to shops could affect the CI by scrambling the device or causing the user to hear a high pitched buzzing noise; I can say I have not yet experienced this and I shop. A LOT.
  • Do not use X-Rays / have an X-Ray
  •  CI users can indeed have X-Rays but the external part must be taken off, switched off and kept away from the machine.

And here are some of the more bizarre ones…

  • Do not touch Electric fences; I believe this one should apply to everyone in general!
  • Remove implantable device before Cremation; I don’t think I will be too worried about this once I have have popped my clogs!

I hope this has given you a bit more of an understanding about what can and cannot be done with a CI.

It is important to remember that life carries on the same for us as it does for those who do not wear implants, we just sometimes have to be a bit more sensible (Booo!)

Do you have any tip tips or advice on CI Do’s and Don’ts, if so, I’d love to hear them!

Laura x

P.S. Don’t forget that my monthly guest blog for Restored Hearing will be out every second Friday of the month; tomorrow is January’s post!

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