Cochlear Celebration Day
21st March 2017
Exam Season
21st March 2017

Silver linings

In English there is a saying that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ which means that something good comes out of an otherwise bad situation. In other words, even when it’s raining, the sun will shine afterwards.

This is certainly true for Cochlear recipients. When you lost your hearing, you were at a disadvantage compared to people with normal hearing. Choosing to get a cochlear implant has given you back your hearing and, because you chose Cochlear, you already have an advantage with leading technology and the Cochlear promise that new sound processors will always be made compatible with previous generation implants. And that is where the silver lining appears.

As we get older, most of us with normal hearing expect that our hearing will gradually become worse. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to have a hearing loss, we start to miss the odd word here or there. We turn the sound up a little on the radio or TV and ask people to kindly repeat themselves when background noise makes it hard to hear. (My husband tells me that he simply no longer hears the beeping when the tumble dryer finishes … but perhaps that’s something different!)

For someone with a Cochlear implant, however, the opposite is true. Although your hearing will never be normal, you can anticipate that new developments will ensure that you can hear at least as well as currently (and probably better) for the rest of your life.

Just for fun, we took a look at some of the older generation of Cochlear Sound Processors to see how things have changed over the years…

  • Back in 1994 Cochlear launched the Spectra Sound Processor – with its fairly chunky body worn element and quite a lot of manual adjustments.
  • With SPrint in 2002 came autosensitivity settings … but the sound processor was still large enough to house six buttons with different functions. And there was a complicated array of instructions for the user to learn.
  • With the new millennium came ESPrit 22 and ESPrit 3G. These sound processors were noticeably smaller and offered an exciting built-in telecoil and revolutionary ‘Whisper’ setting to help hear quieter sounds.
  • By 2005, Nucleus® SmartSound® and the exciting Nucleus Freedom® Sound Processor offered dual microphones and preset programs for different environments. (The user still needed to switch between settings though, so thankfully the sound processor was now down to only two buttons and the instructions became much simpler!)
  • With the launch of the Nucleus 5 System came the CP802 and CP810 Sound Processors. We take it for granted now, but the auto telecoil was ground-breaking! Meanwhile SmartSound2 began to introduce a range of innovative settings to aid directional hearing and hearing in difficult situations. There were lots of great accessories too, but all of them needed wires!
  • In 2013 a new platform within the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor allowed the development of SmartSound iQ. Noise reduction, wind noise reduction and … the automatic scene classifier! Now the sound processor is starting to do more of the work – automatically changing settings so you don’t have to.

Today, with Nucleus 6 and the off-the-ear Kanso® Sound Processor, our users enjoy not only a sound processor that adjusts automatically, but also a wide range of True Wireless Devices that fit with a modern, wireless lifestyle and developments like Aqua+ to allow you to hear in the water.

Of course you know that our techies are always working on new developments as more advanced technology becomes available and older technology become increasingly out of date.  But as a Cochlear recipient one thing is certain – whatever comes in the future will be designed around your hearing needs and built to allow everyone to enjoy it.

Next time your normal hearing spouse asks you to turn up the volume on the TV, just glance out of the window and look for your personal rainbow.

Cochlear's history of innovation

For over 30 years, Cochlear has delivered numerous 'world firsts' in hearing technology.

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