When 4th grader, Alex Mussomeli was asked by his teacher to write an article on a topic on which he feels he is an expert, he decided to write about his hearing loss. After reading the article, I was proud of Alex’s work and thought it would be great to share it here. The following is Alex’s assignment.
Life With Hearing Loss
by Alex Mussomeli, Age 10
Did you know there are two ways to help people with hearing loss hear? One is a common way which is a hearing aid. The second one is not as common but it is getting more common every day which is a cochlear implant. I have both.
The Surgery of Getting an Implant
The surgery of getting an implant can be a big decision. First the nurses give the patient sleeping medicine. Then, the surgeon drills into the skull. Next, the surgeon puts in a magnet. The reason people might need to get a cochlear implant is that they might not hear. They could be deaf or have hearing loss. After the surgery you have to wait one month for the head to heal from the surgery.
Mapping is changing the volume of a cochlear implant. This is how mapping goes, first the audiologist plugs the cochlear implant to the computer. Then the patient raises his/her arm if they hear a beep. The person having the volume changed will only hear the beeps! After that the audiologist say some sounds and the patient mimics it back! The reason the audiologist say sounds is to test if the patient is hearing well!
People using the FM in school
Even though people with hearing loss can hear with hearing aids and cochlear implants, they may need to have the FM. The FM is a microphone that makes hearing easier in noisy places. They use it in school use to help the hearing impaired. The FM is special because you can hear from from far away or if it is noisy. The range of the FM system is 25 ft to 50 ft!
Having a cochlear implant and hearing aid off
When someone has hearing loss or are deaf, they can’t hear without the implant! At night, they can’t hear at all or might hear a tiny bit when they remove the implant. But, that is only for the night time! In the morning, they put on the hearing aid and implant so they can hear.
What it feels like having a hearing aid on
When people with hearing loss use a hearing aid, they can hear! Though, they might not hear so well, because the range of a hearing aid is 3ft to 6 ft. If you have a hearing aid and you are talking to your mom from a distance or another room, the hearing won’t be strong or clear enough!
Cochlear Implants and Hearing Aids
How happy can you be if you have hearing loss or deafness? You can be very happy if you have a hearing aid or an implant. You say to yourself I can hear! I can hear the voices of my mother, my brother and my dad. I can talk and hear people around me. I can hear music and birds. I can be a hearing kid!!! I am happy to have a precious family and memories!
How amazing can you be if you have hearing loss or are deaf
You can be so amazing, even if you have hearing loss or are deaf. One of the most famous musicians is Beethoven. He developed hearing loss and continued to write and play the most beautiful music. In his time, they didn’t have hearing aids like today. They were large devices that make the sound louder. At the premiere of his ninth symphony, he had to be turned around to see the applause of his audience. His hearing loss did not prevent him from achieving greatness.
Another example is Derrick Coleman, a famous football player that is on the seahawks team. In January 2014, they won the superbowl. He had hearing loss and used a hearing aid. He believed in himself even if people discouraged him and now he won a superbowl.
The difference between hearing aids and cochlear implants
One difference between a cochlear implant and a hearing aid is how you hear with them! The way you hear with a hearing aid is like a first aid kit. The hearing aid assists the person in hearing. An implant is better than a hearing aid because you can hear better with it. The reason is that the implant has a computer like processor that sends the sound through the nerve to the brain. The different maps that you get in mapping can change the volume and make you hear better. A hearing aid makes the sound louder, so that you can hear it. The different programs in a hearing aid also help hearing. Both the implant and the hearing aid need batteries. For the implant you need surgery, a magnet in head and the device. For the hearing aid, no surgery is needed.
Hearing in the water
If you have hearing loss, you can’t hear in the water while swimming or showering! When the Aqua plus came out for the implant, things changed! The Aqua plus is a cover for the implant with a waterproof coil. This is such a cool device, I felt so happy to use the Aqua plus. I can hear the splashes, the bubbles and the people around me! I am connected to everything around me. It is great to be able to hear all the time.
If you have hearing loss or are deaf, you can get a hearing aid or cochlear implant or both. The FM systems helps children who have hearing loss. If you are reading this article and you have hearing loss, you are not alone because I have hearing loss!
- Mapping-changing the volume of a cochlear implant
- Cochlear implant-A device that helps a person hear, you need surgery to get it
- Hearing aid-A device that helps you hear
- Fm system-A microphone used in schools to help a child hear better in the classroom