Did you know that cochlear implant (CI) services are offered here on campus through our audiology clinic? Services include CI candidacy assessment for patients interested in obtaining a cochlear implant, as well as programming to improve the way patients with CIs hear speech, environmental sounds, and even music. Services are provided by or under the supervision of clinical faculty member and CI specialist Nicole Nguyen, Au.D., CISC, FAAA. Dr. Nguyen works closely with our partner location, the Hearing and Balance Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Our CI clinic in College Park provides state of the art services for patients with cochlear implants, while providing unique hands-on learning opportunities for our AuD students.
Cochlear Implant Candidacy -For patients interested in obtaining a cochlear implant, or learning more about these devices, a candidacy assessment appointment should be scheduled in the College Park location. -To determine candidacy, we want to see how the person with hearing loss benefits from their hearing aids. During the assessment, the patient is tested with sentences while listening with their hearing aids. -If performance with hearing aids is poor, the patient will likely benefit from a cochlear implant.
Cochlear Implant Mapping & Assessment -CI mapping is the process of adjusting the stimulation of a cochlear implant to change the way the patient hears. We make changes to how much electrical stimulation goes to the various channels of the implant to improve the way the patient hears speech, environmental sounds, and even music. -The sessions entail programming the patient's processor (a small computer worn on the ear) which sends sound inwards to the implant via electrical signals. -In the appointments, the patient makes judgements of volume and sound quality while the audiologist stimulates different parts of the implant. -The audiologist also turns on the microphone of the processor for the patient to hear and make additional changes so that speech is clear and comfortable. -After the mapping, the audiologist tests the patient in a sound booth to optimize the programming if needed and to monitor the patient's performance.