Yesterday, I had a mapping session for the first time in six months with Michelle at Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center. As we found out, my left side was woefully in need of adjustment. At the same time, we were concerned about a phenomenal known as “twitching”. This is where the electrical current is so strong it actually leaks through the cochlear and hits the facial nerve. This is a very dangerous condition because there have been cases where an over-stimulated facial nerve will continue to go “ballistic” long after one takes their “ears” off.
My CI’s strategy includes two options for programming called P (paired) and S (sequential). The former is where the electrodes fire in pairs whereas the latter is as indicated…sequential. P is generally more powerful and creates very strong impact sounds. S is much more softer and forgiven. It feels like it is capped to eliminate any spikes caused by the impact sounds.
My right side has always been S because of the twitching issue. The left side wasn’t experiencing any twitching but we knew we were maxed out and any adjustments we tried would bring this on. In order to overcome this, we switched my left side’s strategy from P to S. This resulted in a softer and somewhat muffled sound but eliminated a lot of the spikes caused by impact sounds. To compensate, my IDR was boosted from 60 to 65 and the levels raises across the board. As a result, my stimulation rate was lowered from 55000 PPS to 44000 PPS which means my brain isn’t subjected to as much stimulation as before.
I would never have known that we could reduce the power but at the same time improve the quality of the sound. I should know at the end of the day if this will affect my awareness or not. Overall, I am finding this to be much more comfortable than before because it has eliminated the twitching completely without compromising the quality.
So, whenever you are in doubt about what you are hearing…always trust your audie! At least I know mine ROCKS!