Lindsay hates the phrase (when applied to the implant process), but it’s what everyone uses.
The moment when the audiologist attaches the processor to the implant for the first time is known as “turning on” the device. Getting “turned on” marks the first time a deaf or hard of hearing person experiences sound through the device. The implant itself does not provide the hearing…in order for the implant to send signals to the cochlea, you have to have an external processor, attached to the implant with a magnet through the skin.
Yep. A magnet. The implant has one, and the processor has its match – currently (depending on the maker or processor), a little disc that accepts input from the microphone (usually inside an over-the-ear device) sends signals through the magnet into the processor, and then to the cochlea and brain. Here’s a more in-depth explanation.
You’ll find lots and lots and lots of videos of people getting “turned on” online. And they’re either tear-inducing…or vaguely uninteresting. Only because the experience is different for everyone, and personal reactions vary, we’re told. We will be able to report more on this in a couple of weeks.
And of course we’ll have our own “turn on” vid, in a couple of weeks, whether the world wants it or not.