Home' The Hamilton Spectator : HS-20131203 Contents 2 HAMILTON SPECTATOR Tuesday December 3 2013
Tiny device offers Ian
a whole new world
HAMILTON’S Ian Black holds his first hearing aid which he used in the late 1940s. Photo: ABBY
A COCHLEAR implant is a small, complex
electronic device that can help to provide a sense
of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or
severely hard of hearing.
It has been more than a year since Hamilton’s Ian
Black had the operation for a cochlear implant and he
said he was hearing a lot more now.
At his 12-month check up about eight weeks ago,
results were better than at original tests.
“They suggested that I had the second one done as
it gives you better sound quality, background noise
is easier to understand and direction of where noise
comes from,” Mr Black said.
Initially, it was decided his right ear would receive a
cochlear implant and his left a hearing aid; however
10 days after surgery on August 13, 2012, he lost total
hearing in his left ear.
On September 3, last year, the cochlear implant was
switched on and each of the 22 electrodes was turned
on, one at a time, as they were mapped on a computer.
He can now hear the clip clop of high heeled shoes,
rustle of paper, birds, showers dripping and eating
Mr Black thought he was the noisiest person eating
a biscuit; however he was just not used to the sound.
“With the hearing aid I was getting by; with this
cochlear implant I am getting by, but am hearing more
things,” he said.
He has had a total of five hearing aids in his life and
now has the cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid.
Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected
by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged
portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory
“This side of the brain has been asleep for 20 years
and it’s got to wake up and remember all the words,
sounds, noise that it heard when I was wearing a
hearing aid in this ear previously,” Mr Black said.
Mr Black was a rubella baby after his mother
contracted German measles while pregnant with him,
but was not diagnosed until he was three or four.
“I well remember when I was fitted with my first
hearing aid,” he said.
His primary education started with home tutoring by
his great aunt and then he attended Hamilton’s Gray
Street Primary School.
In 1951, his parents were among six parents who
contributed money to establish one of the first aural
schools in Victoria.
Mr Black attended this school, Ewing House, for a
year and then finished off his schooling at Ballarat
Mr Black went to Hamilton Allied Health on Tuesday
to learn about a new technology for voice recognition
use on computer for a phone call.
“I am looking into getting a new one,” he said.
It is a lot better than the system he uses for phone
calls now where there is a third person involved typing
Mr Black does not require any more surgery on his
right ear where the cochlear implant is, but is now
considering having the left one done as well.
Elderly man lucky to
escape serious injury
AIRBAGS and a seatbelt saved an
85-year-old man from suffering serious
injuries after his car ran off the road near
Byaduk on Saturday.
The Ballarat man was driving towards
Hamilton when his car left the road and
struck a tree near Weerangourt Creek on
the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road south of
Byaduk around 3pm.
Macarthur Leading Senior Constable
David Rook said the man was fortunate his
airbag was activated on impact.
“He received bruising to his chest and a
fat lip from the airbag,” he said.
“He was wearing a seatbelt.
“That and the airbag saved him from
The man was taken to the Hamilton Base
Hospital where he is still recovering.
Leading Sen Const Rook said the cause of
the crash was being investigated.
Baby locked in a car
EMERGENCY services raced against
the clock after a baby was locked in a car
on Saturday morning.
Police were called to McDonalds around
10.30am after a woman called to say the
18-month-old had been accidentally locked
Police officers were about to smash a car
window but RACV arrived and were able
to gain access to the vehicle.
Sergeant Paul Stanhope said SES, CFA
and ambulance also attended but none were
“The child was ok,” he said.
“It’s a reminder how easy it can happen
and as the weather heats up, children and
pets are at risk.”
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