The University of Southampton

How to communicate with an implant user

Due to the reduced amount of information the patient is receiving with their cochlear implant, and the huge variation in outcomes it is vital to ensure you have a good listening environment to communicate. This has already been covered in the earlier section ‘how to improve the listening environment. Here are some of the factors you should consider:

  • The cochlear implant may only give the user more environmental sound awareness.
  • Cochlear implants amplify everything and so when there is background noise it will be more difficult to hear.
  • A room with soft furnishing such as carpets and curtains is preferable to a room with hard surfaces, such as the kitchen, as sound will tend to reverberate making it more difficult to hear.


Consistent use of a cochlear implant is important. Good hearing and access to sound will keep the user ‘in the moment’ and more aware of sounds around them as well as helping with safety and easing communication.
The speech processor can be worn all waking hours except in the bath or shower when they may get wet. Waterproof options maybe available for some manufacturers – please ask USAIS for further details.



Key concepts