NRT-Nerve Response Telemetry and 20 Electrodes

NRT (Nerve Response Telemetry) is basically a test that a computer program runs on a CI (while a person is wearing it) to ensure the CI is stimulating the hearing nerve.

It’s pain-free and easy to do.  All I have to do is sit there, listen to the odd “tapping” sound, and watch the graphs.  It’s all automatic and is pretty interesting to watch the graph measure *I THINK* the action potential.  It does take about 15-20 minutes for it to go through all 22 electrodes.

Each CI manufacturer has a different number of array electrodes, mine has 22 (technically it has 24, 22 on the array and 2 outside the cochlea).  Each electrode generally corresponds to a certain part of the cochlea and stimulates different parts of the nerve.

Even though my audiologist had done a NRT right after I was activated, she wanted to do another one to ensure there wasn’t anything we were overlooking with the inability to hear sirens problem.  The results were basically the same as my original NRT test results in terms of electrodes #1 and #2 did not response.  I actually  have had those 2 electrodes turned off for a long time (not sure if I ever had a MAP with them on).  It’s possible that area of my nerve is “dead” but hasn’t been a cause for concern since I have not had any other issues *knocks on wood* with other electrodes.  So even though I have 22 electrodes, I am only using 20 of them right now.

I love learning something new!  Sometimes I wish I understood exactly all the details that go into programming a CI….that’s the science nerd in me.  🙂

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