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Living With a Cochlear Implant : Travel

Airport security systems produce magnetic fields which can cause the speech processor’s programme to become corrupted. Remove the speech processor and switch it off. It can be passed through an X- ray machine safely.

Carry your ID card and user manual to show to the staff. The internal parts of the implant may activate the alarm so ask for a hand scan to be done. If you are in an airport which has a special check-in facility for disabled people you are recommended to use it.
If a speech processor’s map does become corrupted it can easily be reprogrammed at the cochlear implant centre. If the processor allows storage of more than one programme you can usually use one of the others in the meantime.

The speech processor must be switched off during take off and landing while the plane has the ‘Fasten Seatbelts’ sign illuminated. This is because it can cause temporary interference with the pilot’s equipment. You should follow any instructions issued by the airline with regard to the use of personal computers and other electronic devices, and if you are travelling alone then do tell the staff that you are deaf.

Jumbo jet flying overhead on a cloudy day