27 October 2020

A cochlear implant can help people with single-sided deafness

A study confirms the clinical benefits of cochlear implantation in patients with single-sided deafness (SSD).

Patients with single-sided deafness (SSD) who receive a cochlear implant (CI) show significant improvements in quality of life, tinnitus perception, speech understanding in noise and sound localisation, according to a Swiss study.

The study found that the general quality of life of patients with single-sided deafness (SSD) significantly increased after cochlear implantation to a level comparable to a normal hearing control group.

Furthermore, a significant reduction in tinnitus experienced was measured.

Aim of the study

The aim of the study was to demonstrate the clinical efficiency and outcomes of cochlear implants in adult patients with post-lingual single-sided deafness. The study confirms the clinical benefits of cochlear implantation in patients with SSD.

Speech in noise

The study found a significant improvement in speech understanding in noise in two situations in which SSD patients experience the greatest difficulties:

  • Speech from the front and noise at the healthy ear
  • Speech to the implanted ear and noise from the front

About the study

The patients in the study were between 18 and 70 years old and had acquired SSD due to cochlear damage, had normal structure of the cochlea and the cochlear nerve and the onset of SSD was within 6 months to 10 years before study inclusion.

Single-sided deafness was defined as a hearing loss of 70 dB HL or more in the mean thresholds of 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the affected ear and 25 dB HL or better in the frequencies from 125 to 2 kHz and 35 dB HL or better from 4 to 8 kHz in the normal hearing contralateral ear.

The study, “Cochlear implants in single-sided deafness – clinical results of a Swiss multicentre study”, was published in the journal Swiss Medical Weekly.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and Swiss Medical Weekly

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