10 March 2020

People with single-sided deafness may benefit from a cochlear implant

A cochlear implant improves communication and gives better understanding of speech and localising sounds for people with single-sided deafness, studies find.

Three scientific studies find that cochlear implants improve hearing for people with single-sided deafness.

Single-sided deafness (SSD) is a unilateral hearing loss where the person has normal hearing or near to normal hearing in one ear and severe to profound hearing loss in the other ear.

A cochlear implant can be used as treatment for single-sided deafness if it is a severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss and if the cochlea in the ear with hearing loss is intact.

Localising sound

One study (1) found that people with single-sided deafness do indeed benefit from a cochlear implant in difficult listening environments and are able to localise sound based on interaural level differences. The study finds that a cochlear implantation represents a promising treatment option for people with single-sided deafness.

Communication skills

Another study (2) evaluated auditory results and communicative benefits in adult patients with single-sided deafness (SSD) treated with cochlear implantation. The study found that people with single-sided deafness (SSD) who had a cochlear implant showed improvements in communication skills and sound discrimination in a noisy environment.

Word understanding

Finally, a third study (3) evaluated the long-term audiometric outcomes, sound localisation abilities, binaural benefits and tinnitus assessment of people with cochlear implants after a diagnosis of unilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss. The people in the study showed meaningful improvement in word understanding and sound localisation improved over time.

The studies

The study, “Single Sided Deaf Cochlear Implant Users in the Difficult Listening Situation: Speech Perception and Subjective Benefit” (1), was published in the journal Otology & Neurotology.

The study, “Cochlear implant in patients with single sided deafness: hearing results and communicative Benefits” (2), was published in the journal Cochlear Implants International.

The study, “Long-term Audiologic Outcomes After Cochlear Implantation for Single-Sided Deafness” (3), was published in the journal The Laryngoscope.

Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, the journals Otology & Neurotology, Cochlear Implants International and The Laryngoscope.

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