Monday, April 22, 2013

New Horizons for Single Sided Deafness in Children

Single sided deafness is a difficult condition to treat in both children and adults. Single sided deafness has been traditionally treated with a CROS hearing aid (transmitter rests on the deaf ear and sends sound to the better ear via a wireless signal), BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid, which functions similar to a CROS, but requires surgery and sends the sound to the better ear via vibrations of the bone), and traditional hearing aids. Some patients respond well to these options, but understanding speech in background noise and determining where sound is coming from is always a challenge for these patients. Recent research using cochlear implants for single sided deafness has been surfacing and the benefits are very encouraging. In a recent study published in Otology and Neurotology, children were evaluated one year after a cochlear implant was placed in the worse ear. The results suggested improved speech understanding in noisy environments, better localization of sound and some benefits associated with being able to hear with both ears. For more information, please click on the link:

Example of a cochlear implant (source: cochlear implant images on Google)

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