Benefit of Wearing a Hearing Aid on the Unimplanted Ear in Adult Users of a Cochlear Implant

Dunn, Camille C.; Tyler, Richard S.; Witt, Shelley A.
June 2005
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2005, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p668
Academic Journal
The purpose of this investigation was to document performance of participants wearing a cochlear implant and hearing aid in opposite ears on speech-perception and localization tests. Twelve individuals who wore a cochlear implant and a hearing aid on contralateral ears were tested on their abilities to understand words in quiet and sentences in noise, and to localize everyday sounds. All speech stimuli were presented from the front, with the noise stimuli presented from the front, the right, or the left at a 90° angle. Binaural summation in quiet and in noise, binaural squelch effects, and localization were studied to determine bilateral advantages. The magnitude of the monaural head shadow effect (the difference in unilateral performance when noise was facing the unilateral device vs. when the noise was opposite the unilateral device) also was studied. The test setup for localization was composed of an 8-speaker array spanning an arc of approximately 108- in front of each participant. Group results yielded a statistically significant combined benefit of wearing a hearing aid in conjunction with a cochlear implant on opposite ears in noise conditions. Those participants who received a binaural advantage in 1 condition did not necessarily show a binaural advantage in another. Only 2 participants out of 12 were able to localize when wearing 2 devices. Further efforts are required to improve the integration of information from combined use of cochlear implant and hearing aid devices for enhancement of speech perception in noise and localization.


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