Trials of a Contralateral Hearing Aid After Long-Term Unilateral Cochlear Implant Use in Early-Onset Deafness Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practicability of binaural hearing by adding a contralateral hearing aid (HA) after long-term cochlear implant (CI) use in prelingually deaf adults. Method Five individuals with 1 CI volunteered for a 3-week bimodal (CI + HA) trial. HA gain ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   June 01, 2016
Trials of a Contralateral Hearing Aid After Long-Term Unilateral Cochlear Implant Use in Early-Onset Deafness
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Linda Gottermeier
    National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Carol De Filippo
    National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Catherine Clark
    National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Linda Gottermeier: lggnca@rit.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   June 01, 2016
Trials of a Contralateral Hearing Aid After Long-Term Unilateral Cochlear Implant Use in Early-Onset Deafness
American Journal of Audiology, June 2016, Vol. 25, 85-99. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0058
History: Received September 20, 2015 , Revised January 7, 2016 , Accepted January 9, 2016
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2016, Vol. 25, 85-99. doi:10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0058
History: Received September 20, 2015; Revised January 7, 2016; Accepted January 9, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practicability of binaural hearing by adding a contralateral hearing aid (HA) after long-term cochlear implant (CI) use in prelingually deaf adults.

Method Five individuals with 1 CI volunteered for a 3-week bimodal (CI + HA) trial. HA gain was set low until sound was tolerable, then increased as listeners acclimated. Participants logged their daily listening experiences and were closely monitored by the audiologist. Measures included pre- and posttrial consonant-nucleus-consonant (CNC) word and phoneme scores and self-reports of satisfaction and listening ability in difficult situations.

Results Acoustic stimulation was initially unpleasant, but approached comfort at target gain within the 3-week period. Benefit was demonstrated in continued voluntary HA use and higher bimodal phoneme scores compared to CI alone (8%–31% increases) for 4 of the participants.

Conclusions When a second CI is not a consideration, a contralateral HA should be pursued as the standard of care for prelingually deaf adults despite substantial auditory deprivation in the previously unaided ear, unpleasant sensations at initial HA fit, or lack of dramatic objective test gains. Frequent audiologist contact, repeated HA adjustments, and client journals are valuable in promoting favorable outcomes with bimodal hearing (adaptation, acceptance, and benefit) for this population.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to recognize speech-language therapists Bonnie Bastian and Jennifer Verbakel for their ongoing observations and informal assessments of our participants' progress in individualized speech-language therapy sessions and for providing them continuing encouragement and support.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access