The usefulness of cochlear implantation in children with single-sided deafness
Children with single-sided deafness (SSD) show a poorer performance at school, which is attributable to reduced speech discrimination in noise, to reduced localization ability, and to a decreased power of concentration due to faster hearing exhaustion. Therefore, it is important to provide children with SSD with adequate hearing amplification to restore binaural hearing. This can only be achieved by provision with a cochlear implant (CI). But these treatment options in children with SSD are still under discussion.
The aim of the present study is to evaluate audiological and clinical results in children with SSD following cochlear implantation. A special focus was placed on the duration of deafness before implantation and on the frequency of CI-use in everyday life.
Seven children with SSD of different etiologies who were provided with a CI between 3 and 16 years of age were evaluated. Every child underwent multiple audiological tests before and after cochlear implantation. After cochlear implantation speech recognition tests in noise using the HSM (Hochmair, Schulz and Moser 1997) test and localization tests were performed. Furthermore, the frequency of implant use was evaluated.
Speech recognition in noise with CI compared to the unaided condition significantly improved in all children in different settings. Improvement of the localization ability measured by the root mean square error (RMSE) was shown in all children. All children are very satisfied with the decision to have undergone cochlear implantation and are all full-time users.
Cochlear implantation benefits speech recognition in noise and sound localization ability in children with SSD at different ages. All implanted children are full-time users regardless of age or duration of deafness before implantation.