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Year: 2013  Vol. 17   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1352501
Original Article
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Prevalence of Contralateral Hearing Aid Use in Adults with Cochlear Implants
Cintia Tizue Yamaguchi, Maria Valria Schmidt Goffi-Gomez
Key words:
cochlear implantation - deafness - hearing aids - speech perception

Introduction: The exclusive use of a cochlear implant (CI) in one ear allows patients to effectively hear speech in a quiet environment. However, in environments with competing noise, the processing of multiple sounds becomes complex. In an attempt to promote binaural hearing in a noninvasive manner, the use of a hearing aid in the nonimplanted ear is suggested for patients with a unilateral CI.

Aims: To identify the prevalence of hearing aid use in the contralateral ear in adults who already have a CI; to determine the reasons why some patients do not use contralateral hearing aids (CHAs); and to analyze the effects of residual hearing in CHA users.

Materials and Methods: This is a clinical study in 82 adult patients with CI implants who responded to a questionnaire designed to determine current use of CHA.

Results: In our patient sample, 70 CHA nonusers were identified. The prevalence of CHA users was determined to be 12% with a 95% confidence interval of 11 to 13%. About 58.2% of the CHA nonusers reported a lack of noticeable benefit even after wearing hearing aids, and 23.6% reported not having received the option to use a CHA. CHA users had a pure tone average of 107-dB hearing level, whereas CHA nonusers had a pure tone average of 117-dB hearing level.

Conclusion: The prevalence of the use of a CHA is low in our study. We attribute the low use of a CHA to either a lack of residual hearing or to a lack of benefit from the amplification.



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