Effects of Cochlear Implantation on Binaural Hearing in Adults With Unilateral Hearing Loss

Emily Buss, Margaret T. Dillon, Meredith A. Rooth, English R. King, Ellen J. Deres, Craig A. Buchman, Harold C. Pillsbury, Kevin D. Brown

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82 Scopus citations


A FDA clinical trial was carried out to evaluate the potential benefit of cochlear implant (CI) use for adults with unilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Subjects were 20 adults with moderate-to-profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and normal or near-normal hearing on the other side. A MED-EL standard electrode was implanted in the impaired ear. Outcome measures included: (a) sound localization on the horizontal plane (11 positions, −90° to 90°), (b) word recognition in quiet with the CI alone, and (c) masked sentence recognition with the target at 0° and the masker at −90°, 0°, or 90°. This battery was completed preoperatively and at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after CI activation. Normative data were also collected for 20 age-matched control subjects with normal or near-normal hearing bilaterally. The CI improved localization accuracy and reduced side bias. Word recognition with the CI alone was similar to performance of traditional CI recipients. The CI improved masked sentence recognition when the masker was presented from the front or from the side of normal or near-normal hearing. The binaural benefits observed with the CI increased between the 1- and 3-month intervals but appeared stable thereafter. In contrast to previous reports on localization and speech perception in patients with unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, CI benefits were consistently observed across individual subjects, and performance was at asymptote by the 3-month test interval. Cochlear implant settings, consistent CI use, and short duration of deafness could play a role in this result.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Hearing
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • localization
  • single-sided deafness
  • spatial hearing


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