Outcomes of conventional amplification for pediatric unilateral hearing loss

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Objectives: Although children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) are at risk for educational difficulties and behavioral problems, the research on treatment outcomes is limited. Previous studies suggested that children with UHL would benefit from frequency-modulated assistive devices only. The objective of this study was to examine whether children with UHL would benefit from using a conventional hearing aid in the poorer-hearing ear. Methods: Eight children, 7 to 12 years of age, with mild to moderately severe UHL and their parents and teachers participated in this study. The participants were fitted with digital hearing aids by use of pediatric prescriptive targets. The primary outcome measures were speech perception tests in quiet and noise and subjective assessments from participants, parents, and teachers, administered before hearing aid fitting and after 3 months of hearing aid use. Results: The group average speech perception scores showed no significant aided benefit or detriment in any of the conditions tested. However, subjective assessments showed large significant aided benefits at home and school according to the children and their parents, and in quality of life as reported by the children with UHL. Conclusions: Overall, the results suggest that a hearing aid trial should be considered for children with mild to moderately severe UHL, with individual monitoring for benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-454
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Child
  • Hearing aid
  • Quality of life
  • Speech perception
  • Unilateral hearing loss

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