Study Finds Support for Classroom Acoustics Standards (ANSI/ASA, 2010)
A recently-published study by Frank Ingelhart evaluated the speech perception performance of 23 children with cochlear implants and 23 children with normal hearing through the speech frequencies (500-4000 Hz). Speech perception testing was completed in a classroom environment at three different reverberation times—0.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds, and 0.3 seconds.
Parents of Deaf Children, Stuck in the Middle of an Argument
Thoughtful piece on the dilemma faced by parents of “deaf” children. One thing that many audiologists might take issue with is the statement that “hearing aid use in children, which requires years of visits with doctors, audiologists, and speech therapists, remains controversial.” Studies show that early diagnosis, ongoing intervention with hearing aids, and aural (re)habilitation is beneficial for children with adequate residual hearing.
Single-Sided Deafness, Cochlear Implants, and Speech Understanding
Zeitler et al (2015) reported on nine people (ages 12 to 63 years) with single-sided deafness (SSD) and normal hearing in the other ear, all of whom underwent cochlear implantation in the SSD ear. With regard to post-op speech understanding in noise, the authors report “one of our aims was to assess the value of a CI for SSD patients when the listening environment simulated a ‘real world’ situation, that is, listening in a restaurant where the talker was on the side of the CI.
The Importance of Frequency Regions for Cochlear Implant Patients
Sladen and Ricketts (2015) report that given current cochlear implant (CI) technology, the majority of post-lingually deafened adults achieve 80 percent word recognition (in quiet) after only six months experience with a CI. In their study, CI users were presented with monaural information and the NH listeners had binaural input. The noisy condition was a 10 dB SNR with six-talker babble. Of note, “the average decrease in performance between quiet and noisy conditions was 13% for the NH group and 20 percent for the CI group.”
Siburt and Holmes (2015) report that 93 responses to their survey, which queried who programs the hearing aid (adult patients) given a bimodal fitting (‘bimodal’ as used here indicates one ear has a cochlear implant [CI] and the other has a hearing aid). The respondents represented multiple clinical settings (private practice, ENT clinics, university clinics, and hospitals). Fifty-seven responses were from “small centers” (fewer than or up to 20 adult patients per year) and 36 were from “large centers” (more than 20 patients per year).
The Importance of Pitch Discrimination in Cochlear Implant Users
Wang et al (2011) evaluated 19 adult cochlear implant (CI) users and 10 normal hearing listeners with regard to their perception of tone/pitch. CI users demonstrated a mean threshold for pitch discrimination of 5.5 semitones (with a range from 0.8 semitones to 19.6 semitones). People with normal hearing demonstrated average thresholds of 0.4 semitones.
Cochlear Implant Satisfaction and Psychological Profiles
Kobosko et al (2015) report that when post-lingually deafened adults acquire a cochlear implant, the benefits extend beyond hearing. That is, quality of life improves, as does psychological well-being and social interactions. The authors studied the relationship between cochlear implant (CI) satisfaction and level of psychological distress, stress coping strategies, and global self-esteem.
Cushing et al (2013) reported on 153 children with profound sensorinerual hearing loss (SNHL), 119 of whom had unilateral cochlear implants (CI) at the time of testing. Cushing and colleagues reported vestibular end-organ dysfunction was present in half of the subjects, and of note, none of the children reported signs or symptoms of vestibular injury after receiving their CI.
Children with Congenital Deafness, Cochlear Implants (CIs), and Auditory Learning
Mishra, Boddupally, and Rayapati (2015) evaluated 27 children with congenital deafness who received cochlear implants to examine and characterize training-induced changes in speech-in-noise (SIN) perception. Thirteen children and 5 adults with normal hearing were also evaluated. Of note, 13 children with cochlear implants were trained (40 hours of training over 5 weeks) and 14 children with CIs were not trained.