Cochlear Implants (CI)

Cochlear Implants (CI)

Cochlear Implants, Brain Reorganization, and Hearing Loss: Interview with Anu Sharma, PhD

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, spoke with Dr. Sharma about cochlear implants, brain reorganization after hearing loss, and early stage hearing loss (mild hearing loss) correlating with brain changes.

Academy: Good morning, Anu. Always great to chat with you!

Sharma: Hi, Doug. Nice to speak with you, too.

Academy: Anu, if I recall, you earned your doctorate from Northwestern University?

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Wireless Mics Improve Word Recognition for Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants

Beck and Holmberg (2011) reported that there are significant benefits to wireless microphones (WM), such as (1) reduction of background noise, (2) reduction of reverberation, and (3) maintenance of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as measured at the sound source (i.e., the person talking).

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Cochlear Implants and Music Perception: 2015

Wang, Zhou, and Xu (2011) evaluated 19 adult cochlear implant (CI) uses with regard to pitch perception. They reported that normal hearing listeners could identify changes in pitch of 0.4 semitones (the difference in two neighboring keys on a piano is one semitone). However, on average, people with CIs required 5.5 semitones (i.e., 5.5 keys white keys on a piano) to notice a change in pitch. Of note, the range of performance for the CI group was from 0.8 semitones to 19.6 semitones.  

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Comparing CROS Hearing Aids and Bone-Anchored Hearing Devices

Finbow et al (2015) evaluated 8 adults with single-sided deafness (SSD) with regard to contralateral routing of signal (CROS) and bone-anchored hearing devices (BHADs). The authors report CROS and BAHDs are the two main interventions used to treat SSD, although they also report cochlear implants (CIs) have also been used to treat SSD.

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Cochlear Implants and Cognitive Function?

Mosnier et al (2015) and colleagues evaluated the relationship between cognitive function and hearing restoration through cochlear implants (CIs) in elderly patients. The study was performed between 2006 and 2009 and included 94 patients between 65 and 85 years of age. Each participant was evaluated pre-op, and 6 and 12 months post-op. Six tests were used to assess cognitive function including the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), the 5-Word Test, the Clock-Drawing Test, Verbal Fluency Test, the D2 Test of Attention and Trail Making Tests (parts A and B).

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Cochlear Implants, Aging, and Speech-in-Noise

Fullgrabe and Moore (2015) recently reported that (even) for older people with normal hearing, speech-in-noise ability does indeed, decline with age. Therefore, Fullgrabe and Moore recommended tests beyond the audiogram to assess older people and their hearing/listening ability, and they reported it is necessary to take age into account, when addressing the audiological needs of older patients.

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Combining Cochlear Implants and Normal Hearing

Since 2008 (see Van De Hetning, Vermeire and Diebl), multiple reports and studies have addressed the benefit of cochlear implants (CIs) in the worse (unilateral deafness or “unaidable”) ear, given a normal (or nearly normal, or aidable) contralateral ear (see Arndt, Aschendorff, Laszig et al 2011, Baguley 2010, Buechner, Brendel, Lesinki-schiedat et al 2010, VanZon, Peters, Stegeman et al, 2015).

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Single-Sided Deafness and Cochlear Implants

Van Zon et al (2015) report a systematic review of the professional literature to determine the likely outcome for people with single-sided deafness (SSD, or asymmetric hearing loss, AHL) who undergo cochlear implantation in the worse ear. The authors note that the most common clinical solutions for people with SSD or AHL includes contralateral routing of signal (CROS) or bone-conduction (BC) devices.

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Cochlear Implants and Pediatric Post-Op Pain and Dizziness

Birman, Gibson, and Elliott (2015) evaluated post-operative surgical pain in children (ages 16 years and younger), following cochlear implant surgery via assessment of analgesia use. Between August 2010 and November 2012, 98 children were implanted, 61 were reported. Of the 61 children who were reported, 19 children required no pain relief and 42 children used paracetamol (aka acetaminophen in the United States) Additionally, 1 child required oxycodeine for 1 day (following bilateral implant surgery), and codeine phosphate was used by 1 child for 3 days.

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Cochlear Implant Candidacy Revisited

Lovett, Vickers, and Summerfield (2015) report their observational study of children with bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) compared to children with bilateral hearing aids (HAs) to better determine a criterion for CI candidacy for young children. Determining CI candidacy criteria is difficult, as candidacy is assessed based on (often estimated) pure-tones, while outcomes are measured through listening and language skills. The authors note that CI outcomes cannot be predicted for a specific individual, as the variation in outcomes-based performance is huge (see Davidson, 2011). 

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