Hearing Aid Use in Conjunction With a Cochlear ImplantBy Zwolan, Teresa A.; Hearing Loss Magazine, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 26-28
Publication Date: January/February 2005
Article discusses the advantages of using a hearing aid in conjunction with a cochlear implant, which includes improved speech perception in quiet and noise, enhanced ability to determine the origin of sound, and continued stimulation of the unaffected ear. Researchers have recorded improved speech perception scores in quiet for some clients when tested in a binaural (both ear) condition than when tested using either a hearing aid or a cochlear implant alone. The amount of benefit found in such studies varied, however, and not all clients demonstrated improvements. The author contends that in her hearing clinic, recommendations are made on an individual basis, and are dependent upon the amount of hearing in the non-implanted ear, appropriateness of the frequency response and settings of the hearing aid, the willingness of the client to use the implant alone, and the client’s willingness to use the hearing aid with the cochlear implant. If a client demonstrates improvement when using both devices, assistive devices can be employed to facilitate use of the devices in conjunction. For example, if the client’s speech processor and hearing aid are both T-coil compatible, a loop induction device will enable simultaneous use of the devices during activities such as talking on the phone and listening to music. Also, a speakerphone can enable the client to use both devices at once, which could improve their ability to communicate via telephone.
Published by: Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly Self Help for Hard of Hearing People) (Website:http://www.hearingloss.org)