Does the Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid Have a Complementary Effect on Audiological and Subjective Outcomes in Patients with Unilateral Conductive Hearing Loss?

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Objectives:To study the effect of a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) in patients with unilateral conductive hearing loss.Study Design:Prospective evaluation on 18 subjects.Methods:Aided and unaided binaural hearing was assessed in the sound field using a sound localization test and a speech recognition in noise test with spatially separated sound and noise sources. The patients also filled out a disability-specific questionnaire.Patients:13 out of the 18 subjects had normal hearing on one side and acquired conductive hearing loss in the other ear. The remaining 5 patients had a unilateral air-bone gap and mild symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss.Results:Sound localization with the BAHA improved significantly. Speech recognition in noise with spatially separated speech and noise sources also improved with the BAHA. Fitting a BAHA to patients with unilateral conductive hearing loss had a complementary effect on hearing. Questionnaire results showed that the BAHA was of obvious benefit in daily life.Conclusions:The BAHA proved to be a beneficial means to optimize binaural hearing in patients with severe (40-60 dB) unilateral conductive hearing loss according to audiometric data and patient outcome measures.

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