Rapid Positive Influence of Cochlear Implantation on the Quality of Life in Adults 70 Years and Older

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The deteriorating ability to communicate has a negative impact on quality of life in the aging population. Cochlear implantation is increasingly used to treat hearing impairment and to restore the ability to communicate. Here, in a sample of 79 adults (70 years and older), we explored the effect of cochlear implantation on the health-related quality of life via the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire, auditory performance for speech recognition comparing scores on the Freiburg Monosyllabic Test and Oldenburg Inventory and tinnitus-related distress using the German version of the Tinnitus Questionnaire. We observed that the health-related quality of life and auditory performance increased significantly after cochlear implantation for the study cohort. After implantation, tinnitus-related distress declined significantly for the group. Our results support the concept of cochlear implantation treatment positively influencing the quality of life, restoring the auditory performance in older adults and reducing stress related to tinnitus. Importantly, positive effects were seen as early as 6 months after cochlear implantation, corroborating the rationale for cochlear implantation in adults 70 years and older.

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