Effects of Age and Implanted Ear on Speech Recognition in Adults with Unilateral Cochlear Implants

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine how age and implanted ear contribute to functional outcomes with cochlear implantation (CI). A retrospective review was performed on 96 adults who underwent unilateral CI. Older adults with right-ear implants had higher Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) scores at 1 year by 10.3% (p = 0.06). When adjusted to rationalized arcsine units (rau), right-ear HINT scores in older adults were higher by 12.1 rau (p = 0.04). Older adults had an 8.9% advantage on the right side compared to the left in post- versus preimplant scores for consonant-vowel nucleus-consonant words (p = 0.05). No significant differences were observed for younger adults. In conclusion, although adults of all ages experience improvements in speech perception following CI, there might be a subtle but consistent right-ear advantage in older adults.

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