Children With Single-Sided Deafness Use Their Cochlear Implant

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Abstract

Objectives:

To assess acceptance of a cochlear implant (CI) by children with single-sided deafness (SSD) as measured by duration of CI use across daily listening environments.

Design:

Datalogs for 7 children aged 1.1 to 14.5 years (mean ± SD: 5.9 ± 5.9 years old), who had SSD and were implanted in their deaf ear, were anonymized and extracted from their CI processors. Data for all available follow-up clinical appointments were included, ranging from two to six visits. Measures calculated from each datalog included frequency and duration of time the coil disconnected from the internal device, average daily CI use, and both duration (hr/day) and percentage of CI use (% daily use) in different intensity ranges and environment types. Linear mixed effects regression analyses were used to evaluate the relationships between CI experience, daily CI use, frequency of coil-offs, and duration of coil-off time. Nonlinear regression analyses were used to evaluate CI use with age in different acoustic environments.

Results:

Children with SSD used their CI on average 7.4 hr/day. Older children used their CI for longer periods of the day than younger children. Longitudinal data indicated consistent CI use from the date of CI activation. Frequency of coil-offs reduced with CI experience, but did not significantly contribute to hours of coil-off time. Children used their CI longest in environments that were moderately loud (50 to 70 dB A) and classified as containing speech-in-noise. Preschoolers tended to spend less time in quiet but more time in music than infants/toddlers and adolescents.

Conclusions:

Children with SSD consistently use their CI upon activation in a variety of environments commonly experienced by children. CI use in children with SSD resembles reported bilateral hearing aid use in children but is longer than reported hearing aid use in children with less severe unilateral hearing loss, suggesting that (1) the normal-hearing ear did not detract from consistent CI use; and (2) a greater asymmetry between ears presents a significant impairment that may facilitate device use to access bilateral sound.

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