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Outcome of Balanced Sound Processing and Matching Automatic Gain Control of Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant in Bimodal Cochlear Implant UsersAdvanced Bionics
18 April 2018 (online)
Patients with unilateral deafness and residual hearing on the contralateral ear can benefit from a cochlear implant on one side and a hearing aid on the other. However, hearing improvements among these patients are heterogenous. Interindividual differences in bimodal benefit may be caused by a mismatch of cochlear implant and hearing aid as well as discrepant signal processing. Creating a balanced sound processing and a matching automatic gain control may help to improve hearing and speech perception.
20 patients using the AB Naída CI Processor and a conventional hearing aid were enrolled. Before and after the Phonak Naída Link hearing aid had been adjusted to the patient and linked to the cochlear implant pure-tone audiometry and localization tests were performed. Speech perception was determined in quiet and noise. Tests were repeated after six and twelve weeks. To evaluate the subjective listening comfort two questionnaires (Oldenburger Inventar and HISQUI19) were assessed.
Twelve weeks after the fitting of the new hearing aid an improvement of hearing and speech perception could be determined. Especially, speech perception in noise was improved significantly: Directed suppression of noise helped to segregate the target speech signal from a mixture of sounds or competing speakers (Zoom-Control-Function). Evaluation of the questionnaires revealed a positive subjective hearing experience. However, to obtain enhanced outcome a detailed patients' introduction to the new hearing aid is needed at the beginning.