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Experience with CI-Treatment in cases of longterm deafness
18 April 2018 (online)
Treating patients who have been deaf for more than a decade uni- or bilaterally can be a challenge in many ways, not the least of which is convincing health insurance companies that the treatment is feasible and the expected outcome worth the effort. We therefore report data of all patients with an onset of deafness more than 10 years prior to implantation who have received a CI at our centre from 2014 onwards.
Of 35 patients (20 female, 15 male, mean age 54 years) with onset of deafness > 10 years prior to implantation, postoperative speech perception thresholds, results of “Freiburger Einsilbertest” 3, 6 and 9 months postoperatively as well as quality of live assessment using the Nijmegen questionnaire have been compared.
24 patients reached speech perception levels of less than 65 dB 6 months after the implantation, another 4 patients levels of up to 85 dB. 14 patients reached > 40% monosyllable recognition in “Freiburger Einsilbertest” after 6 months, another 6 patients > 30%. Scores for Social Interaction and General Activity were considerably higher – in some cases quite unrelated to the acquired speech perception.
With Cochlear Implantation, even after more than a decade of deafness uni- or bilaterally, it is possible to reach satisfactory results regarding speech perception and quality of live. Nonetheless, careful patient selection and even more importantly, thorough information of the patients with regards to the duration of the rehabilitation process to be expected prior to the treatment is important, to avoid disappointment and failure of the treatment.