CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Semin Hear 2021; 42(04): 381-388
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1739371
Review Article

The Importance of Access to Bilateral Hearing through Cochlear Implants in Children

Karen A. Gordon
1   Archie's Cochlear Implant Laboratory, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
2   Department of Communication Disorders, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
4   Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
,
Blake C. Papsin
1   Archie's Cochlear Implant Laboratory, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
3   Department of Otolaryngology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
4   Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
,
Vicky Papaioannou
2   Department of Communication Disorders, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
3   Department of Otolaryngology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
4   Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
,
Sharon L. Cushing
1   Archie's Cochlear Implant Laboratory, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
3   Department of Otolaryngology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
4   Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Children with hearing loss require early access to sound in both ears to support their development. In this article, we describe barriers to providing bilateral hearing and developmental consequences of delays during early sensitive periods. Barriers include late identification of hearing loss in one or both ears and delayed access to intervention with hearing devices such as cochlear implants. Effects of delayed bilateral input on the auditory pathways and brain are discussed as well as behavioral effects on speech perception and other developmental outcomes including language and academics. Evidence for these effects has supported an evolution in cochlear implant candidacy in children that was started with unilateral implantation in children with profound deafness bilaterally to bilateral implantation to implantation of children with asymmetric hearing loss including children with single-side deafness. Opportunities to enhance the developmental benefits of bilateral hearing in children with hearing loss are also discussed including efforts to improve binaural/spatial hearing and consideration of concurrent vestibular deficits which are common in children with hearing loss.



Publication History

Publication Date:
09 December 2021 (online)

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

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