Does Unilateral Hearing Loss Impair Working Memory? An Italian Clinical Study Comparing Patients With and Without Hearing Aids.
Della Volpe Antonio,Ippolito Valentina,Roccamatisi Dalila,Garofalo Sabina,De Lucia Antonietta,Gambacorta Valeria,Longari Fabrizio,Ricci Giampietro,Di Stadio Arianna
Frontiers in neuroscience
Working memory (WM) function can be reduced in patients suffering from unilateral hearing loss (UHL) and can affect their academic performance. We aimed to compare the WM abilities of three categories of children with UHL: patients implanted with hearing aids (HAs), patients receiving a bone-anchored hearing implant (BAHI), and subjects who did not receive hearing devices. A randomized clinical study, in which 45 children (mean age: 9.5 years) were evaluated by pure tone audiometry (to identify the side and the severity of the UHL), was conducted in a tertiary referral center. Patients were simply randomized into three groups: (1) children without HAs (No-HA group), (2) patients with a (digital) HA (HA group), and (3) children with a BAHI (BAHI group). Their working and short-term memories were studied in both noisy and silent conditions at the recruiting time (T0, baseline) and 6 months after (T1) the treatment. Statistical analyses were performed to analyze the variances between T0 and T1 within each group and between the three groups. The No-HA group improved its T1 WM scores in silence ( < 0.01), but not in noise. The HA and BAHI groups showed statistically significant variances of T1 WM in noise ( < 0.01 and < 0.01, respectively). The HA and BAHI groups did not show statistically significant variances compared to T1. Our results suggest that hearing devices (HA and BAHI) in children with sensorineural UHL (SUHL) can improve WM capacity in noise. We speculate that bilateral hearing capacity might improve the quality of life of this population, especially during everyday activities where noise is present.
Looking Behavior and Audiovisual Speech Understanding in Children With Normal Hearing and Children With Mild Bilateral or Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Lewis Dawna E,Smith Nicholas A,Spalding Jody L,Valente Daniel L
Ear and hearing
OBJECTIVES:Visual information from talkers facilitates speech intelligibility for listeners when audibility is challenged by environmental noise and hearing loss. Less is known about how listeners actively process and attend to visual information from different talkers in complex multi-talker environments. This study tracked looking behavior in children with normal hearing (NH), mild bilateral hearing loss (MBHL), and unilateral hearing loss (UHL) in a complex multi-talker environment to examine the extent to which children look at talkers and whether looking patterns relate to performance on a speech-understanding task. It was hypothesized that performance would decrease as perceptual complexity increased and that children with hearing loss would perform more poorly than their peers with NH. Children with MBHL or UHL were expected to demonstrate greater attention to individual talkers during multi-talker exchanges, indicating that they were more likely to attempt to use visual information from talkers to assist in speech understanding in adverse acoustics. It also was of interest to examine whether MBHL, versus UHL, would differentially affect performance and looking behavior. DESIGN:Eighteen children with NH, eight children with MBHL, and 10 children with UHL participated (8-12 years). They followed audiovisual instructions for placing objects on a mat under three conditions: a single talker providing instructions via a video monitor, four possible talkers alternately providing instructions on separate monitors in front of the listener, and the same four talkers providing both target and nontarget information. Multi-talker background noise was presented at a 5 dB signal-to-noise ratio during testing. An eye tracker monitored looking behavior while children performed the experimental task. RESULTS:Behavioral task performance was higher for children with NH than for either group of children with hearing loss. There were no differences in performance between children with UHL and children with MBHL. Eye-tracker analysis revealed that children with NH looked more at the screens overall than did children with MBHL or UHL, though individual differences were greater in the groups with hearing loss. Listeners in all groups spent a small proportion of time looking at relevant screens as talkers spoke. Although looking was distributed across all screens, there was a bias toward the right side of the display. There was no relationship between overall looking behavior and performance on the task. CONCLUSIONS:The present study examined the processing of audiovisual speech in the context of a naturalistic task. Results demonstrated that children distributed their looking to a variety of sources during the task, but that children with NH were more likely to look at screens than were those with MBHL/UHL. However, all groups looked at the relevant talkers as they were speaking only a small proportion of the time. Despite variability in looking behavior, listeners were able to follow the audiovisual instructions and children with NH demonstrated better performance than children with MBHL/UHL. These results suggest that performance on some challenging multi-talker audiovisual tasks is not dependent on visual fixation to relevant talkers for children with NH or with MBHL/UHL.
Vestibular and balance function is often impaired in children with profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
Sokolov Meirav,Gordon Karen A,Polonenko Melissa,Blaser Susan I,Papsin Blake C,Cushing Sharon L
RATIONALE:Children with unilateral deafness could have concurrent vestibular dysfunction which would be associated with balance deficits and potentially impair overall development. The prevalence of vestibular and balance deficits remains to be defined in these children. METHODS:Twenty children with unilateral deafness underwent comprehensive vestibular and balance evaluation. RESULTS:Retrospective review revealed that more than half of the cohort demonstrated some abnormality of the vestibular end organs (otoliths and horizontal canal), with the prevalence of end organ specific dysfunction ranging from 17 to 48% depending on organ tested and method used. In most children, impairment occurred only on the deaf side. Children with unilateral deafness also displayed significantly poorer balance function than their normal hearing peers. CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of vestibular dysfunction in children with unilateral deafness is high and similar to that of children with bilateral deafness. Vestibular and balance evaluation should be routine and the functional impact of combined vestibulo-cochlear sensory deficits considered.
Unilateral hearing loss: benefit of amplification in sound localization, temporal ordering and resolution.
Mondelli Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia,Santos Marina De Marchi Dos,Feniman Mariza Ribeiro
PURPOSE:To assess the hearing abilities of temporal ordering, temporal resolution and sound localization before and after the fitting of a hearing aid (HA) in individuals with unilateral hearing loss (UHL). METHODS:There were evaluated 22 subjects, aged 18 to 60 years, diagnosed with sensorineural or mixed UHL, from mild to severe degrees. The study was divided into two stages: the pre and post-adaptation of HA. In both phases, subjects performed an interview, application of Questionnaire for Disabilities Associated with Impaired Auditory Localization, auditory processing screening protocol (APSP) and Random Gap Detection Test (RGDT). RESULTS:This study found no statistically significant difference in sound localization and memory evaluations for verbal sounds in sequence, in RGDT and Questionnaire for Disabilities Associated with Impaired Auditory Localization. CONCLUSION:With the effective use of hearing aids, individuals with UHL showed improvement in the auditory abilities of sound localization, ordering and temporal resolution.
Early outcomes after cochlear implantation for adults and children with unilateral hearing loss.
Sladen Douglas P,Carlson Matthew L,Dowling Brittany P,Olund Amy P,Teece Kathryn,DeJong Melissa D,Breneman Alyce,Peterson Ann,Beatty Charles W,Neff Brian A,Driscoll Colin L
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:This study was designed to examine speech recognition and self-perceived health-related quality of life (HRQoL) received from cochlear implantation among a cohort of adults and children with a short duration of unilateral hearing loss greater than 6 months, but less than 2 years. STUDY DESIGN:Single-subject repeated measures prospective study. METHODS:This study assessed changes in speech recognition and self-perceived quality of life by prospectively analyzing data at the preoperative evaluation and at the 3-month and 6-month postactivation intervals. Measurement tools included Medical Outcomes Study Questionnaire Short Form 36, Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire, Speech Spatial and Qualities of Hearing-Comparative, and speech recognition measures in quiet and in noise. RESULTS:Results indicated significant improvement in speech recognition, both in quiet and noise. Quality-of-life measures showed a significant increase in self-perceived benefit with disease-specific instruments, but remained constant with a generic HRQoL instrument. CONCLUSIONS:Cochlear implantation was a successful intervention for improved hearing in quiet and noise, and a self-perceived benefit for this group of adults and children with a short duration of unilateral hearing loss. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:4 Laryngoscope, 127:1683-1688, 2017.
Effect of Audibility and Suprathreshold Deficits on Speech Recognition for Listeners With Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Bost Tim J M,Versfeld Niek J,Goverts S Theo
Ear and hearing
OBJECTIVES:We examined the influence of impaired processing (audibility and suprathreshold processes) on speech recognition in cases of sensorineural hearing loss. The influence of differences in central, or top-down, processing was reduced by comparing the performance of both ears in participants with a unilateral hearing loss (UHL). We examined the influence of reduced audibility and suprathreshold deficits on speech recognition in quiet and in noise. DESIGN:We measured speech recognition in quiet and stationary speech-shaped noise with consonant-vowel-consonant words and digital triplets in groups of adults with UHL (n = 19), normal hearing (n = 15), and bilateral hearing loss (n = 9). By comparing the scores of the unaffected ear (UHL+) and the affected ear (UHL-) in the UHL group, we were able to isolate the influence of peripheral hearing loss from individual top-down factors such as cognition, linguistic skills, age, and sex. RESULTS:Audibility is a very strong predictor for speech recognition in quiet. Audibility has a less pronounced influence on speech recognition in noise. We found that, for the current sample of listeners, more speech information is required for UHL- than for UHL+ to achieve the same performance. For digit triplets at 80 dBA, the speech recognition threshold in noise (SRT) for UHL- is on average 5.2 dB signal to noise ratio (SNR) poorer than UHL+. Analysis using the speech intelligibility index (SII) indicates that on average 2.1 dB SNR of this decrease can be attributed to suprathreshold deficits and 3.1 dB SNR to audibility. Furthermore, scores for speech recognition in quiet and in noise for UHL+ are comparable to those of normal-hearing listeners. CONCLUSIONS:Our data showed that suprathreshold deficits in addition to audibility play a considerable role in speech recognition in noise even at intensities well above hearing threshold.
Impact of Unilateral Hearing Loss on Behavioral and Evoked Potential Measures of Auditory Function in Adults.
Cañete Oscar M,Purdy Suzanne C,Brown Colin R S,Neeff Michel,Thorne Peter R
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
BACKGROUND:A unilateral hearing loss (UHL) can have a significant functional and social impact on children and adults, affecting their quality of life. In adults, UHL is typically associated with difficulties understanding speech in noise and sound localization, and UHL increases the self-perception of auditory disability for a range of listening situations. Furthermore, despite evidence for the negative effects of reduced unilateral auditory input on the neural encoding of binaural cues, the perceptual consequences of these changes are still not well understood. PURPOSE:Determine effects of UHL on auditory abilities and speech-evoked cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs). RESEARCH DESIGN:CAEPs, sound localization, speech perception in noise and self-perception of auditory abilities (speech, spatial, and qualities hearing scale) were assessed. STUDY SAMPLE:Thirteen adults with UHL with a range of etiologies, duration of hearing loss, and severity and a control group of eleven binaural listeners with normal hearing. RESULTS:Participants with UHL varied greatly in their ability to localize sound and reported speech recognition and listening effort were the greatest problem. There was a greater effect of right ear than left ear hearing loss on N1 amplitude hemispheric asymmetry and N1 latencies evoked by speech syllables in noise. As duration of hearing loss increased, contralateral dominance (N1 amplitude asymmetry) decreased. N1 amplitudes correlated with speech scores, larger N1 amplitudes were associated with better speech recognition in noise scores. N1 latencies are delayed (in the better ear) and amplitude hemisphere asymmetry differed across UHL participants as function of side of deafness, mainly for right-sided deafness. CONCLUSION:UHL affects a range of auditory abilities, including speech detection in noise, sound localization, and self-perceived hearing disability. CAEPs elicited by speech sounds are sensitive enough to evidence changes within the auditory cortex due to an UHL.
Audiovisual Interactions in Stereo Sound Localization for Individuals With Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Venskytis Emily J,Clayton Colton,Montagne Christopher,Zhou Yi
Trends in hearing
This study investigated the effects of unilateral hearing loss (UHL), of either conductive or sensorineural origin, on stereo sound localization and related visual bias in listeners with normal hearing, short-term (acute) UHL, and chronic UHL. Time-delay-based stereophony was used to isolate interaural-time-difference cues for sound source localization in free field. Listeners with acute moderate (<40 dB for tens of minutes) and chronic severe (>50 dB for more than 10 years) UHL showed poor localization and compressed auditory space that favored the intact ear. Listeners with chronic moderate (<50 dB for more than 12 years) UHL performed near normal. These results show that the auditory spatial mechanisms that allow stereo localization become less sensitive to moderate UHL in the long term. Presenting LED flashes at either the same or a different location as the sound source elicited visual bias in all groups but to different degrees. Hearing loss led to increased visual bias, especially on the impaired side, for the severe and acute UHL listeners, suggesting that vision plays a compensatory role in restoring perceptual spatial symmetry.
Effect of Cochlear Implantation on Quality of Life in Adults with Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Dillon Margaret T,Buss Emily,Rooth Meredith A,King English R,Deres Ellen J,Buchman Craig A,Pillsbury Harold C,Brown Kevin D
Audiology & neuro-otology
OBJECTIVE:Patients with moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss in 1 ear and normal hearing in the contralateral ear, known as unilateral hearing loss (UHL) or single-sided deafness (SSD), may experience improved quality of life with the use of a cochlear implant (CI) in the affected ear. Quality of life assessment before and after implantation may reveal changes to aspects of hearing beyond those explicitly evaluated with behavioral measures. METHODS:The present report completed 2 experiments investigating quality of life outcomes in CI recipients with UHL. The first experiment assessed quality of life during the 1st year of device use with 3 questionnaires: the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ), the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB), and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. Twenty subjects were evaluated preoperatively and 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-activation. Quality of life results were compared over the study period using traditional scoring methods and the SSQ pragmatic subscales. Subscales specific to localization and speech perception in noise were compared to behavioral measures at the preoperative and 12-month intervals. The 2nd experiment evaluated quality of life preoperatively and at the 12-month interval for CI recipients with UHL and CI recipients with bilateral hearing loss, including conventional CI users and those listening with electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS). The 3 cohorts differed in CI candidacy criteria, including the amount of residual hearing in the contralateral ear. RESULTS:For subjects with moderate-to-profound UHL, receipt of a CI significantly improved quality of life, with benefits noted as early as 1 month after initial activation. The UHL cohort reported less perceived difficulty at the pre- and postoperative intervals than the conventional CI and EAS cohorts, which may be due to the presence of the normal-hearing ear. Each group experienced a significant benefit in quality of life on the APHAB with CI use. CONCLUSIONS:Cochlear implantation in cases of substantial UHL may offer significant improvements in quality of life. Quality of life measures revealed a reduction in perceived tinnitus severity and subjective improvements in speech perception in noise, spatial hearing, and listening effort. While self-report of difficulties were lower for the UHL cohort than the conventional CI and EAS cohorts, subjects in all 3 groups reported an improvement in quality of life with CI use.
Speech-in-Noise and Quality-of-Life Measures in School-Aged Children With Normal Hearing and With Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Griffin Amanda M,Poissant Sarah F,Freyman Richard L
Ear and hearing
OBJECTIVES:(1) Measure sentence recognition in co-located and spatially separated target and masker configurations in school-aged children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL) and with normal hearing (NH). (2) Compare self-reported hearing-related quality-of-life (QoL) scores in school-aged children with UHL and NH. DESIGN:Listeners were school-aged children (6 to 12 yrs) with permanent UHL (n = 41) or NH (n = 35) and adults with NH (n = 23). Sentence reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured using Hearing In Noise Test-Children sentences in quiet and in the presence of 2-talker child babble or a speech-shaped noise masker in target/masker spatial configurations: 0/0, 0/-60, 0/+60, or 0/±60 degrees azimuth. Maskers were presented at a fixed level of 55 dBA, while the level of the target sentences varied adaptively to estimate the SRT. Hearing-related QoL was measured using the Hearing Environments and Reflection on Quality of Life (HEAR-QL-26) questionnaire for child subjects. RESULTS:As a group, subjects with unaided UHL had higher (poorer) SRTs than age-matched peers with NH in all listening conditions. Effects of age, masker type, and spatial configuration of target and masker signals were found. Spatial release from masking was significantly reduced in conditions where the masker was directed toward UHL subjects' normal-hearing ear. Hearing-related QoL scores were significantly poorer in subjects with UHL compared to those with NH. Degree of UHL, as measured by four-frequency pure-tone average, was significantly correlated with SRTs only in the two conditions where the masker was directed towards subjects' normal-hearing ear, although the unaided Speech Intelligibility Index at 65 dB SPL was significantly correlated with SRTs in four conditions, some of which directed the masker to the impaired ear or both ears. Neither pure-tone average nor unaided Speech Intelligibility Index was correlated with QoL scores. CONCLUSIONS:As a group, school-aged children with UHL showed substantial reductions in masked speech perception and hearing-related QoL, irrespective of sex, laterality of hearing loss, and degree of hearing loss. While some children demonstrated normal or near-normal performance in certain listening conditions, a disproportionate number of thresholds fell in the poorest decile of the NH data. These findings add to the growing literature challenging the past assumption that one ear is "good enough."
Altered functional networks in long-term unilateral hearing loss: A connectome analysis.
Zhang Yanyang,Mao Zhiqi,Feng Shiyu,Liu Xinyun,Lan Lan,Zhang Jun,Yu Xinguang
Brain and behavior
Introduction:In neuroimaging studies, long-term unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is associated with functional changes in specific brain regions and connections; however, little is known regarding alterations in the topological organization of whole-brain functional networks and whether these alterations are related to hearing behavior in UHL patients. Methods:We acquired resting-state fMRI data from 21 patients with UHL caused by acoustic neuromas and 21 matched healthy controls. Whole-brain functional networks were constructed by measuring interregional temporal correlations of 278 brain regions. Alterations in interregional functional connectivity and topological properties (e.g., small-world, efficiency, and nodal centrality) were identified using graph-theory analysis. The subjects also completed a battery of hearing behavior measures. Results:Both UHL patients and controls exhibited efficient small-world properties in their functional networks. Compared with controls, UHL patients showed increased and decreased nodal centrality in distributed brain regions. Furthermore, the brain regions with significantly increased and decreased functional connections associated with UHL were components of the following important networks: (1) visual network; (2) higher-order functional networks, including the default-mode and attention networks; and (3) subcortical network and cerebellum. Intriguingly, the changes in intranetwork connections in UHL were significantly correlated with disease duration and hearing level. Conclusions:This study revealed connectome-level alterations involved in multiple large-scale networks related to sensory and higher-level cognitive functions in long-term UHL patients. These reorganizations of the brain in UHL patients may depend on the stage of deafness and hearing level. Together, our findings provided empirical evidence for understanding the neuroplastic mechanisms underlying hearing impairment, establishing potential biomarkers for monitoring the progression and further treatment effects for UHL patients.
One-Year Results for Patients with Unilateral Hearing Loss and Accompanying Severe Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Treated with a Cochlear Implant.
Ramos Macías Angel,Falcón-González Juan Carlos,Manrique Rodríguez Manuel,Morera Pérez Constantino,García-Ibáñez Luis,Cenjor Español Carlos,Coudert-Koall Chrystelle,Killian Matthijs
Audiology & neuro-otology
OBJECTIVE:To show that patients with unilateral hearing loss (UHL), with one ear fulfilling cochlear implant (CI) indication criteria, and an additional severe tinnitus handicap can be treated effectively with a CI. METHOD:A prospective multi-centre study was conducted in five Spanish centres. Sixteen adult patients with UHL and a mean Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) score of at least 58 were implanted. The study design included repeated within-subject measures of quality of life (Health Utility Index Mark 3 [HUI3]), tinnitus (THI, Visual Analogue Scale [VAS] on tinnitus loudness), hearing (Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale- [SSQ]), and hyperacusis (Test de Hipersensibilidad al Sonido [THS]) up to 12 months after the initial CI fitting. RESULTS:Group data showed significant subjective benefit from CI treatment: the preoperative HUI3 total utility score of 0.45 went up to 0.57 at 6 months and 0.63 at 12 months; the preoperative THI total score of 75 decreased to 40 at 6 months and 35 at 12 months. The preoperative tinnitus loudness VAS score of 8.2 decreased to 2.4 at 6 months and 2.2 at 12 months with the implant "On" and to 6.7 at 6 months and 6.5 at 12 months with the implant "Off." The preoperative THS total score of 26 decreased to 17 at 12 months. The preoperative SSQ total score of 4.2 increased to 5.1 at 6 months and 6.3 at 12 months. No unanticipated adverse events were reported during the study period. At 12 months after CI activation all subjects (except 1 subject who used the device 6 days a week) wore their devices all day and every day. The primary reason for CI use was split evenly between tinnitus suppression (n = 6) and both hearing and tinnitus (n = 6). CONCLUSION:A CI should be considered as a treatment option in patients with UHL and a concomitant severe tinnitus handicap. However, appropriate counselling of candidates on the anticipated risks, benefits, and limitations that are inherent to cochlear implantation is imperative.
Evidence of a functional reorganization in the auditory dorsal stream following unilateral hearing loss.
Vannson Nicolas,Strelnikov Kuzma,James Chris J,Deguine Olivier,Barone Pascal,Marx Mathieu
Unilateral hearing loss (UHL) generates a disruption of binaural hearing mechanisms, which impairs sound localization and speech understanding in noisy environments. We conducted an original study using fMRI and psychoacoustic assessments to investigate the relationships between the extent of cortical reorganization across the auditory areas for UHL patients, the severity of unilateral hearing loss, and the deficit in binaural abilities. Twenty-eight volunteers (14 UHL patients) were recruited (twenty-two females and six males). The brain imaging analysis demonstrated that UHL induces a shift in aural dominance favoring the better ear, with a cortical reorganization located in the non-primary auditory areas, ipsilateral (same side) to the better ear. This reorganization is correlated not only to the hearing loss severity but also to spatial localization abilities. A regression analysis between brain activity and patient's performance clearly showed that the spatial hearing deficit was linked to a functional alteration of the posterior auditory areas known to process spatial hearing. Altogether, our study reveals that UHL alters the dorsal auditory stream, which is deleterious to spatial hearing.
Unilateral Hearing Loss in Youth: Development of Candidate Items for a Condition-Specific Validated Instrument.
Purcell Patricia L,Edwards Todd C,Wisneski Meghan,Chan Dylan K,Ou Henry,Horn David L,Skirko Jonathan R,Sie Kathleen C Y
Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Objective This study interviewed youth with unilateral hearing, utilizing their responses to generate candidate items for a condition-specific patient-reported instrument. Study Design Mixed methods, cross-sectional. Setting Tertiary care children's hospital. Participants and Methods Youth with unilateral hearing loss and normal hearing in the contralateral ear were identified and recruited for participation through query of an audiometric database and through hearing loss clinics. Interviews with the youth were qualitatively analyzed to identify common themes and generate items related to functional impact. A multi-institutional expert panel reviewed items with prespecified item selection criteria. Participants rated items for impact on daily life. For preliminary criterion validity assessment, statistical analyses explored correlations between functional scores and type and severity of hearing loss. Results Thirty-nine youth aged 9 to 18 years with unilateral hearing loss participated; 31% used a hearing device. Fifteen youth participated in interviews; thematic analysis, item crafting, and expert panel item review resulted in 41 items. Twenty-six youth responded to the items, reporting low functional scores in the domains of sound localization, ear positioning, and noise environment. They reported better levels of function in carrying out group conversations, focusing on schoolwork, and feeling safe during activities. Multivariate linear regression found that youth scored 0.4 points (or approximately 8%) lower on the functional impact scale with every 20-dB HL increase in pure tone average in the abnormal ear. Conclusion Youth with unilateral hearing loss report functional impact, particularly related to sound localization, ear positioning, and noise environment; therefore, they may benefit from a condition-specific functional assessment instrument.
Prevalence of adult unilateral hearing loss and hearing aid use in the United States.
Golub Justin S,Lin Frank R,Lustig Lawrence R,Lalwani Anil K
OBJECTIVE:The prevalence of unilateral hearing loss (UHL) in adults has not been well characterized. The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence of UHL in U.S. adults and its treatment with hearing aids using a nationally representative study. STUDY DESIGN:Cross-sectional national epidemiologic study (n = 6,242). METHODS:Subjects ≥ 18 years old with audiometric testing in the 2005 to 2006, 2009 to 2010, and 2011 to 2012 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study were included. UHL was defined as normal hearing (≤25 decibels hearing level [dB HL] pure tone average [PTA]) in one ear and at least mild hearing loss (>25 dB HL PTA) in the other ear. Hearing aid usage was defined by at least 5 hours per week (2005-2006) or at least seldom (2009-2012) use. Sampling weights were utilized to ensure generalizability to the U.S. POPULATION: RESULTS:The overall prevalence of UHL in adult Americans was 7.2% (95% confidence interval 6.1%-8.6%), with 5.7% (4.8%-6.7%) having mild and 1.5% (0.1%-2.1%) with moderate-or-worse UHL; nearly one-third of the latter reported trouble hearing. The prevalence of hearing aid usage in those with UHL was 2.0% (0.6%-6.7%). Of those with mild UHL, 1.4% (0.2%-8.0%) used hearing aids. Of those with moderate UHL, 4.2% (0.1%-22%) used hearing aids. Among those with UHL and also at least moderate subjective difficulty hearing, only 11% wore hearing aids. CONCLUSION:UHL is common among U.S. adults. Hearing aid usage is very low, even when there is perceived handicap. Public health education is needed to increase awareness of and auditory rehabilitation for UHL. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:2. Laryngoscope, 128:1681-1686, 2018.
Hearing devices for children with unilateral hearing loss: Patient- and parent-reported perspectives.
Purcell Patricia L,Jones-Goodrich Rose,Wisneski Meghan,Edwards Todd C,Sie Kathleen C Y
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
OBJECTIVE:Management of children with unilateral hearing loss is not standardized. The primary goal of this study was to elicit patient- and parent-reported perspectives regarding usage of hearing devices in pediatric UHL and to suggest a basic algorithmic approach to management. METHODS:Our tertiary care center recruited families of youth ages 5-19 years with unilateral hearing loss from January 2014 through October 2015. Parents of all youths completed a 36-item survey, and some youth ages 11-19 years participated in hour-long interviews. We assessed patterns of hearing device usage among participants, and performed qualitative data analysis to understand factors considered by youths when deciding whether or not to use a hearing device. RESULTS:Survey information was collected for 50 patients. Distribution of hearing loss severity in affected ear was mild 14%, moderate 26%, severe 22%, and profound 38%. The majority of children had sensorineural hearing loss (57%), followed by mixed (32%), and then conductive (11%). 34 children (68%) had tried a hearing device; 20 continued to use the device. Retention rates were similar among children with different degrees of hearing loss: mild 66%, moderate 50%, severe 60%, profound 64%. Sixteen children tried a wireless contralateral routing of signal (CROS) device, and 15 tried a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid. Retention rates for CROS and BTE devices were 69% and 47%, respectively. The most common reason for cessation of use was discomfort, followed by lack of benefit. CONCLUSION:A majority of children with unilateral hearing loss who tried a hearing device continued to use it, and retention rates were similar across all degrees of hearing loss. These findings suggest that personal hearing devices should be included in management protocols.
A review of the effects of unilateral hearing loss on spatial hearing.
Kumpik Daniel P,King Andrew J
The capacity of the auditory system to extract spatial information relies principally on the detection and interpretation of binaural cues, i.e., differences in the time of arrival or level of the sound between the two ears. In this review, we consider the effects of unilateral or asymmetric hearing loss on spatial hearing, with a focus on the adaptive changes in the brain that may help to compensate for an imbalance in input between the ears. Unilateral hearing loss during development weakens the brain's representation of the deprived ear, and this may outlast the restoration of function in that ear and therefore impair performance on tasks such as sound localization and spatial release from masking that rely on binaural processing. However, loss of hearing in one ear also triggers a reweighting of the cues used for sound localization, resulting in increased dependence on the spectral cues provided by the other ear for localization in azimuth, as well as adjustments in binaural sensitivity that help to offset the imbalance in inputs between the two ears. These adaptive strategies enable the developing auditory system to compensate to a large degree for asymmetric hearing loss, thereby maintaining accurate sound localization. They can also be leveraged by training following hearing loss in adulthood. Although further research is needed to determine whether this plasticity can generalize to more realistic listening conditions and to other tasks, such as spatial unmasking, the capacity of the auditory system to undergo these adaptive changes has important implications for rehabilitation strategies in the hearing impaired.
Hearing with One Ear: Consequences and Treatments for Profound Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Snapp Hillary A,Ausili Sebastian A
Journal of clinical medicine
There is an increasing global recognition of the negative impact of hearing loss, and its association to many chronic health conditions. The deficits and disabilities associated with profound unilateral hearing loss, however, continue to be under-recognized and lack public awareness. Profound unilateral hearing loss significantly impairs spatial hearing abilities, which is reliant on the complex interaction of monaural and binaural hearing cues. Unilaterally deafened listeners lose access to critical binaural hearing cues. Consequently, this leads to a reduced ability to understand speech in competing noise and to localize sounds. The functional deficits of profound unilateral hearing loss have a substantial impact on socialization, learning and work productivity. In recognition of this, rehabilitative solutions such as the rerouting of signal and hearing implants are on the rise. This review focuses on the latest insights into the deficits of profound unilateral hearing impairment, and current treatment approaches.
Analysis of risk factors associated with unilateral hearing loss in children who initially passed newborn hearing screening.
Appelbaum Eric N,Howell Jessica B,Chapman Derek,Pandya Arti,Dodson Kelley M
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
OBJECTIVE:To analyze 2007 Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) risk factors in children with confirmed unilateral hearing loss (UHL) who initially passed newborn hearing screening. METHODS:Retrospective record review of 16,108 infants who passed newborn hearing screening but had one or more JCIH risk factors prompting subsequent follow-up through the universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) program in Virginia from 2010 to 2012. The study was reviewed and qualified as exempt by the Virginia Commonwealth University Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Virginia Department of Health. RESULTS:Over the 2-year study period, 14896 (4.9% of total births) children passed UNHS but had the presence of one or more JCIH risk factor. Ultimately, we identified 121 babies from this group with confirmed hearing loss (0.7%), with 48 babies (0.2%) showing UHL. The most common risk factors associated with the development of confirmed UHL after passing the initial screen were neonatal indicators, craniofacial anomalies, family history, and stigmata of syndrome associated with hearing loss. CONCLUSION:Neonatal indicators and craniofacial anomalies were the categories most often found in children with confirmed unilateral hearing loss who initially passed their newborn hearing screen. While neonatal indicators were also the most common associated risk factor in all hearing loss, craniofacial abnormalities are relatively more common in children with UHL who initially passed newborn hearing screening. Further studies assessing the etiology underlying the hearing loss and risk factor associations are warranted.
Unilateral hearing loss in children: a retrospective study and a review of the current literature.
Rohlfs Anna-Katharina,Friedhoff Johannes,Bohnert Andrea,Breitfuss Achim,Hess Markus,Müller Frank,Strauch Anke,Röhrs Marianne,Wiesner Thomas
European journal of pediatrics
Despite the introduction of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS), unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is sometimes recognized late. This diagnostic delay has adverse repercussions, given the importance of binaural hearing for the development of normal auditory processing. It is incorrect to maintain that unilateral hearing is the minimum requirement for adequate speech development and that hearing aid provision is consequently unnecessary. In our retrospective study, hearing aid provision resulted in improved directional and selective hearing (quiet and noisy environments) and, compared with their chronically ill counterparts, the children in our study displayed superior health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores in all areas. On the basis of the results, the authors conclude that even mild hearing losses (from an auditory threshold of 30 to 40 dB) should have the opportunity for hearing aid provision. A selective literature review was conducted in PubMed and textbooks and with reference to national and international guidelines. Early diagnosis and treatment of UHL have a positive effect on verbal-cognitive, linguistic, communicative, and socio-emotional development, as demonstrated by neurophysiological studies. Among the treatment modalities with differing effects on the quality of binaural hearing, cochlear implants are now used increasingly in children with hearing loss bordering on deafness. CONCLUSION:Published evidence and clinical experience support early diagnosis and treatment. Wherever feasible, hearing aid provision before or at the end of the first year of life is recommended for children with UHL. What is Known: • Almost 30 years ago, poor academic performance was reported in children with unilateral hearing loss (UHL). • Despite improvements in treatment options, it is traditionally held that unilateral hearing is the minimum requirement for adequate speech development and hearing aid provision is unnecessary. What is New: • Academic and behavioral deficits in children with UHL may be mediated by deficiencies in the default mode network. • Published evidence supports the recommendation for hearing aid provision before or at the end of the first year of life in children with UHL.
Evidence-Based Practices and Outcomes for Children with Mild and Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Walker Elizabeth A
Language, speech, and hearing services in schools
Purpose This forum provides an overview of current research and clinical practice for children with mild bilateral or unilateral hearing loss. Historically, there has been ambiguity surrounding the need for intervention in this population. Our goal is to explore the literature on outcomes and treatment so that audiologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers, physicians, and families can be confident in the clinical decision-making process when working with these children. To that end, topics include (a) progression of mild hearing loss in children; (b) the impact of mild or unilateral hearing loss on language, listening, and cognitive abilities; (c) research and reviews on intervention approaches; and (d) listening effort and fatigue in unilateral hearing loss. Conclusion Uncertainty about outcomes and treatment approaches for children with mild or unilateral hearing loss leads to inconsistent intervention and increased developmental risk. We hope that this forum will generate productive discussion among researchers and clinicians to ensure that all children with hearing loss reach their full potential.
Where Do We Go From Here? Some Messages to Take Forward Regarding Children With Mild Bilateral and Unilateral Hearing Loss.
Lewis Dawna E
Language, speech, and hearing services in schools
Purpose This epilogue discusses messages that we can take forward from the articles in the forum. A common theme throughout the forum is the ongoing need for research. The forum begins with evidence of potential progressive hearing loss in infants with mild bilateral hearing loss, who may be missed by current newborn hearing screening protocols, and supports the need for consensus regarding early identification in this population. Consensus regarding management similarly is a continuing need. Three studies add to the growing body of evidence that children with mild bilateral or unilateral hearing loss are at risk for difficulties in speech understanding in adverse environments, as well as delays in language and cognition, and that difficulties may persist beyond early childhood. Ambivalence regarding if and when children with mild bilateral or unilateral hearing loss should be fitted with personal amplification also impacts management decisions. Two articles address current evidence and support the need for further research into factors influencing decisions regarding amplification in these populations. A third article examines new criteria to determine hearing aid candidacy in children with mild hearing loss. The final contribution in this forum discusses listening-related fatigue in children with unilateral hearing loss. The absence of research specific to this population is evidence for the need for further investigation. Ongoing research that addresses difficulties experienced by children with mild bilateral and unilateral hearing loss and potential management options can help guide us toward interventions that are specific for the needs of these children.