Michael F Dorman
JHS 2012; 2(4): EA37-39
Background: Both bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) and bimodal (electric plus contralateral acoustic) stimulation can provide better speech intelligibility than a single CI. In both cases patients need to combine information from two ears into a single percept. In this paper we ask whether the physiological and psychological processes associated with aging alter the ability of bilateral and bimodal CI patients to combine information across two ears in the service of speech understanding.
Materials: The subjects were 61 adult, bilateral CI patients and 94 adult, bimodal patients. The test battery was composed of monosyllabic words presented in quiet and the AzBio sentences presented in quiet, at +10 and at +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
Methods: The subjects were tested in standard audiometric sound booths. Speech and noise were always presented from a single speaker directly in front of the listener.
Results: Age and bilateral or bimodal benefit were not significantly correlated for any test measure.
Conclusions: Other factors being equal, both bilateral CIs and bimodal CIs can be recommended for elderly patients.
Keywords: cochlear implant, Presbycusis, speech understanding