Reseachers from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, have published research in The Laryngoscope on the advantages and disadvantages of bilateral cochlear implants (CI) and also discuss timing (simultaneous versus sequential), technology (bimodal versus binaural), and feasibility.
The researchers note that the optimal treatment for bilateral hearing loss continues to evolve as CI and hearing aid technologies advance. The dialogue continues on the validity and feasibility of bilateral CI in terms of performance, justification of need, medical/surgical safety concerns, and economics, they say.
According to the researchers, binaural advantages are found in adult and pediatric bilateral CI recipients, the greatest being the head shadow effect and improvements in localization and loudness summation, which theoretically offers an advantage over their unilateral implanted counterparts in terms of improved sound localization and enhanced speech perception under noisy conditions.
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Bilateral cochlear implantation: Current concepts, indications, and results. Gregory J. Basura, MD, PhD, Rose Eapen, MD, and Craig A. Buchman, MD. Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Survery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.