Despite previous inconclusive research, geriatric patients do experience significant quality of life improvement (QOL) after receiving cochlear implants for hearing loss, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) annual meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago.

The study, titled Performance and QOL after Geriatric Cochlear Implantation, was presented by Alexandros Georgolios; Kelley Melissa Dodson, MD; Cristina Baldassari, MD; Patrick G. Maiberger, MD; and Aristides Sismanis, MD.

The benefits of cochlear implantation for hearing loss in adult and pediatric populations are well established. Cochlear implant outcomes continue to improve with the development of new implant technology and speech rehabilitation methods.

As individuals are living longer, the demand for cochlear implantation in the geriatric population has increased. Previous research had indicated that the geriatric population may not benefit from the surgery, and geriatric patients have been passed over for intervention.

Researchers surveyed groups of geriatric cochlear implant recipients and younger patients with a variety of different QOL and hearing ability tests. Despite the fact that the geriatric patients scored lower on QOL factors than younger patients, research determined that they still experience significant benefit from the cochlear implant. Researchers also determined that co-morbid conditions like heart disease did not lower QOL in geriatric recipients.

[Source: ScienceDaily]