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Bimodal Hearing in Individuals with Severe-to-Profound Hearing Loss: Benefits, Challenges, and Management

Sarah E Warren, M Noelle Dunbar
Seminars in Hearing 2018, 39 (4): 405-413
Binaural hearing offers numerous advantages over monaural hearing. While bilateral implants are a successful treatment option for some patients, many individuals choose to achieve binaural hearing by using a cochlear implant with a contralateral hearing aid. Compared with monaural hearing, benefits of bimodal hearing include improved speech perception in quiet and in noise, improved localization, and more natural sound quality. Despite the advantages, there exist disadvantages to bimodal hearing, primarily related to binaural integration. Management of these devices can be challenging in that the hearing aid and cochlear implant may be managed by different clinicians. When fitting devices, strategies are recommended to optimize the integration of input from both devices. In managing bimodal devices, recommended outcomes measures include those that would reflect bimodal benefit, such as speech understanding in noise and spatial sound quality perception.


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