What is it about?

Hearing with two ears typically helps the brain organize noisy situations when sounds come from different locations. If you have a cochlear implant in one ear and typical hearing in the other (e.g., single-sided deafness), you can get a benefit if the talker of interest is at the typical-hearing ear. We found in this study that you can get worse if the talker of interest is in the ear of the cochlear implant. This means it is difficult to ignore a relatively better ear if you are trying to pay attention to your worse ear. This attention problem is even larger if the person is older.

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Why is it important?

We are trying to make cochlear implants work as well as possible to convey spatial hearing. Knowing how the brain deals with two very different inputs (typical hearing vs cochlear implant), helps us design better devices and help audiologists program them.


Lots of people have relatively better and worse ears. These results also seems to apply to asymmetrical bilateral cochlear-implant users.

Dr. Matthew J Goupell
University System of Maryland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Acoustic Hearing Can Interfere With Single-Sided Deafness Cochlear-Implant Speech Perception, Ear & Hearing, October 2019, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/aud.0000000000000805.
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