06 February 2018

Aid for single side deafness, a personally important topic to me.

I have an upcoming appointment to investigate the possible option of having a cochlear implant to address my lifelong (or very early childhood-onset) single-side deafness. This quote from a symposium on the subject makes me think it's going to be unlikely that the otological surgeon and otolaryngologist will recommend it. 

If the deaf ear has been without hearing for more than 20 years, it is likely that the implant will not restore levels of understandable speech that could be achieved in patients with a shorter term of deafness. Insurance does cover these devices, but different insurance providers may have their own criteria for approval that may differ from our medical determination of your candidacy.

mn890: Do you place cochlear implants for single-sided deafness?

Erika_Woodson,_MD: Cochlear implants (CIs) in the setting of SSD with fairly normal hearing on the other side would be considered 'off label', meaning that it is not an indication that the FDA has approved. As a center, we do recommend a CI evaluation if there is significant hearing loss in the better ear, as those individuals may benefit greatly from implantation. There are some U.S. centers doing experimental trials for CIs in the setting of SSD.

Oh well, we'll see. My SSD is of the non-indicated type (60+ years duration, hearing in non-affected ear is near-normal). Maybe I can get my bone anchored hearing assist device tweaked instead, so it actually works well for me. Currently it doesn't. 


Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum.


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