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Influence of single-sided deafness on the auditory capacity of the better ear

  • S. ArndtEmail author
  • T. Wesarg
  • Y. Stelzig
  • R. Jacob
  • A. Illg
  • A. Lesinski-Schiedat
  • M. C. Ketterer
  • A. Aschendorff
  • I. Speck
Original articles



Patients with single-sided deafness (SSD) are limited by their asymmetric hearing in various areas of everyday life.


The aim of this investigation was to perform an age-correlated comparison of the hearing threshold of the better ear of SSD patients with a normal-hearing (NH) reference cohort. In addition, the potential influence of etiology, duration of deafness, and cochlear implantation (CI) of the poorer ear on the peripheral hearing ability of the better ear was investigated.

Materials and methods

In a multicenter study, the mean bone conduction hearing threshold of the better ear of 413 adult SSD patients was compared with that of an NH cohort drawn from ISO 7029:2017 for the frequencies 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz.


SSD patients showed significantly poorer hearing in the better ear compared to the age-correlated group of NH subjects. CI, duration of deafness, and etiology had no significant effect on the hearing ability of the better ear.


The origin of the poorer hearing of the better-hearing ear of SSD patients compared to an age-correlated NH cohort is still unclear. It is most likely a combination of different anatomical, immunological, etiological, and microcirculatory causes, which lead to poorer hearing of the better-hearing ear in SSD patients.


Hearing tests Unilateral hearing loss Hearing disorders Auditory threshold Cochlear implant 

Einfluss einseitiger Taubheit auf das Hörvermögen des besseren Ohrs



We thank the Förderverein Taube Kinder lernen Hören e. V. Freiburg for the financial support of our research work. Special thanks also are due to Dr. E. Kludt, who compiled the retrospective data at the ENT Clinic of the Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover and to Dr. S. Schmidt at the Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Koblenz for her support in the revision of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

S. Arndt reports the following: Advanced Bionics: travel cost reimbursement, financial support for research; Cochlear: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; MED-EL: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; Oticon Medical: travel cost reimbursement. T. Wesarg reports the following: Advanced Bionics: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; Cochlear: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; MED-EL: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; Phonak Communications: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; Oticon Medical: travel cost reimbursement. A. Aschendorff reports the following: Advanced Bionics: financial support for research, Medical Advisory Board, travel cost reimbursement; Cochlear: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; MED-EL: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement; Oticon Medical: financial support for research, travel cost reimbursement. Y. Stelzig, R. Jacob, A. Illg, A. Lesinski-Schiedat, M.C. Ketterer and I. Speck declare that they have no competing interests.

The present study was performed with approval of the Ethics Commission Freiburg (No. 381/18) for the Universitätsklinikum Freiburg and Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Koblenz and the Ethics Commission Hannover (No. 1897-2013) for the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover in compliance with national law and the Declaration of Helsinki of 2013 (in the current, revised edition) (DRKS00015740).

The supplement containing this article is not sponsored by industry.


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Arndt
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Wesarg
    • 1
  • Y. Stelzig
    • 2
  • R. Jacob
    • 2
  • A. Illg
    • 3
  • A. Lesinski-Schiedat
    • 3
  • M. C. Ketterer
    • 1
  • A. Aschendorff
    • 1
  • I. Speck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Medical Center, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Oto-Rhino-LaryngologyCentral Army Hospital KoblenzKoblenzGermany
  3. 3.Dept. of OtorhinolaryngologyMedical University HannoverHannoverGermany

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