Asymmetric hearing loss and the benefit of cochlear implantation regarding speech perception, tinnitus burden and psychological comorbidities: a prospective follow-up study
We determined the audiological outcome, the subjective and objective hearing quality in patients suffering from asymmetric hearing loss (AHL). Furthermore, we evaluated psychological comorbidities and tinnitus burden before and after cochlear implantation.
Prospective cohort study.
44 AHL patients were unilaterally implanted with a multichannel cochlear implant between 2011 and 2016. Speech discrimination (Freiburg Monosyllable Word Test, Oldenburg Sentence Test) was measured before, 6 and 12 months after implantation. Subjective hearing quality, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), tinnitus burden, anxiety, depressiveness, perceived stress level and coping abilities were evaluated before implantation, 6 and 12 months postoperative using specific validated questionnaires (Oldenburg Inventory, Nijmegen Cochlear Implantation Questionnaire, Tinnitus Questionnaire, General Anxiety Disorder-7, Depression Scale, Perceived Stress Questionnaire and Cope Inventory).
Subjective and objective hearing quality, speech discrimination and health-related quality of life were significantly increased in AHL patients. Tinnitus burden significantly decreased over the 12 postoperative months. No significant alteration was observed for anxiety, depressiveness, coping abilities and stress level.
This study demonstrates that cochlear implantation achieves hearing rehabilitation, increases HRQoL and decreases tinnitus burden in patients suffering from AHL. Subjective hearing quality increased, while tinnitus burden significantly decreased 6 and 12 months after implantation. HRQoL in AHL patients is an important factor to focus on and is significantly increased postoperatively. In contrast, general anxiety, depressiveness, coping abilities and perceived stress level remained unaffected.
KeywordsAsymmetric hearing loss Cochlear implantation Health-related quality of life Audiological outcome Tinnitus burden
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no funding, financial relationships or conflicts of interest to declare.
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