Article/Report  |   April 2006
Speech Perception for Adults Who Use Hearing Aids in Conjunction With Cochlear Implants in Opposite Ears
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Mansze Mok, Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Melbourne, 384-388 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia. Email: mokm@unimelb.edu.au
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article/Report   |   April 2006
Speech Perception for Adults Who Use Hearing Aids in Conjunction With Cochlear Implants in Opposite Ears
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 338-351. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/027)
History: Received May 10, 2004 , Revised October 20, 2004 , Accepted July 3, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 338-351. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/027)
History: Received May 10, 2004; Revised October 20, 2004; Accepted July 3, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 61

This study aimed to (a) investigate the effect of using a hearing aid in conjunction with a cochlear implant in opposite ears on speech perception in quiet and in noise, (b) identify the speech information obtained from a hearing aid that is additive to the information obtained from a cochlear implant, and (c) explore the relationship between aided thresholds in the nonimplanted ear and speech perception benefit from wearing a hearing aid in conjunction with a cochlear implant in opposite ears.

Fourteen adults who used the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant system in 1 ear participated in the study. All participants had either used a hearing aid in the nonimplanted ear for at least 75% of waking hours after cochlear implantation, and/or, hearing loss less than 90 dB HL in the low frequencies in the nonimplanted ear. Speech perception was evaluated in 3 conditions: cochlear implant alone (CI), hearing aid alone (HA), and cochlear implant in conjunction with hearing aid in opposite ears (CIHA). Three speech perception tests were used: consonant–vowel nucleus–consonant (CNC) words in quiet, City University of New York style (CUNY) sentences in coincident signal and noise, and spondees in coincidental and spatially separated signal and noise. Information transmission analyses were performed on the CNC responses.

Of the 14 participants tested, 6 showed significant bimodal benefit on open-set speech perception measures and 5 showed benefit on close-set spondees. However, 2 participants showed poorer speech perception with CIHA than CI in at least 1 of the speech perception tests. Results of information transmission analyses showed that bimodal benefit (performance with CIHA minus that with CI) in quiet arises from improved perception of the low frequency components in speech. Results showed that participants with poorer aided thresholds in the mid-to-high frequencies demonstrated greater bimodal benefit. It is possible that the mid-to-high frequency information provided by the hearing aids may be conflicting with the cochlear implants.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank Rod Hollow for his valuable advice in the study. We would also like to express our gratitude to Alison Hennessy for her advice and help on issues dealing with hearing aids. We would like to thank Sylvia Tari, Ruth Ault, and all the staff at the Cochlear Implant Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, for their assistance in the collection of some of the data. We gratefully thank all the participants for their contributions.
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