Binaural hearing can be achieved by combining an implant with a hearing aid in the other ear.
The expected benefits include :
- improved sound localization (ability to identify the location of a sound).
- improved speech comprehension in quiet, but especially in noisy environments.
- improved sound quality (e.g., when listening to music).
The decision to wear a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear depends on :
- auditory skills (speech comprehension) in the ear.
- the otologic condition of the ear (e.g., infections).
- personal preference.
To make an informed decision about whether or not to wear a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear, it is important to test it in several listening situations.
The hearing aid may need to be adjusted to balance the sound in both ears. Any changes need to be made to the hearing aid and not the implant !
It is important to stop wearing the hearing aid in the non-implanted ear :
- during the intensive initial programming period.
- during intensive functional rehabilitation (IFR), until optimal programming is achieved and the audiologist recommends reintroducing the hearing aid.