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New Technology, Better Hearing

Online Health Chat with Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD

October 11, 2012

Introduction

Cleveland_Clinic_Host: About 34.5 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States. Even a mild hearing loss may create frustration, increase irritability and cause fatigue from greater listening effort throughout the day. Despite these challenges, recent studies show that only one in five people who need to use a hearing device actually wears one. This is due in part to misconceptions that the devices are copious and bulky. Hearing aid styles and capabilities have changed notably over the past few years.

Listening environments can be complex with background noise, distance, reverberation (echo), and gadgets, like cell phones, tablets and televisions. Smaller hearing devices, wireless technologies like Bluetooth®, and systems to reduce background noise and improve telephone amplification are just a few items that are now available. Surprisingly, while hearing devices have become much more sophisticated in their ability to improve hearing, they have also become simpler to use, making them easier to incorporate into your lifestyle.

This web chat will help you understand how to improve your hearing whether you are just beginning to suspect you may have a hearing loss or if you are a long-term hearing aid user by providing valuable information about new technology in hearing aids and other devices that can assist those with hearing loss.

For More Information

On Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic’s Head & Neck Institute has one of the largest audiology programs in the country today, with over 20 clinical and research audiologists located at either Cleveland Clinic's main campus (including our Hearing Implant Program) or one of the Family Health Centers throughout Northeast Ohio (Beachwood, Independence, Strongsville, Twinsburg and Westlake). Each audiologist is part of the hearing health care team at Cleveland Clinic, working closely with our physician partners in otolaryngology in the Head & Neck Institute and other professional colleagues in a variety of specialty areas including pediatrics, geriatrics, neurology, psychology, dentistry, speech language pathology, plastic/reconstructive surgery and oncology to treat hearing disorders.

Cleveland Clinic's Hearing Implant Program is committed to providing high quality, team-centered, patient-focused hearing care for adults and children with hearing loss. The Hearing Implant Program Team consists of specialists from a variety of disciplines, including audiology, neurotology, otolaryngology, and speech language pathology, who specialize in the assessment, treatment, and (re)habilitation of cochlear implant and bone-anchored hearing implant recipients. The HIP team is dedicated to the long-term support of our implant recipients: from candidacy evaluation through surgery, initial device fitting and programming, (re)habilitation, and long-term management. Cleveland Clinic HIP team members offer comprehensive clinical services and are also involved in various areas of implant research.

Among other specialties within the Head & Neck Institute, related to audiology and the Hearing Implant Program, include speech-language pathology, vestibular and balance disorders and Cleveland Clinic’s Voice Center. In 2012, Cleveland Clinic’s Ear, Nose and Throat program ranked second in the nation by U.S.News & World Report.

On Your Health
MyChart®: Your Personal Health Connection, is a secure, online health management tool that connects Cleveland Clinic patients with their personalized health information. All you need is access to a computer. For more information about MyChart®, call toll-free at 866.915.3383 or send an email to: mychartsupport@ccf.org

A remote second opinion may also be requested from Cleveland Clinic through the secure Cleveland Clinic MyConsult® website. To request a remote second opinion, visit eclevelandclinic.org/myConsult


For Appointments

To make an appointment with Dr. Sydlowski or any of the other specialists in the Head & Neck Institute at Cleveland Clinic, please call 216.445.8500 or 800.223.2273 ext 48500. You can also visit us online at clevelandclinic.org/audiology.


About the Speakers

Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD is the Audiology Director of the Hearing Implant Program and a clinical audiologist for the Cleveland Clinic’s Head & Neck Institute. Dr. Sydlowski specializes in cochlear implants, bone-anchored implants, evoked potentials, hearing aids and diagnostics. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Sydlowski earned her doctorate in audiology from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and audiology training at Mayo Clinic Arizona, in Scottsdale, Ariz.


Let’s Chat About New Technology, Better Hearing

Cleveland_Clinic_Host: Welcome to our Online Health Chat with Cleveland Clinic specialist Dr. Sarah Sydlowski. We are thrilled to have her here today for this chat on New Technology, Better Hearing.


Single-sided Deafness

man: I have no hearing in one ear. I went through the process of getting a hearing aid and tried a few of them. I hated it. It bothered my ear, gave me tinnitus, and so on, so I stopped using it. I have adapted to being deaf on one side. I do pretty well, but it’s not perfect. At least I am comfortable. My question is, by relying on my other ear completely, could I cause hearing loss in that ear as well? My loss is not caused by age, loud noises or direct damage to the ear. They do not know what caused it. I started losing my ability to hear in my 20s, and I’m now in my 40s.
Dr__Sydlowski: This is a great question and single-sided deafness, or SSD, (as total hearing loss in one ear is called) is a very common concern. Many people ‘get by,’ but generally report fatigue and stress from trying to listen to sounds on the poorer hearing side, particularly in background noise and not being able to tell the direction sounds are coming from. This is not to mention the safety concerns of not hearing sounds on that side. First, before pursuing any audiologic intervention, it would be very important to obtain medical clearance. There are actually multiple devices that are now available for single-sided deafness, several of which have just become available in the last year. At Cleveland Clinic, we offer a special evaluation in the audiology department where we review all of these options and talk with you about what might be most appropriate for your situation. So, before answering your question, you should know that options exist that are very successful for individuals with this type of hearing loss that are much improved over traditional hearing aids. To answer your question, listening with only one ear cannot cause hearing loss. However, I would encourage you to be vigilant about protecting that ear from noise-induced hearing loss, since it is your only hearing ear. If you must be around loud noise, wear hearing protection, turn down the volume or walk away from the noise!

 

Tinnitus

fstoner: My wife has severe high-pitched tinnitus along with life-altering hyperacusis. We have seen many hearing specialists and tried many procedures, including the latest, Neuromonics®, with no success. Can you provide any guidance or recommendations?
Dr__Sydlowski: Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and hyperacusis, or sensitivity to sounds, can be debilitating concerns, and finding the appropriate treatment can be very frustrating! At Cleveland Clinic, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to tinnitus management. We offer a monthly tinnitus management clinic that includes specialists in dentistry, audiology, neurology, psychology and physical therapy. These specialists offer a group information session, then individual consultations to discuss the possible causes and treatment options for tinnitus while working together to develop a management approach that may be right for you. Neuromonics® is one specific device that can be used, but there are many devices and therapy approaches that may be more appropriate for you.

Grannyscott: Does tinnitus affect one's hearing? My tinnitus is getting worse and so is my hearing!
Dr__Sydlowski: Tinnitus and hearing loss often go hand in hand. Tinnitus is often an early sign of assault to the inner ear, and changes in tinnitus may indicate possible changes in hearing. If you have noticed changes, it is time to see your audiologist. He or she can determine if a medical evaluation is appropriate as changes in tinnitus and hearing can signal an issue that should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) physician.

 

Hearing Loss Screening

dopely: At what age, as one is getting older, should you have your hearing checked? Screenings are done for school-aged children, but as an adult it’s not checked other than ears being looked at by a primary care physician for infections.
Dr__Sydlowski: It’s never too early to have your hearing checked! Many types of hearing loss happen very slowly. You may not notice the hearing loss until it has progressed significantly. If you notice any of the following signs of hearing loss, you should have your hearing tested by an audiologist:

  • Complaining that people mumble
  • Constantly asking people to repeat what they have said
  • Avoiding noisy rooms, social occasions or family gatherings
  • Preferring the television or radio to be louder than other people
  • Having trouble understanding at the movies or theater, houses of worship, or other public gatherings
  • Having difficulty understanding people when their faces cannot be seen
  • Having difficulty understanding conversations in a group
  • Becoming more impatient, irritable, frustrated or withdrawn
  • Straining to hear conversations
  • Have ringing in the ears

interesting: I am sure I probably have a little hearing loss, but I get along fairly well. Why should I consider a hearing needs assessment appointment?
Dr__Sydlowski: Even mild hearing loss can create frustration, increase irritability and cause fatigue from more listening effort throughout the day. It can create challenges in interpersonal communications and ultimately may cause you to withdraw from social situations. It can place added strain on family dynamics, work situations, and cause embarrassment when you respond incorrectly in a public situation. There are wonderful, unobtrusive options now available to help you hear better and improve your quality of life.

emr56: What are the screening guidelines for hearing problems among those over 50 years of age, and how is the test performed?
Dr__Sydlowski: According to a scientific publication discussing the latest guidelines from August 2012, ‘the current scientific evidence is insufficient for a federal preventive services task force to recommend routine screening for hearing problems in people over 50. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has given a “'I” or incomplete recommendation on whether adults over 50 years old whose primary care doctors haven't noted any hearing loss should nonetheless be screened for any impairment,’ replacing the recommendation in place since 1996 urging such testing. However, ‘the members of the task force said the evidence is also too scant for them to determine if there is any harm in hearing screenings.’ In fact, University of Michigan audiologist specialist Jaynee Handelsman ‘pointed to a joint study by the ASLHA [American Speech-Language-Hearing Association] and AARP that showed nearly half of the 2,000 AARP members surveyed had untreated hearing health issues.’

man: Since it has been several years since I was last evaluated, do I have to go through the whole testing process again? Has insurance started covering the cost of hearing aids?
Dr__Sydlowski: Absolutely. Hearing loss related to aging and noise exposure can often happening gradually over time, so you may not even notice changes until they are significant. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, you should have your hearing tested regularly—approximately every one to two years or sooner if you notice changes. In Ohio, you must have a current audiologic evaluation (hearing test) within six months in order to be fit with a hearing aid. Regarding insurance coverage, some insurance policies do have hearing aid benefits, but this coverage is very rare and may not cover the whole cost of hearing aids. Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids.

 

Hearing Aid Recommendations

dliving41: I know I have hearing loss. Where can I find recommendations concerning the best hearing aids?
Dr__Sydlowski: It is important to work with a professional who is well-versed in current hearing aid technology and who can work with you to decide upon the best technology for you. Audiologists are masters and doctoral level professionals who evaluate and manage hearing loss. Your audiologist will inquire about your daily life, your listening environments, your comfortable cost level, and many other factors that can assist in guiding your decision.

be_my_guest: Hearing aids are very expensive, how often will I have to be making an investment to replace or update them?
Dr__Sydlowski: The typical life of hearing aids is usually about five to seven years. When you are first fitted with hearing aids, talk with your audiologist about choosing devices that will give you ‘room to grow’ in case your hearing loss progresses. Oftentimes, programming changes can be made to your current devices to accommodate changes in your hearing loss. Reasons that you may consider new hearing aids include:

  • Outliving the life of the hearing aids
  • New technologies develop that offer better listening opportunities with new features
  • Progression in your hearing loss beyond the capabilities of the hearing aids

These days technology advances more quickly than hearing aids stop working. Talk with your audiologist to determine if there are features or accessories that can be added to your existing devices or if newer hearing aids would be most beneficial for you.

stop_now: I have finally made an appointment to have my hearing checked. I have put it off for years because I don’t want to draw attention to others that I have hearing aids. They are so big around the ear.
Dr__Sydlowski: If you’ve been putting this appointment off for years, you will probably be surprised and pleased to see how small and nearly unnoticeable many types of hearing devices have become! The style and size of hearing devices often depends on how severe your hearing loss is, but many patients are very surprised to learn how small they have become. Depending on your ear and your hairstyle, many individuals now wear hearing aids that you can barely see, allowing you to have better hearing without drawing attention to your hearing loss.

rose_garden: Are there different levels of technology with different features? How will I know the best hearing aid and accessories for me?
Dr__Sydlowski: There are three main components of a hearing aid recommendation: style, level of technology and accessories. The style of the hearing aid means the wearing style of the hearing aid, for example, behind the ear or in the ear. Your audiologist will make a recommendation based on your hearing loss and other factors, such as available features in the different styles and ease of manipulation of the hearing aid. The level of technology means what’s inside the hearing aid or the features that are available, but are generally invisible to the eye. Higher levels of technology are typically able to be more finely tuned based on your hearing loss, and may have more features for reducing background noise or being more automatic. You may or may not need some or all of these features. You should talk with your audiologist about the level of technology and accessories that would be most appropriate for you. Generally, the higher the level of technology, the higher the price. So, it is important to find a balance of features you need and a cost that is comfortable for you. Finally, accessories include things like phone and TV adapters, Bluetooth®, and lapel microphones. Depending on your lifestyle and the situations in which you need to communicate, your audiologist can recommend appropriate choices for you.

bonniemyers4: Since my hospitalization does not cover hearing aids, please give me information on where to buy at a discount, or any discount programs available. I am 61 years old, and still work.
Dr__Sydlowski: Some nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance for hearing aids, while others may help provide used or refurbished aids. If you are still working, the Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation may also be able to offer support. Federal employees and veterans are also eligible for assistance.

 

Follow Up Consultation

psp999: How often should I be seen by an audiologist once I have started wearing hearing aids?
Dr__Sydlowski: The answer to this question varies from person to person. In Ohio, there is a 30-day right-to-return period for hearing aids. Most audiologists will want to see you back in the office at least one during this timeframe to make programming adjustments, to be sure you’re comfortable using the hearing devices, and to answer any questions you may have.

One very important thing to know is that it takes time and practice to adjust to hearing aids. It often takes days or even weeks to acclimate to hearing sounds around you again in this new way. It is critical that new hearing aid recipients wear their devices during all their waking hours to retrain their brain to hearing. Your audiologist will support you on this journey, but programming changes alone can’t restore hearing. Your commitment to the process, including attending follow-up appointments and wearing the hearing aids full-time, are critical factors in your success.

sarah: My hearing aids are four years old. I’m not hearing as well as I’d like to, or as I think I used to. What should I do?
Dr__Sydlowski: It’s time to see your audiologist! He or she will check your hearing aids to be sure they are in good working condition. If you feel that your hearing has changed or you have other new symptoms, your audiologist may recommend that you have your hearing retested depending on how long it has been. (You will want to check with your insurance to confirm whether you need a referral for this procedure.) If the hearing aids are functioning appropriately, your hearing hasn’t changed, and you still aren’t hearing well, your audiologist can discuss various options for you. These options may include accessories, FM systems or new hearing aids. If your hearing has changed, your audiologist may be able to reprogram your existing hearing aids, or you may need to consider new technology.

 

Advances in Technology

mitral2011:I am inquiring on behalf of my 86-year-old father who is experiencing hearing loss. He is primarily interested in hearing aids which will improve his ability to hear the TV, music and audio chats over the computer. He does not currently use a hearing aid. He also seems to have wax accumulation in his ear which hardens and needs to be removed by a ENT doctor. Any suggestions?
Dr__Sydlowski: These are common situations that are important for optimal listening. There is wonderful technology available today that would allow your father to connect wirelessly to various devices such as telephones, computer, and television. There are many manufacturers who offer this technology, and your audiologist can talk with you about the option that might be best depending on your father's hearing loss. Regarding wireless options, your father would be fit with hearing aids that are appropriate for his hearing loss and have the capability to be used with these special accessories. There is typically a device that is worn around the neck that connects wirelessly to special accessories you can connect to the television or telephone. You can also use audio cables connected to this device to connect to any device with a headphone jack. There is even a remote microphone you can wear on your lapel when riding in the car or out to dinner! The benefit of these types of accessories is that they reduce the added listening challenge when trying to hear over a distance, in an echoing room, or with background noise.

jackiel: What kinds of advances have happened with hearing aids in the last five years?
Dr__Sydlowski: Recent advances in hearing aid technology include smarter, more automatic hearing aids, decreased size of devices, wireless accessories to help in more challenging listening environments, and better ability to reduce background noise and comfortably focus on speech understanding.

plan_b: I can hear OK during face-to-face conversations, but I have trouble hearing on the phone. Are there any devices just for phone use?
Dr__Sydlowski: Yes! Telephone use is very challenging because the signal is less clear than in a face-to-face situation— plus you lose the ability to watch for visual cues. There are many great options available that have made communicating on the telephone much easier than in the past. These include options that can be used in combination with your hearing aids or independently. There are amplified and captioned telephones for individuals with more severe hearing loss. There are also many exciting options available that allow you to answer and talk on your phone directly through your hearing aids without ever having to take the phone out of your pocket or purse. An additional benefit of these devices is that they allow you to hear the phone in both ears, rather than just one, to improve your hearing even more.

pit_stop: I enjoy watching TV with my wife, but I find that even with my hearing aids on, she would like the volume softer than me. Are there any devices that can help with this issue?
Dr__Sydlowski: This is a common complaint and, fortunately, there are some great devices available today that can solve this dilemma. Many hearing aids have devices that allow you to wirelessly connect to the television signal so the sound streams directly into your hearing aids without having to travel across the room to your ears. These accessories also allow you to have your own personal volume control, leaving your spouse or other TV viewers to set the volume to their own softer setting. Both parties can enjoy hearing the TV without disagreeing on comfort. This is an accessory that may be compatible with your existing hearing aids. Ask your audiologist if you are interested in learning more.

hettie: I am an active person who enjoys using many of the new gadgets out there today, like my tablet and cell phone. I don’t like that I have to turn them up loud so I can hear and then everyone around me can hear my device too. What can I do?
Dr__Sydlowski: With Bluetooth® technology, many devices can be wirelessly connected to your hearing aids, so that you can stream the signal directly into your ears without using headphones or turning the volume up high. With some devices you can connect to up to eight different devices using Bluetooth®, such as your cell phone, tablet, television, and so on, in addition to connecting with a cable to any device with a headphone jack. This technology requires an accessory that facilitates this wireless connection. Your audiologist can talk with you more about if this type of device might be beneficial for you.

parker4: I am also often in many noisy environments, such as business meetings or going out to dinner with my family. What can I do to hear better in these situations?
Dr__Sydlowski: These are very challenging listening environments, and some people have more difficulty in background noise than others. For some people, hearing aids alone are enough to make hearing in background noise a little easier. Fortunately, there are many options to help you hear better in background noise if your hearing aids alone aren’t sufficient. The first option is a wireless microphone. It is an additional accessory that can be used with some hearing aids to help reduce reverberation (echo), noise and distance, and bring the speaker’s voice straight into your ears wirelessly.

Another option is called an FM system. An FM system is an additional set of equipment that includes a transmitter (which is worn by the speaker or set in the middle of a group) and a receiver (which is worn by the hearing aid user). Sound travels wirelessly into the hearing aids, and, again, reduces background noise, echo and distance to improve hearing. This device can also be connected to PA (public address) systems at church, or to the TV, cell phones or other devices with a headphone jack.

FM systems can also be used by individuals with have minimal or mild hearing loss who don’t use hearing aids yet to help them understand better in more challenging environments, like noisy situations.

tropical_sun:These features all sound great, but I’m worried that these new devices are so sophisticated that they will be confusing to use. Is that the case?
Dr__Sydlowski: Not at all! The great thing about these modern devices is that although they are more sophisticated, they are also simpler to use. Many devices are largely ‘hands-free’ and many are ‘buttonless,’ so you don’t have to worry about how to set your hearing aids for different listening situations. Many of us remember the hearing aids that required frequent adjusting, but those types of devices are not common today. Today’s hearing devices are smart enough to determine if you’re in a quiet room or a noisy one, and try to react accordingly to offer you the best hearing possible. Your audiologist will work with you to be sure you are comfortable using your new devices. Also, if you have any questions after you start using the devices, schedule an appointment to discuss this with your audiologist.

jerclevlin: Which newer model hearing aids allow for turning off or adjusting background noise without reducing sound?
Dr__Sydlowski: Background noise is always a challenge, particularly for individuals with hearing loss. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely turn off background noise, but there have been great advancements in hearing aid technology that allow for better, smarter adjustments to background noise than have been available in the past. When talking with your audiologist about the hearing aids that are right for you, he or she will ask about the types of listening environments you are in. They will likely also discuss level of technology. This refers to the internal features and components of the hearing aids. Typically, higher-level technology has better capability for background noise reduction and your audiologist can talk with you about the features that would be most beneficial based on your daily listening environments. Some people may have severe difficulty understanding in background noise, and even the highest-level hearing aid technology may not be sufficient. In these cases, special equipment called an FM system can be considered that is used in conjunction with your hearing aids. An FM system is designed to reduce background noise, reverberation (echo) and distance to bring a stronger, clearer signal straight to the listener's hearing aid.

Grannyscott: I have trouble following TV programs where people talk very fast or the actors are English, so I skip programs on public TV that I would enjoy. Also, I am much bothered by the previews shown at movie theatres, to the extent that I carry ear plugs to use for the duration of the previews!
Dr__Sydlowski: These are common complaints, and I agree with you about those movie previews! Speaking fast, particularly when the speaker has a non-American English accent, or if you can't see the speaker's face, can make understanding very difficult. If you haven't already, you may want to try closed captioning on your TV or use an accessory to help you have a better signal. TV Ears® are wireless devices that bring a signal from the TV directly to your ears rather than having the sound travel across the room. Your point about the loud movies is also a good one. Louder is not necessarily better, and this is a common misconception for people communicating with those who have hearing loss. Many times friends and family try to speak louder in order to be heard and understood, but then they are just loud, not clear! The better approach is to speak more slowly and distinctly, be sure there is good lighting and the person can see your face, and be sure they know the topic of conversation.

 

Hearing Aid Channels

david101: I use an American Hears hearing aid and it works well. Should I upgrade from 32-channel to 64-channel? Is there much difference?
Dr__Sydlowski: I am not familiar with this particular device. The decision to change technology, such as considering a different number of channels should based on your specific situation in consultation with your audiologist. However, I can comment on channels and what that means. Hearing is measured based on pitch and loudness. Your audiologist will develop a graph of your hearing called an audiogram. You can think of channels as taking that graph and breaking it down into sections that the audiologist can adjust. For hearing losses that are flat, meaning fairly similar across all pitches, a fewer number of channels may be sufficient. For a hearing loss that changes across different pitches, your audiologist may recommend a device with more channels to better fine-tune the programming to your specific hearing loss. There is an upper limit to the benefit number of channels can provide, so I would recommend talking to your audiologist about whether channel number is an important feature for you.

 

Cochlear Implant

marthap: What criteria do you use to determine whether a patient is a candidate for an implant?
Dr__Sydlowski: Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that are recommended when hearing aids are no longer enough. There are two components of hearing: volume and clarity. Hearing aids make sounds louder for certain pitches where there is hearing loss, but still rely on parts of the inner ear to be functioning so it can deliver the amplified information to the hearing nerve. For many hearing losses, this amplification helps to make speech clearer. If speech understanding has decreased to a point that even with appropriate hearing aids an individual is missing about 50 percent of speech, then a cochlear implant may be recommended. The cochlear implant is implanted in the cochlea (the hearing organ in the inner ear) and bypasses the parts of the inner ear that are causing hearing loss. The cochlear implant allows direct stimulation of the hearing nerve. This allows for a clearer signal than hearing aids can provide for appropriate candidates. If you think you or someone you know may be a candidate for a cochlear implant, you would need to schedule an appointment with an otologist and a cochlear implant evaluation with an audiologist who specializes in this area. The evaluation will include testing with and without your hearing aids, or specially programmed clinic hearing aids, to determine whether you can still benefit from hearing aids or if a cochlear implant may be more appropriate for you. You don't have to have profound or total hearing loss to be a candidate. Even individuals with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss may be candidates if their speech understanding is still limited with hearing aids.

jimhilbe777: Four years ago, I received my third pair of hearing aids, Phonac with Bluetooth®. They were fine when I got them, but now I am missing a lot of what is said. How do I know when it is time for cochlear implants?
Dr__Sydlowski: If you feel that your hearing has changed, the first step is to have an audiologic evaluation to assess your hearing loss. It is possible that your hearing aids may be able to be reprogrammed to address these changes in hearing. If your hearing aids are programmed appropriately and you are still missing conversation, it may be time for a cochlear implant evaluation. This would entail testing with and without your hearing aids. The audiologist will be able to tell you whether your hearing aids fit your hearing loss and if they are providing adequate benefit. If they are not providing benefit, then the audiologist will discuss the best options to help you hear better, whether it may be new hearing aids, programming changes, accessories like an FM system or a cochlear implant.

marthap: Can you get an implant if you are only deaf in one ear?
Dr__Sydlowski: At this time, the FDA has approved cochlear implantation for individuals with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. There are a few clinical trials ongoing throughout the United States for cochlear implantation in single-sided deafness, particularly with severe tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, but it is not something that is currently in clinical practice. There are several excellent options for individuals with SSD (single-sided deafness). We have three non-surgical approaches and one surgical option that we use at Cleveland Clinic.

 


Closing

Cleveland_Clinic_Host: I'm sorry to say that our time with Cleveland Clinic specialist Sarah Sydlowski, AuD, PhD is now over. Thank you Dr. Sydlowski for taking the time to answer our questions today about New Technology, Better Hearing.

Dr__Sydlowski: Thank you all for joining the chat today. I hope many of you have found this chat to be helpful for directing you on your journey to better hearing. Please remember that hearing technology is constantly developing and advancing, so even if you have investigated your options in the past, there may be new technologies available from which you may benefit. Talk to your audiologist about which options may be helpful for you. Also keep in mind that in Ohio, there is a 30-day right-to-return period on all hearing aids to allow you the opportunity to try advances in technology without obligation. This also allows your audiologist to hear your feedback and make adjustments that will benefit you in the real world. Thank you again


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