Year IV
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2009
Little Rock, AR
Rehab Sci Student

It is the standard of care to recommend binaural amplification when people have "aidable" bilateral hearing loss. Further, it is well known that binaural hearing offers a multitude of advantages. For example, binaural hearing reduces the off-side head shadow effect, facilitates spatial hearing, and maximizes audibility Binaural squelch also helps diminish the interference from noise. Previous studies have clearly shown binaural amplification users report greater ease of listening and improved quality of life (QOL) as well as improvements in speech perception, localization, and speech understanding in noise.

Porter and Bradham (2010) report studies from unilateral cochlear implant (CI) users that indicate event-related potentials (ERPs) undergo changes within six to eight months of monaural CI use and increased CI use has been correlated with latency decreases. In limited studies of infants implanted simultaneously with bilateral CIs, specific ERPs may approximate normal hearing values within one month of CI activation.

Porter and Bradham report the findings from a six-year-old female with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). She received her first CI at age 28 months, was revised in the same (right) ear at age 42 months, and received her left CI at age 80 months (six years and eight months). Based on ERP and other measures, they report that children who are "auditory learners" and have an extended period of time listening with only one CI may still benefit from bilateral cochlear implantation. The authors indicate that even in less than ideal candidates, bilateral implantation leads to improvements in auditory processing, sentence recognition, and QOL.
Full Article:

Key APF, Porter HL, Bradham T. (2010) Auditory Processing Following Sequential Bilateral Cochlear Implantation - A Pediatric Case Study Using Event Related Potentials. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 21(4):225-238.