How does unilateral cochlear implantation (UCI) compare with bilateral cochlear implantation (BiCI)?
Bilaterally implanted patients benefit significantly in difficult everyday listening situations such as when speech and noise come from different directions. Furthermore, bilaterally implanted patients are able to localize sounds, which is impossible for unilaterally implanted patients.
Explore this issue:May 2017
Background: In the last decades, cochlear implantation (CI) has become a widely applied intervention in the treatment of patients with severe to profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Although many patients with unilateral CI achieve high levels of spoken word recognition when speech is presented in quiet, even the most successful users still experience difficulty in the presence of competing sounds and are poor at identifying the source of sounds. Binaural hearing has proven to be superior to unilateral hearing in both normal-hearing listeners and in those with binaural hearing aids. Based on this knowledge, hearing-impaired patients usually receive two hearing aids. However, when hearing aids do not provide sufficient benefit, it is standard clinical practice in the Netherlands to provide only one CI for adults.
Study design: Multicenter randomized controlled trial.