Single Sided Deafness Solutions | CROS/BiCROS/BAHA Hearing Aids

– If you have a hearing
loss in only one ear, a traditional hearing aid
may not be your best option. That’s why in this video, I’m covering unilateral hearing loss and single-sided deafness, and going over the best treatment options for this type of hearing loss. Coming up! (upbeat instrumental music) Hi, guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and Founder of Applied Hearing
Solutions in Anthem, Arizona, and on this channel I cover a bunch of hearing related information to help make you a
better informed consumer. If you’re into that, consider
hitting the subscribe button. Individuals who have a
hearing loss in only one ear are presented with a
unique set of challenges, particularly if that
hearing loss is so severe that it prevents benefit from
a traditional hearing aid. While some cases of
single-sided hearing loss or unilateral hearing
loss can receive benefit from a traditional hearing aid, there are some cases of
single-sided hearing loss that are so severe that even
when you put a hearing aid on that side, it can’t
amplify sound to a level that becomes clear to the user. Yet, I constantly see in my
clinic individuals coming in with a single-sided hearing loss issue wearing a traditional hearing aid, even though their hearing loss will not receive benefit from it. In the case of single-sided deafness, a traditional hearing aid
definitely won’t work. But, deciding to go
without treating this type of hearing loss can come along with a unique set of problems, namely not being able to
hear and understand someone on your poor side. This problem can be made even worse if your better ear also has
some level of hearing loss, but deciding to go without a treatment for this type of hearing
loss is a bad idea. Mainly because you won’t be
able to understand speech from your bad side. This problem can also be made worse if you have a hearing
loss in your better side, which can compound the hearing difficulty. The reason you can’t just
rely on your better ear for this type of hearing loss is due to the head shadow effect. The head shadow effect is caused
by your head blocking sound from one side to the other. It actually creates a
seven decimal reduction in that sound which is the difference between understanding speech and not even being able to detect it. The good news is, is that there are
several treatment options for this type of hearing loss
and the first one is a CROSS, or Contralateral Routing of Signal. This option is for individuals
who have unusable hearing on their bad side and normal
hearing on their good side. What you basically do
is take a transmitter, put it on that bad side
ear, and transmit sound from that side over to your better ear that’s actually wearing a hearing device. Now, when you look at these devices, they look basically the same, although this one here
is just a transmitter and this one here is
an actual hearing aid. Now, if you go somewhere like a restaurant and you have someone sitting
on the left-hand side of you or your poorer side, their voice will be picked
up by the transmitter and you’ll hear them in your right ear, just as if they were sitting
next to you on the right side. The second option is BiCROSS, which is Bilateral
Contralateral Routing of Signal. This option is great for individuals who have unusable
hearing on their bad side and some level of hearing
loss on their better side. It’s used to overcome
that head shadow effect, but also to compensate for
the level of hearing loss that the better ear has. The setup is exactly the same as a CROSS, the only difference is
is that the hearing aid that’s put on the better side is provided with amplification in order
to overcome the hearing loss on that better side. So, you’re still receiving
sound from the bad side, it’s just sending it
over into a hearing aid that is also amplified. There are several companies that do make CROSS and BiCROSS technology, Signia, which is otherwise
known as Siemens. You also have Starkey, Widex, and Phonak. Your third option is a BAHA, which is a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid. This option is great for both individuals who have normal hearing
on their better side and some level of hearing
loss on their better side. This treatment option works
by using a sound processor to send vibrations through the skull from the bad hearing side
to the better hearing side, which allows you to hear. The processor is fixed to
a metal post or a magnet that is implanted into your skull. Now, this sounds worse than it really is, but at the end of the day, your cochlea, or your hearing organ, can sense the vibration of sound and any vibration of the
skull from your bad side will also be heard by
your better hearing ear. Thus, giving you the effect
of being able to hear sound from your bad side in
your better hearing ear. There are also a few companies that make Bone Anchor Hearing Aids and most notably you
have Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical. In terms of performance, there
is not a lot of difference between the CROSS technology and the Bone Anchor
Hearing Aid technology, however, if you do have a
hearing loss in your better ear, you may not be a candidate
for a Bone Anchor Hearing Aid depending on the severity
of that hearing loss. Overall, treating this
type of hearing loss is not very common for a lot
of hearing care professionals just because they don’t
see it a whole lot. When you’re trying to
find somewhere to go, you need to make sure you find
a hearing care professional who’s comfortable with working
with this type of technology. It is also important to note that if you do have a
single-sided hearing loss issue, your hearing care professional
should be referring you to a ear, nose, and throat physician to identify if it’s
something medical causing it. In rare cases, it could be a
tumor that’s actually sitting on your auditory nerve
that is blocking sound from that side and if it is, it needs to be either
monitored or removed. That’s it for this video. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. If you like the video, please share it and if you wanna see more
videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. I’ll see ya’ next time. (upbeat electronic music)


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