Bone-anchored devices in single-sided deafness.

Adv Otorhinolaryngol. 2011;71:92-102. Epub 2011 Mar 8.
Bone-anchored devices in single-sided deafness.
Stewart CM, Clark JH, Niparko JK.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Single sided deafness (SSD) implies sensorineural hearing loss in one ear with normal contralateral hearing function. Traditionally, SSD patients have been overlooked due to a belief that the preserved functioning of the contralateral ear compensates for the nonhearing side. SSD patients however experience multiple audiological difficulties, particularly when the sound source is situated on the non-hearing side or in the presence of competing sounds. Through reviewing current literature, we describe the role of bone-anchored devices (Baha) in the management of SSD patients. Recent publications for Baha in SSD have demonstrated consistent objective and subjective improvement in audiologic metrics when compared to unaided conditions. There is also evidence of benefit provided by Baha by the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit, in global measures of ease of communication, reverberation, and background noise, but not typically in aversiveness to sounds. Interestingly, despite some patients gaining minimal objective or subjective benefits, the majority of these patients still report improved quality of life and would recommend the procedure. Despite increasing evidence for the role of Baha in the management of SSD in the literature, much of these data are based on older technology. Further reports should specify the processor type used and the etiology of the hearing loss to ensure accuracy of future data.