Adult-onset auditory deprivation

J Am Acad Audiol. 1992 Nov;3(6):390-6.


Adult-onset auditory deprivation following prolonged lack of amplification in the unaided ears of persons with bilaterally symmetrical sensorineural hearing impairment was first reported in 1984. This article on the phenomenon includes a review of the literature on adult-onset auditory deprivation in relation to etiology, pathophysiology, hearing-loss manifestations, typical audiologic profile, amplification strategies, contraindications or challenges to conventional hearing-aid fitting, and future research. A case study illustrates the phenomenon of auditory deprivation from monaural amplification with recovery following binaural amplification. The results of a complete audiologic and acoustic-immittance evaluation are presented for a bilaterally sensorineural hearing-impaired male with adult-onset auditory deprivation who initially was fit monaurally and later was fit binaurally. A significant decrement in the suprathreshold word-recognition scores occurred only in the unaided ear following monaural amplification, illustrating the phenomenon of adult-onset auditory deprivation. Following binaural amplification, the suprathreshold word-recognition scores for the formerly unaided ear improved significantly, illustrating the phenomenon of recovery from the adult-onset auditory deprivation with binaural amplification.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Ear / physiopathology*
  • Ear, Middle / physiopathology
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hearing Aids*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Speech Discrimination Tests*