Effects of Age and Implanted Ear on Speech Recognition in Adults with Unilateral Cochlear Implants

Audiol Neurootol. 2016;21(4):223-230. doi: 10.1159/000446390. Epub 2016 Jul 23.


The objective of this study was to examine how age and implanted ear contribute to functional outcomes with cochlear implantation (CI). A retrospective review was performed on 96 adults who underwent unilateral CI. Older adults with right-ear implants had higher Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) scores at 1 year by 10.3% (p = 0.06). When adjusted to rationalized arcsine units (rau), right-ear HINT scores in older adults were higher by 12.1 rau (p = 0.04). Older adults had an 8.9% advantage on the right side compared to the left in post- versus preimplant scores for consonant-vowel nucleus-consonant words (p = 0.05). No significant differences were observed for younger adults. In conclusion, although adults of all ages experience improvements in speech perception following CI, there might be a subtle but consistent right-ear advantage in older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cochlear Implantation / methods*
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Deafness / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Hearing Tests
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noise
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech
  • Speech Perception*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult