To evaluate the subjective hearing handicap in patients with unilateral deafness after acoustic neuroma surgery and the effect of the Bone-anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) on test band.
Fifty-nine consecutive patients with unilateral deafness after translabyrintine removal of an acoustic neuroma, treated in Denmark in 2001 and 2002, were included. The patients were asked to complete a questionnaire, which addressed the subjective handicap of unilateral deafness; 90% responded. These patients were invited to test the BAHA on test band, and the subjective and objective effects were recorded.
Eighty percent of the patients thought that they had a subjective hearing handicap of some significance. However, only 50% accepted the invitation to test the BAHA. The overall subjective effect was positive, and a significant improvement in speech discrimination in noise with the BAHA was demonstrated. After the test, however, only about 50%, that is, 25% of all patients wished implantation for BAHA treatment.
This study shows that unilateral deafness after acoustic neuroma surgery is thought as a handicap in most of the patients and confirms that treatment with the BAHA has positive subjective effects and improves speech discrimination in noise. However, only 25% of the patients wished implantation for BAHA treatment. The implications of these findings are discussed. Data from centers that perform simultaneous acoustic neuroma surgery and implantation for BAHA are necessary for firm conclusions.
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