Hearing ‘from both sides’ has well-being benefits

Helping people hear better with technology is only one piece of the hearing care puzzle. Being able to hear well has the potential to support one’s cognitive, socio-emotional and physical well-being.

Posted Tuesday September 12, 2023

Around 3% of the population has unaidable unilateral hearing loss, and in past years the assumption was that if you had one ‘good ear’ you could get by in most situations, with the expectation that you could always ask people to sit on your good side.

However, recent research has shown it’s not straightforward and having to cope with an unaidable hearing loss on one side at any age can impact well-being.

People living with unaidable unilateral hearing loss can experience increased listening fatigue and listening effort. The increased fatigue and effort can lead to consequences such as poor selective attention, reduced work productivity and less socialising.

How CROS systems can help

A recent study done with Phonak CROS Lumity hearing aids looked at listening effort and subjective quality in hearing with BiCROS hearing aid fittings. Results showed that listening effort decreased and subjective quality improved.

Subjects were also asked to provide their own perception of the BiCROS fitting in a session where they were prompted to complete the sentence “One benefit to using my hearing aids in both ears (CROS) rather than just one hearing aid on my better ear is …”

Some of the responses were:“Social situations are less daunting,” “I feel less of a burden,” “I feel safer overall,” and “The world is brighter.” And who doesn’t want a little bit more brightness in their life? 

You can learn more about one person’s experience of living with unaidable unilateral hearing loss at this vlog.

If you would like to to cite the research behind this article please see the Phonak audiology blog

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