Dr. Bill Shapiro, Supervising Audiologist at the New York University Cochlear Implant Center, discusses the importance of treating both ears when looking at cochlear implants and/or hearing aids. When both ears are working, it can improve the ability to localize sound in space and provide better hearing in noisy environments.1 He explains that professionals need to look at each ear individually when treating hearing loss in order to decide what the best type of treatment option is, whether it is bimodal or bilateral.
Dr. Bill Shapiro goes on to explain when counseling patients with hearing loss, it is vital that his expectations of how well a patient will do must align with the patient’s expectations. He says effective counseling could lead to appropriate expectations and higher patient satisfaction.
In summary, Dr. Bill Shapiro emphasizes that we have two ears and you cannot just implant one ear and ignore the other one. Each ear needs to be evaluated independently for treatment. He says, “Patients deserve to hear in both ears. I hear in both ears. They should hear in both ears.”
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Ching TY, Incerti P, Hill M. Binaural benefits for adults who use hearing aids and cochlear implants in opposite ears. Ear and hearing. 2004 Feb 1;25(1):9-21.