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Experiences with bimodal hearing and bilateral cochlear implantation in the elderly

DOI: 10.4081/audiores.2011.e23

Keywords: hearing impairment , cochlear implants , elderly.

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Abstract:

With the geriatric population being the fastest growing segment of our society the number of elderly people with different levels of hearing impairments is increasing. According to the German Society of Hearing Impaired there are concerned 37% of the 60-69-year-old and 54% of the over 70-year-old. Furthermore the needs of the elderly are changing with augmented social activity and agility compared to former times: 80 is the new 70. After initial concerns about poor audiologic performance and added peri- and postoperative risks because of comorbidities, cochlear implantation is becoming more and more the method of choice also for postlingually deaf people of higher age. With the demographic shift there can be observed a trend reversal: the proportion of implantees is sliding from the young to the senior and duration of deafness at the time of implantation is declining (Battmer 2010). It is therefore necessary to investigate the impact of cochlear implantation on audiologic performance and quality of life in this growing age group.

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