Focus of the Report: The focus of this Health Technology Assessment is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of cochlear implantation to treat hearing loss in adults with single-sided deafness (SSD).

Technology Description: Cochlear implants are surgically implanted electronic devices used for the treatment of severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Although there are many types of cochlear implants, most have the same basic components:

  • An external receiver (microphone)

  • An external speech processor (generally worn behind the ear)

  • An internal receiver/stimulator/processor (situated under the skin and behind the ear)

  • An array of electrodes proceeding from the receiver/stimulator into the cochlea

Controversy: Although cochlear implantation is typically used for treatment of binaural deafness, its use shows promise for improving hearing outcomes and tinnitus in patients with SSD. However, there may be controversy associated with performing an invasive procedure on patients with partial hearing. There is a need for additional well-designed comparative clinical trials to determine if the benefits of implantation outweigh the potential risks.

Key Questions:

  1. Is cochlear implantation effective for the treatment of SSD in adults?

  2. How does cochlear implantation compare with alternative therapies for the treatment of SSD in adults?

  3. Is cochlear implantation in adult patients with SSD safe?

  4. Have definitive patient selection criteria been identified for the treatment of cochlear implantation for adults with SSD?

If you have a Hayes login, click here to view the full report on the Knowledge Center.