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01 November 2010

Hearing preservation in partial deafness treatment

Henryk SkarzynskiACDF, Artur LorensACDE, Anna PiotrowskaABCF, Piotr Henryk SkarzynskiACDF

Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(11): CR555-562 :: ID: 881225

Abstract

Background: Partial deafness (PD) is a condition in which hearing loss occurs in at least 1 frequency critical to speech understanding. Current options for partial deafness treatment (PDT) rely on preoperative hearing preservation, which, along with the use of different means of acoustic and electric stimulation, enable extending the indications for various assistive hearing devices. Possible solutions include acoustic methods only, the use of hearing aids or middle ear implants, electric complementation, and a combination of electric and acoustic stimulation.
Material/Methods: A total of 95 patients (63 adults, 32 children) with different types of PD were treated using selected types of electrodes and the optimal “round window” approach to the inner ear, with at least 36 months of observation.
Results: The extension of PDT indications created an opportunity for patients with different hearing impairments who obtained no benefit from a hearing aid and did not qualify for standard cochlear implant application. The authors’ observations are based on the findings that preservation of preoperative hearing had been achieved in 97.1% of adult patients (8 years’ observation) and in 100% of children (6 years’ observation). Those results send the important message that PDT is feasible and effective.
Conclusions: To allow comparison of PDT results from different studies, the authors developed the Skarzynski PDT classification system, which permits the comparison of postoperative results, including the degree of hearing preservation and, more importantly, the patient’s understanding of speech after treatment.

Keywords: Postoperative Period, Hearing Loss - surgery, Hearing - physiology, Electric Stimulation - methods, Cochlear Implantation - methods, Child, Preschool, Child, Audiometry, Pure-Tone, Adolescent, Speech Perception - physiology, young adult

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