People with single sided deafness (SSD) – those who are not able to hear in one ear – can face a number of challenges, such as missing out on speech coming from one direction, and a lack of stereo hearing that reduces the perceived quality of sound. The main issue, however, is that people with SSD have reduced speech intelligibility. This is due to several reasons: the inability to separate background noise from the signal of interest, the lack of binaural summation effect, and difficulties hearing the signal of interest coming from the side of the dead ear.
As with hearing impairment in general, SSD may lead to considerable lifestyle implications. Repeatedly missing out on conversation or finding communication especially challenging and energy consuming in particular situations, heightens the risk of withdrawal, which may affect work, family and social life.
Widex CROS has been developed to meet the needs of people with single sided deafness. Widex CROS picks up sound from the side with the deaf ear, and sends it wirelessly to a receiving hearing aid on the better ear. The Widex CROS is offered in the slim design Fashion model. This allows the user to adjust the volume and turn off transmission. Due to the WidexLink technology that’s used for transmitting sound to the receiving hearing aid, Widex CROS has a long battery life. The state-of -the-art speech understanding is delivered using the DREAM platform, which has already proved to be extremely successful with our patients. All Dream hearing aid models – in all price points can be used as receiving hearing aid.
I have been looking forward to this hearing aid for a while. I feel it will be useful to have an alternative to the proficient Audeo CROS from Phonak, which is currently the only practical option for patients with single sided deafness. I have had great results from treating unilateral hearing losses this year and if the performance matches the response that I have had from my current Widex Dream patients, it will definitely be a huge success. For me the improvement in battery life is a significant patient benefit.
As part of our continuing commitment to quality standards, we are currently looking for patients with single sided deafness who would be willing to trial the new hearing aid for us. We will be conducting clinical trials from January and require patients who have SSD to take part, it is not essential that you already wear a CROS/BiCROS system but it would be useful when making comparisons. If you have untreatable hearing loss in one ear (SSD) and you would like more information about Widex CROS or would like to take part in the study then please contact Leon Cox on 01494 765144.