Cochlear implants and listening effort: the interaction of cognitive and sensory constraints

Brief description of study

Hearing impairment is the third most prevalent chronic medical condition among older adults in the United States. Untreated, hearing loss can interfere with effective communication, quality of life, and lead to accelerated cognitive decline. Cochlear implants (CI) have seen increasing use for older adults who can no longer gain significant benefit from a conventional hearing aid, and it is estimated that over 150,000 adults over 70 years of age in the United States would likely be CI candidates today. Older adult CI users can show impressive adaptation to the sharply degraded signal produced by CIs, sometimes in moderate levels of noise. Both patients and clinicians, however, frequently complain that these standard measures of speech perception are not informative with respect to real-world performance, and clinicians are often puzzled by patients who seem to do well in clinical tests but report major difficulties in everyday interactions.The purpose of this study is to understand how using a cochlear implant affects the effort required to understand speech in younger and older individuals.

Clinical Study Identifier: s18-01806
Principal Investigator: Mario A Svirsky.

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