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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 May;77(5):617-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2013.01.014. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

A review of unilateral hearing loss and academic performance: is it time to reassess traditional dogmata?

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Brenner Children's Hospital, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, United States.



The aim of this paper was to review traditional approaches to habilitation of unilateral hearing losses as well as new research concerning management of unilateral hearing loss.


Literature review/systematic review.


A PubMed search was performed for articles pertaining to unilateral hearing loss and academic loss and academic performance. Articles ranged in date from 1986 to 2012. Five resources were reviewed for content to determine the pertinence of the materials to the understanding of the history of diagnosis of unilateral hearing loss, the traditional treatment methods and their advantages and disadvantages, and more recent publications concerning academic outcomes for patients with unilateral hearing loss with and without treatment.


Unilateral hearing loss scan be detrimental to the academic success of children. Effects encompass not only auditory effects such as difficulty hearing in noise, but also self esteem and exhaustion. Although assistive devices were traditionally not offered as options, more recent literature suggests that devices such as BAHA, hearing aids, or FM systems may provide aids in the classroom and that early intervention may provide more favorable outcomes.


Since the 1980s, the approach to management of unilateral hearing losses has evolved. In order to maximize academic potential, treatment options should be discussed and implemented.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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