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Laryngoscope. 2007 Sep;117(9):1648-51.

Spatial hearing disability after acoustic neuroma removal.

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The Queen's Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham, UK NG7 7UH.



Previous studies on hearing loss (HL) after acoustic neuroma removal concentrate mainly on pure-tone hearing results rather than hearing disability. Our objectives were to use the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing scale (SSQ), a comprehensively validated questionnaire, to characterize and quantify the auditory disabilities that patients experience with a profound unilateral HL after acoustic neuroma removal.


Forty-four patients with profound unilateral HL after acoustic neuroma surgery completed the SSQ. Their findings were compared with those of a control population sample matched for age, sex, and hearing level in the better hearing ear.


In comparison with controls, with use of analysis of variance, acoustic neuroma patients scored poorly on all items except for the identification of sounds and objects (P = .123). The greatest difficulties involved speech in the presence of noise, situations of multiple speech-streams and switching (such as listening to someone speaking and the television at the same time), the location of unseen objects, and increased listening effort (P < .05).


This study demonstrates that, compared with a control population, these patients experience a significant range of auditory disabilities. It is important that clinicians be aware of the impact of such a profound unilateral HL and its potential to affect daily life. Patient counseling prior to surgery is essential, especially in patients whose loss of binaural hearing could constitute a major disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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