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Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 May-Jun;76(3):378-83.

Assessment of the auditory handicap in adults with unilateral hearing loss.

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The Science of Communicaton Disorders, Sao Paulo University Hospital for the Rehabilitaton of Craniofacial Anomalies (HRAC-USP), Brazil.


Hearing impairment (HI) is characterized by unilateral hearing loss in one ear and can result in learning difficulties, language impairment and socio-emotional difficulties. To assess the perception of hearing handicap in adult subjects, patients with unilateral sensorineural HI, non-users of individual hearing aids.


Prospective study with 52 adult subjects with a mean of 34.5 years of age, from both genders (26 females, 26 males) with hearing loss: sensorineural unilateral, in varying degrees, responded to a questionnaire for assessing hearing handicap, and for that we used the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults (HHIA).


We scored the subscales of the emotional and social/situational aspects, and we found 73.1% of the handicap present being mild, moderate and significant, but at a higher percentage (88.5%) in females.


The use of the questionnaire proved to be an effective procedure, because the unilateral HI may, not infrequently, compromise social and emotional aspects of the adult subject and the same degree of HI who can react differently, indicating that the wide variability in the perception of the hearing handicap is associated with non-audiological aspects.

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