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HNO. 2017 Jul;65(7):561-570. doi: 10.1007/s00106-017-0370-8.

[Bilateral cochlear implants].

[Article in German]

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Funktionsbereich Otologie und Cochlea Implantate, CI- und Ohrzentrum, Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals‑, Nasen- und Ohrenheilkunde, Campus Großhadern und Campus Innenstadt, Klinikum der Universität München, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, München, Deutschland.


Cochlear implants (CI) are standard for the hearing rehabilitation of severe to profound deafness. Nowadays, if bilaterally indicated, bilateral implantation is usually recommended (in accordance with German guidelines). Bilateral implantation enables better speech discrimination in quiet and in noise, and restores directional and spatial hearing. Children with bilateral CI are able to undergo hearing-based hearing and speech development. Within the scope of their individual possibilities, bilaterally implanted children develop faster than children with unilateral CI and attain, e.g., a larger vocabulary within a certain time interval. Only bilateral implantation allows "binaural hearing," with all the benefits that people with normal hearing profit from, namely: better speech discrimination in quiet and in noise, as well as directional and spatial hearing. Naturally, the developments take time. Binaural CI users benefit from the same effects as normal hearing persons: head shadow effect, squelch effect, and summation and redundancy effects. Sequential CI fitting is not necessarily disadvantageous-both simultaneously and sequentially fitted patients benefit in a similar way. For children, earliest possible fitting and shortest possible interval between the two surgeries seems to positively influence the outcome if bilateral CI are indicated.


Binaural hearing; Electric stimulation; Hearing; Implanted neurostimulators; Neural prostheses


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