Sound localization with bilateral bone conduction devices

Coosje J. I. Caspers*, A. M. Janssen, M. J. H. Agterberg, C. W. R. J. Cremers, M. K. S. Hol, A. J. Bosman

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Purpose To investigate sound localization in patients bilaterally fitted with bone conduction devices (BCDs). Additionally, clinically applicable methods to improve localization accuracy were explored. Methods Fifteen adults with bilaterally fitted percutaneous BCDs were included. At baseline, sound localization, (un)aided pure-tone thresholds, device use, speech, spatial and qualities of hearing scale (SSQ) and York hearing-related quality of life (YHRQL) questionnaire were measured. Settings to optimize sound localizing were added to the BCDs. At 1 month, sound localization was assessed again and localization was practiced with a series of sounds with visual feedback. At 3 months, localization performance, device use and questionnaire scores were determined again. Results At baseline, one patient with congenital hearing loss demonstrated near excellent localization performance and four other patients (three with congenital hearing loss) localized sounds (quite) accurately. Seven patients with acquired hearing loss were able to lateralize sounds, i.e. identify whether sounds were coming from the left or right side, but could not localize sounds accurately. Three patients (one with congenital hearing loss) could not even lateralize sounds correctly. SSQ scores were significantly higher at 3 months. Localization performance, device use and YHRQL scores were not significantly different between visits. Conclusion In this study, the majority of experienced bilateral BCD users could lateralize sounds and one third was able to localize sounds (quite) accurately. The localization performance was robust and stable over time. Although SSQ scores were increased at the last visit, optimizing device settings and a short practice session did not improve sound localization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages14
    JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
    Early online date6-May-2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • BAHA
    • BCD
    • Sound localization
    • Bilateral
    • Binaural hearing
    • Conductive hearing loss
    • Device use
    • Hearing-related quality of life
    • ANCHORED HEARING-AIDS
    • CHILDREN

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