Unilateral hearing loss, also known as single-sided hearing loss, is referred to hearing loss that occurs in only one ear. The asymmetry in the hearing in each ear makes it quite difficult to listen and hear in local and/or noisy environments.
Patients with single-sided hearing and unequal loss, have the option to use CROS and BiCROS hearing solutions. This technology allows for those with single-sided hearing loss to better understand speech and sounds in noise and gives them an increased acuity in the localization of sounds with high-definition audio and streaming from ear-to-ear.
What are CROS and BiCROS systems? How do they work?
A CROS system consists of a single microphone and single receiver contained in two individual devices. The ear with little-to-no functional hearing is fit with the microphone-equipped device, and the ear with normal hearing is fitted with the receiver-equipped device. Sound arriving at the ear with no functional hearing transmits through a wireless connection to the receiver-equipped device to help patients hear sounds from their non-hearing side to their normal-hearing side.
A BiCROS system consists of a microphone-equipped device that is fitted to the poorer-hearing ear and a conventional hearing aid fitted to the better-hearing ear that has some hearing loss.
Who should consider a CROS or BiCROS solution?
A CROS system is designed and made for patients with single-sided hearing loss in which the loss is such that little-to-no advantages can be provided through amplifying the poorer-hearing ear. Patients with normal hearing or mild high-frequency hearing loss in their better-hearing ear can benefit from a CROS system.
A BiCROS system can help patients with unequal bilateral hearing loss. In such cases, the poorer-hearing ear has no actual hearing and would not benefit from amplification, while the better-hearing ear (ear with less hearing loss) requires a traditional hearing aid. In this situation, the BiCROS hearing aid will transmit audio from the weaker ear to be mixed with the amplification for the better-hearing ear.
What are the benefits of wearing CROS and BiCROS hearing aids?
- Easier and more clear conversations with exacting speech audibility and accurate speech detection in difficult listening situations
- Improved understanding of speech in noise
- Wind, noise, whistling and feedback management for optimal speech accuracy
- Simultaneous processing of numerous sounds for a comprehensive listening experience that makes speech crisp and clear while keeping ambient noise natural
Contact a hearing professional so you can learn more about our CROS and BiCROS hearing solutions.