This is an interesting paper on patients with unilateral hearing loss and incapacitating tinnitus. The present study was conducted on 23 patients who had a cochlear implant for unilateral hearing loss including patients with single sided deafness (SSD). Most of the patients had hydrops, trauma or sudden deafness. In these patients tinnitus was persistent for more than two years and had not improved with conventional treatment. Tinnitus was most likely due to cochlear deafferentation in these patients. All patients were followed for about eight years and pre and postoperative tinnitus questionnaire and VAS loudness score were noted. SSD patients reported tinnitus suppression as a primary benefit, perhaps secondary to restoration of sensory input. In the UK, NICE does not recommend cochlear implant for unilateral hearing loss, but perhaps associated incapacitating tinnitus can be an indication, as proven by the long term results of this study.

Cochlear implantation as a long-term treatment for ipsilateral incapacitating tinnitus in subjects with unilateral hearing loss up to 10 years.
Mertensa G, Bodta MD, Heyninga PVD.
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Faiz Tanweer

Leeds General Infirmary, UK.

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