Clinical Feasibility and Familiarization Effects of Device Delay Mismatch Compensation in Bimodal CI/HA Users

Julian Angermeier, Werner Hemmert, Stefan Zirn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Subjects utilizing a cochlear implant (CI) in one ear and a hearing aid (HA) on the contralateral ear suffer from mismatches in stimulation timing due to different processing latencies of both devices. This device delay mismatch leads to a temporal mismatch in auditory nerve stimulation. Compensating for this auditory nerve stimulation mismatch by compensating for the device delay mismatch can significantly improve sound source localization accuracy. One CI manufacturer has already implemented the possibility of mismatch compensation in its current fitting software. This study investigated if this fitting parameter can be readily used in clinical settings and determined the effects of familiarization to a compensated device delay mismatch over a period of 3–4 weeks. Sound localization accuracy and speech understanding in noise were measured in eleven bimodal CI/HA users, with and without a compensation of the device delay mismatch. The results showed that sound localization bias improved to 0°, implying that the localization bias towards the CI was eliminated when the device delay mismatch was compensated. The RMS error was improved by 18% with this improvement not reaching statistical significance. The effects were acute and did not further improve after 3 weeks of familiarization. For the speech tests, spatial release from masking did not improve with a compensated mismatch. The results show that this fitting parameter can be readily used by clinicians to improve sound localization ability in bimodal users. Further, our findings suggest that subjects with poor sound localization ability benefit the most from the device delay mismatch compensation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume27
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • bimodal hearing
  • device delay mismatch
  • sound localization

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