We have several patients who have, what is called, single sided deafness. The name is self explanatory; these patients do not hear from one of their ears. The ear that doesn’t ear is also sometimes referred to as a “dead ear.” We also have many patients who have single sided deafness, but also a hearing loss in their “good ear.” Fortunately, two types of hearing aid technology that can assist these patients with their particular hearing loss needs is available at Lemme Audiology Associates.

For patients who have single sided deafness only, we have the CROS system. CROS stands for Contralateral Routing of Signals. If you didn’t know, contralateral means relating to or denoting the side of the body opposite to that on which a particular structure or condition occurs. With this system, even though the patient can still hear well with one ear, devices will be worn on both ears. When the device in the ear without hearing detects sound, it transmits that sound to the device in the good ear to listen to. Essentially, the patient is able to hear from his/her “dead ear” through his/her good ear.

For patients who have single sided deafness but also a hearing loss in their good ear, we have the BiCROS system available. The Bi in BiCROS stands for bilateral. This system works similar to the CROS system. The device worn on the ear that doesn’t hear still transmits sound to the device worn on the good ear. But, since the good ear has hearing loss, the device worn on this ear is a hearing aid that is set with a prescription to meet the current loss in the ear.

A CROS or BiCROS system takes some time to get used to. It’s a different hearing arrangement but these systems offer the opportunity for better hearing and communication. Dr. Catherine Palmer, director of audiology for the UPMC Integrated Health System including the UPMC Children’s Hospital, offers some valuable advice for first time CROS and BiCROS users: “Use the device full time-all waking hours-in order to get used to this listening arrangement. It is very different from what anyone is used to and it will take time to adjust.”

If you are ready to explore how a CROS or BiCROS can benefit your single sided deafness, just call Lemme Audiology Associates at (814) 941-7770 to schedule a consultation with our Audiologists. Better hearing and communication is possible!


Call Us