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Keywords:

  • Cochlear implantation;
  • age;
  • health-related quality of life;
  • tinnitus;
  • stress;
  • Level of Evidence: 2b.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To determine the effect of cochlear implantation on quality of life, speech performance, tinnitus, perceived stress, and coping strategy in patients aged ≥70 years in comparison with younger patients.

Study Design:

Retrospective study.

Methods:

A total of 55 postlingually deafened adults who were unilaterally implanted with a multichannel cochlear implant for at least 6 months were included in the study. Twenty patients were aged ≥70 years (70–84 years), and 35 patients were <70 years (19–67 years). Speech perception was measured using the Freiburg monosyllable test in quiet and the Hochmair-Schulz-Moser sentence test. In addition, the patients filled in six validated questionnaires.

Results:

Speech perception and subjectively assessed auditory ability were similar in the two age groups after implantation. Disease-specific quality of life was improved in patients aged ≥70 years and even to a higher extent as compared to younger patients. Tinnitus annoyance and perceived stress were reduced in elderly patients to the same extent as in younger patients in the case of high initial severity level. The scores for the coping subdomain “seeking support” were reduced in elderly patients.

Conclusions:

The present study provides evidence that cochlear implantation constitutes a very successful procedure of auditory rehabilitation, even for patients aged ≥70 years. In addition, elderly patients benefit from implantation, with increased quality of life and reduced tinnitus and stress.