CROS and BiCROS hearing aids
CROS and BiCROS hearing aids: managing hearing loss in one ear
You may not realize it, but for many people, hearing loss isn’t always experienced equally in both ears. In the U.S. alone, hearing loss in one ear affects 60,000 people every year. 1 in 1,000 children are born with unilateral hearing loss, and 3% of school-age children have UHL. This type of single-sided deafness is also known as unilateral hearing loss (UHL) People who live with unilateral hearing loss face some unique challenges. Fortunately, with cutting-edge technology, there are a number of hearing aid options now available that are specifically designed for unilateral hearing loss. This will allow you to continue to living a full and active life.
What is unilateral hearing loss and how you can manage it
Unilateral hearing loss is a condition in which hearing functions normally in one ear while the other ear experiences significant hearing loss. There are quite a few issues that can arise when you are experiencing UHL. For instance, a you might have trouble following conversations in environments with lots of background noise, like public events or a dinner party.
You might also have trouble with sound localization (being able to tell exactly where a sound is coming from), tinnitus, and problems detecting sound from the side of the head that has hearing loss. If you live with UHL, you might often struggle in certain everyday situations and experience increased stress and anxiety. These issues occur because unilateral hearing loss interferes with what is known as directional hearing.
What are CROS hearing aids?
CROS hearing aids consist of two in-the-ear devices: a microphone worn in the ear with hearing loss and a receiver that is worn in the functioning ear. The microphone picks up sound from the side with no hearing and sends it to the receiver in the functional ear. CROS hearing aids work by replicating the experience of standard binaural hearing, making it easier to understand speech in complex noise environments and pinpoint the location of a sound. There are wired CROS systems, but many devices now use advanced wireless technology and function using radio signals. Hearing aid manufacturers make in-the-ear devices and behind-the-ear devices that are both discreet and comfortable. There are also CROS systems that function through bone conduction, where a device is surgically implanted and functions by sending vibrations through the bones in the ear canal to the ear with hearing loss. Another device option for treating UHL is a cochlear implant.
What are BiCROS hearing aids?
BiCROS hearing aids (bilateral microphones with contralateral routing of signal) are designed for people who have bilateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in both ears. A BiCROS system consists of a microphone that picks up sounds from the ear with little to no hearing and a receiver in the ear with better hearing. The ear with better hearing processes the sounds sent there by the microphone. A traditional hearing aid in the ear with normal hearing amplifies the sounds that are sent there from the side with no hearing.
CROS and BiCROS hearing aids from hear.com
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the options for treating UHL, hear.com can help find a CROS or BiCROS hearing aid that works for you. Simply fill out the questionnaire to speak with one of our experts on the phone. After that, you will be connected with a local Partner Provider in your area to take a hearing test and have your hearing aids fitted. You can then try out your new hearing aids for 45 days risk-free and experience the benefits for yourself!