An Unconventional Monaural Hearing Aid Fitting
This case report summarizes the care provided to a patient with unilateral, sudden, moderately-severe to severe sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and very poor word recognition scores (WRSs) in the left ear and normal hearing in the right ear. Due to the patient’s reported difficulty localizing sound, recognizing speech in noise, and recognizing speech on her left side, the patient inquired about amplification.
The patient was initially seen at our clinic for a visit following a sudden hearing loss in the left ear that occurred approximately 8 years ago. The patient reported the hearing in the left ear decreased significantly in combination with an episode of vertigo requiring hospitalization. The vertigo resolved two days after use of a medication that the patient could not recall. At the time, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan was performed and was negative for retrocochlear pathology. Following the MRI scan, the patient’s physician informed the patient that there was no further medical intervention to improve the hearing in the left ear. There was no follow-up medical care until the patient scheduled an appointment at our clinic. At the appointment, the patient denied recurrent vertigo since the initial episode, and there was no additional improvement of hearing in the left ear. In addition to the previous history, the patient reported constant tinnitus in the left ear that began approximately 1 year ago. The patient stated she is a very active runner and has a very difficult time localizing sound. The patient has special concerns regarding the triathlons in which she participates because she is unable to orient herself to her surroundings.