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Study: Cochlear Implants and Healthy Aging


Scientific studies summarized for you


Study:  Cochlear Implants and Healthy Aging.

(Ilg A, Lukaschyk J, et al. Do Not Go Gentle into That Deaf Night: A Holistic Perspective on Cochlear Implant Use as Part of Healthy Aging. J Pers Med. 2022 Oct 5;12(10):1658. doi: 10.3390/jpm12101658.)


Key message:

Cochlear implants (CI) significantly improve hearing performance as well as health-related quality of life in the old and very old. Despite this proven fact, they are still heavily underutilized in this population. Awareness among and counselling of elderly people must be improved to include holistic benefits of cochlear implantation, particularly those on cognition. This should start at the earliest point in the referral process: general practitioners, hearing aid acousticians and hearing loss support groups.


Cochlear implants are heavily underutilized, especially among older adults (65 years and older), although they are proven to be safe for the elderly. Moreover, CI benefits have been shown to go far beyond improved hearing performance. Better mental health, improved cognitive functions and health-related quality of life are among the proven positive side-effects of CI use in the elderly.

Besides investigating changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and speech perception, the authors wanted to identify how referral rates and CI uptake among the elderly can be increased and duration of deafness be kept short.


  • Total number of participants: n=45
  • Participant age: 60-90
  • All participants were postlingually deafened cochlear implant users
  • Participants were divided into two age groups:
  • Group 1, n=20, aged 60-70 years
  • Group 2, n=25, aged 71-90 years
  • Assessments:
  • Speech perception tested with Freiburger Monosyllables Test
  • Preoperative (baseline) in best-aided condition
  • Postoperative: 3 months and 12 months with CI
  • HRQOL measured with Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ)


The entire group showed a significant main effect, with the younger group showing significantly more improvement on the NCIQ after 3 and 12 months compared to preoperative baseline scores than the older group.

Speech tests showed that both groups scored significantly higher at 3 and 12 months postoperatively than preoperatively. No significant difference between the two age groups were found.

Read the study here: Do Not Go Gentle into That Deaf Night: A Holistic Perspective on Cochlear Implant Use as Part of Healthy Aging (nih.gov)

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