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Cochlear CoPilot - September 2021

How does Hearing Loss Related to Chronic Otitis Media Impact Patient Quality of Life?

Natasha McDougald

December 15, 2021

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Question

How does hearing loss related to chronic otitis media directly impact patient quality of life?

Answer

Chronic otitis media (COM) affects up to 330 million people across the globe and an estimated 200 million of these have a disabling hearing loss* that requires treatment.¹ The World Health Organization estimates that chronic otitis media may contribute to more than half of the global burden of hearing impairment.2 It’s clear that COM and related hearing loss are global issues. Patients here in North America are also directly impacted and can suffer degradation to their comfort and quality of life as a result. 

Bone conduction systems can provide COM patients with effective and stable hearing improvement during standard disease treatment, making the case that bone conduction solutions may be the ideal supplement to treat hearing loss.3,4,5

It’s important to focus on treating the disease to give your patients a safe, dry and healthy ear. It’s also crucial to consider that COM-related hearing loss can also impact a patient’s quality of life. Hearing rehabilitation can be accomplished through multiple means, including reconstructive middle ear surgeries; however, multiple factors influence the final postoperative hearing result, and the most important determinant of long-term hearing outcomes is the environment of the middle ear.6 We know that 29% of patients can have a conductive hearing loss of > 20 dB after tympanoplasty7 and these patients may require an additional hearing intervention as part of their treatment. Additionally, during the treatment pathway for COM, many patients may not have access to reliable hearing while waiting for an upcoming surgery or treatment.

Bone conduction systems are a safe, reliable and effective treatment for COM-related hearing loss.3 Patients with COM that require additional hearing intervention or amplification to obtain reliable hearing can experience a significant improvement in their quality of life after bone conduction solution.5 In addition to improving hearing, the Cochlear™ Osia® System and Cochlear Baha® System keep the ear canal open, unlike hearing aids, which can reduce the frequency of chronic ear infections.8,9

You can also consider bone conduction as a hearing intervention earlier in the treatment pathway with the non-surgical Baha Start, which gives patients access to reliable hearing during the treatment pathway between surgeries.

Click here to find out more about Cochlear Bone Conduction Solutions.

References:

  1. World Health Organization. Chronic suppurative otitis media: burden of illness and management options. 2004; https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/42941. Accessed January 16 2020.
  2. Acuin J and the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development, and the Team for Prevention of Blindness and Deafness of the World Health Organization. World Health Organization, Geneva; 2004.
  3. Gillett D, Fairley JW, Chandrashaker TS, Bean A, Gonzalez J. Bone-anchored hearing aids: results of the first eight years of a programme in a district general hospital, assessed by the Glasgow benefit inventory. J Laryngol Otol. 2006;120(7):537-542.
  4. Watson GJ, Silva S, Lawless T, Harling JL, Sheehan PZ. Bone anchored hearing aids: a preliminary assessment of the impact on outpatients and cost when rehabilitating hearing in chronic suppurative otitis media. Clin otolaryngol. 2008;33(4):338-342.
  5. McLarnon CM, Davison T, Johnson IJ. Bone-anchored hearing aid: comparison of benefit by patient subgroups. The Laryngoscope. 2004;114(5):942-944.
  6. Dornhoffer J and Walker D. Ossicular reconstruction. ENT & Audiology News2020;29(1).
  7. Lewis A, . Vanaelst, B. Hua, H. Choi, B. Hol, M. Jaramillo, R. Kong, K. Ray, J. Thakar, A. Järbrink, J. Success rates in restoring hearing loss in patients with chronic otitis media: a systematic review. Eur Arch Oto-Rhino-L. 2020:Submitted manuscript. Funded by Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB.
  8. Medical Advisory Secretariat (2002). Bone anchored hearing aid: an evidence-based analysis. Ontario health technology assessment series, 2(3), 1–47.
  9. Macnamara M, Phillips D, Proops DW. The bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) in chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM). J Laryngol Otol Suppl. 1996;21:38-40. doi: 10.1017/s0022215100136254. PMID: 9015447.

*Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 dB in the better hearing ear in adults (15 years or older) and greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children (0 to 14 years).

© Cochlear Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited or Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

This content is meant for professional use. If you are a consumer, please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information. Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.


natasha mcdougald

Natasha McDougald

Product Manager: Sound Processors and Connectivity

Graduating in Management Information Systems, Natasha McDougald began her career as a system analyst working with tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Personal circumstances became a catalyst for career change; transitioning from desktop based computers to tiny embedded biomedical computers known as cochlear implants. Natasha has worked at Cochlear Americas for almost 10 years partnering with clinicians and surgeons at the University of Miami, UCSF, Stanford, UC Davis and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland to bring cochlear implants to pediatric and adult patients. Extremely passionate, Natasha is professionally and personally invested in the implantable hearing industry and strives to forward the cause of those affected by hearing loss. She has presented numerous talks and courses on hearing loss, multiple disabilities, advocating skills and cochlear implantation to audiences in the medical-technology, educational, special needs and family support sectors.


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