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Cochlear implantation is the standard of care for treating severe to profound hearing loss in all age groups. There is limited data on long-term results in elderly implantees and the effect of ageing on outcomes. This study compared the stability of cochlear implantation outcome in elderly and younger patients.
A retrospective chart review of cochlear implant patients with a minimum follow up of five years was conducted.
The study included 87 patients with a mean follow up of 6.8 years. Of these, 22 patients were older than 70 years at the time of implantation. Hearing in Noise Test scores at one year after implantation were worse in the elderly: 85.3 (aged under 61 years), 80.5 (61–70 years) and 73.6 (aged over 70 years; p = 0.039). The respective scores at the last follow up were 84.8, 85.1 and 76.5 (p = 0.054). Most patients had a stable outcome during follow up. Of the elderly patients, 13.6 per cent improved and none had a reduction in score of more than 20 per cent. Similar to younger patients, elderly patients had improved Short Form 36 Health Survey scores during follow up.
Cochlear implantation improves both audiometric outcome and quality of life in elderly patients. These benefits are stable over time.
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