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Purpose of review: To examine the current literature regarding application of cochlear implantation in patients with single-sided deafness for improvement in sound localization.

Recent findings: As familiarity of the technical and biological capabilities of cochlear implantation improves and criteria for use broaden, investigators have begun examining usage of cochlear implantation in patients with single-sided deafness as a viable solution in attempts to improve sound localization and speech perception. Although studies of such application are limited, from the available published literature, modest benefits have been described in both sound localization and speech perception. Patients consistently report improvement in quality of life after cochlear implantation for single-sided deafness.

Summary: Although single-sided deafness is not a currently approved indication for cochlear implantation, limited investigational studies to date have demonstrated patient improvement in both sound localization and speech perception.

(C) 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.