CROS and BiCROS Hearing Aids
In a previous blog entry, we spoke about the benefits of two hearing aids for users with bilateral hearing loss. However, you might wonder what some options are for a person with hearing loss in only one ear or hearing loss that is worse in one ear than the other.
One option for consideration is referred to as a CROS or BiCROS system. CROS systems are for users with normal hearing in one ear and deafness in the other ear. BiCROS systems are for individuals with hearing loss in one ear and deafness in the other ear. In both systems, the user will need to wear a hearing aid device in both ears; however the style of the device can be flexible depending on the manufacturer and the user’s individual hearing loss. A microphone will be used on the poorer hearing ear to pick up sounds and transmit them wirelessly to a receiving device worn on the opposite ear. With a CROS device, no amplification is present in the signal. It is simply sent from one side of the head to the other. With a BiCROS device, the transmitted signal is amplified to fit the hearing loss in the better hearing ear for optimized listening.
BiCROS and CROS hearing aids are designed for users who receive no benefit from traditional amplification on their poorer hearing side. In that situation, these systems can give individuals back their awareness to sounds coming from their poorer hearing side. This is an important benefit for safety, communication and quality of life. If you currently have single sided deafness or asymmetrical hearing loss and you think a BiCROS or CROS system might be right for you, please consider making an appointment with one of our audiologists for a hearing aid consult to discuss your options further.