Did you catch our audiologist’s recent post on CROS and BiCROS hearing aids? Do you have hearing loss in just one ear, or is your hearing loss greatly uneven between your ears? Are you interested in learning more? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, keep reading!
What does CROS mean?
CROS stands for “contralateral routing of signals.” That’s medical-speak that describes a system to treat uneven hearing loss—hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other ear. This type of hearing loss is sometimes referred to as “single-sided hearing loss” or “single-sided deafness.”
Hearing loss in one ear can be really frustrating for people. Losing hearing in one ear makes it much more difficult for your brain to process and interpret speech, because it’s used to processing sounds from both directions. Because of this, people with single-sided hearing loss often become isolated as they can’t hear conversations and feel awkward or uncomfortable asking people to “talk into their good ear.” Fortunately, there is a solution!
CROS hearing aids: What they are and how they can help you
CROS hearing aids are specially-programmed hearing aids specifically for single-sided hearing loss. A person wearing CROS hearing aids wears two tiny hearing aids behind their ears. On the ear with hearing loss, the hearing aid has a transmitter which sends the sounds it captures to the other, normal hearing ear.
In other words, the transmitter takes the place of your ear with hearing loss and acts as a replacement ear. The transmitting devices instantly sends sounds from your “bad ear” to your “good ear” and you can hear them clearly. This means no more turning your head to hear someone speak, and no more asking people to talk into your good ear!
Additionally, CROS hearing aids do not work as volume amplifiers—they simply transfer sound from the poor-hearing side to the good-hearing side. Sounds will not be too loud or jarring. Rather, you’ll hear sounds at their normal volume.
This type of hearing aid can make everyday life easier and safer to navigate. Imagine if you were driving and a car on your left honked at you—but you can’t hear out of your left ear. You might miss the honk and be in danger. With a CROS system, you have access to sounds all around you, not just on one side.
CROS hearing aids might be the perfect treatment for your single-sided hearing loss. The devices are small and barely noticeable, and they can improve your quality of life immeasurably. If you’ve been struggling with single-sided hearing loss, look into CROS hearing aids as a solution.
If you have hearing loss in both ears but one is much worse than the other, there’s also a treatment for you: BiCROS hearing aids. They are similar to CROS hearing aids but treat uneven hearing loss in both ears. Find out more about those here.