I recently came across an interesting research project, whilst browsing on Twitter. The purpose of the study was to help develop the research of treatments of single-sided deafness (SSD), making it easier and quicker to find out which treatments work best and why.
As someone with SSD, who has been unsuccessful in finding an aid to help overcome the difficulties imposed by this type of hearing loss – namely challenges in localising sounds and understanding speech in noise – I was keen to do whatever I could to help support this research project.
The study is part of a PhD being undertaken by the audiologist and researcher, Roulla Katiri, and is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to participate since I am currently living in Spain and the project is based in the UK. So, I sent a message to Roulla to see if there was anything I could do to help. Roulla’s reply was simple and clear – since I have been diagnosed with SSD over 12 months ago and have trialled a hearing aid, I was a perfect candidate to take part in the consensus.
Here’s a little bit more about the study…
The purpose of the study is to develop a common set of ‘outcomes’ to help researchers decide whether a treatment works. In the field of treating SSD, ‘outcomes’ are the things that should be measured when deciding if a hearing aid or an auditory implant is effective.
Examples of ‘outcomes’ are:
- The ability to localise sounds
- The impact of SSD on quality of life
- The ability to hear in noisy places such as restaurants
Different research studies often measure different outcomes, meaning it can be difficult to compare or combine measurements. This makes it hard to identify which treatment works best. If all future studies measure the same common set of ‘outcomes’, research can be moved forward faster.
The information gathered from this study will help others with SSD; and audiologists, like Roulla, to be able to recommend the best treatment for SSD, when considering the individual requirements of their patients.
You can help if you are:
- A member of the public with severe-profound SSD for over 12 months
- A healthcare professional with experience of SSD, such as:
- ENT doctors
- Funders, relevant charities workers e.g. Ménière’s Society, researchers around the world who work in the field of SSD
You can find out more about the study at https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/hearingsciences/projects/crosssd/index.aspx
You can also read Carly's original article about the study on her personal blog