I was looking for a category that allowed pros to ask for opinions from other pros, but couldn’t find one. I hope I have posted this in the correct place. If not, please correct me.
OK here we go.
I have a patient who is an attorney. He has been diagnosed with Menier’s. His right ear shows a mild SNHL sloping to a moderate-to-severe SNHL. PTA is 35, MCL is 70dB with a WR at 88%.
Left ear shows a relatively flat mixed loss. PTA is 70, MCL is 95dB with a WR of 44%.
Both ears MCL was 60dB-R/85dB-L so, as is usual, binaural MCL dropped. At this level we got to 92% WR.
He states that hearing in his left ear, even at high volume, sounds like he’s hearing from under water.
He has a horrible time hearing in the courtroom, and one judge even mocks him for not being able to hear “His Honor”. (I hope no ADA case ever goes before that judge!) My patient was practically in tears saying that he’s thinking about hanging it all up and retiring. As an attorney who represents a lot of indigent clients, I would hate for this to happen.
The patient has worn hearing aids for a few years, but is struggling horribly.
Here’s my thought: I want to try a BiCROS on this patient. Since the left ear is so much worse than the right, and because amplification doesn’t seem to get past that “under water” feeling he has, my thinking is simply to bypass that ear entirely. My past experiences with BiCROS systems is that they “fool” the brain into thinking it’s getting binaural hearing. This leads me to think that the brain would still be getting the stimuli it craves to remain active. I also want to pair it with a lapel mic or something similar for the judge to wear during hearings and trials as an accommodation.
Have any of my fellow ear nerds ever had a similar situation? Have any of you used a CROS or BiCROS in that situation? If not, why not? What were your solutions?
Thank you so much. I’m really wanting to get this guy back to where he wants to be in life, and that includes being in the courtroom.