CROS and BICROS Hearing Aids
What is the difference between CROS and BiCROS hearing aids?
The CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signals) type of hearing aid is built with single-sided deafness in mind. It is used for unilateral hearing loss, or for hearing losses in which the loss in one ear is significantly greater than the other. While one ear may be almost or completely deaf, this device can take sounds from the worse ear and transmit it to the better ear. A microphone is placed on the poorer ear and the signal is then routed to a hearing aid on the better ear. This provides sound from the “dead” or unusable side. The idea is to give the patient simulated bilateral hearing.
As for BiCROS hearing aids, they are similar but function as a stronger set of hearing aids. These act the same a CROS, as they transmit hearing from the bad side to the better side. BiCROS are meant for patient’s whose “better” ear is suffering from hearing loss as well.
Advantages of using CROS and BICROS:
Many of these systems are now wireless and very slim, making them easy to adapt to for many patients. Traditional hearing aids offer enhancement to only one ear at a time. With today’s technology, these devices use wireless streaming to transmit signals between ears with field induction and radio waves. Some of the major benefits associated with CROS hearing aids:
- Reduced Head-shadow effect.
- You will be able to hear sounds from your deaf side clearly
- Improved ability to localize sounds (pinpoint where they are coming from).
While there are many benefits, some downsides include shorter battery life when compared to other hearing aids. Many new technologies often have a longer battery life, and some are even rechargeable. As this hearing aid solution is most effective for transmitting sound from only one side, there is the possibility that the hearing aid will pick up louder background noises, which can interfere with clarity in your good ear. While these are things to consider, the CROS and BiCROS hearing aid systems can work very well for patients to need them.