Duration of CI Use and Speech Recognition Outcomes

Jane Madell
August 18, 2020

There has been a lot of research over the years about the relationship of hours of use of speech perception scores and hours of use of hearing aids and cochlear implants. Now we have some more data. It confirms that longer wear time is critical.

Work by the Boy’s Town group has shown that children who wear hearing aids 10 or more hours/day can do as well as children with normal hearing. There has been research for children with cochlear implants which have shown the same thing. And it makes sense. If you have auditory brain stimulation more hours/day you will hear better.


Cochlear Implant Use: More Hours, Better Outcomes


A new study from Holder at the Vanderbilt CI program looked at hours of use by adults and the effect of speech perception. What it showed was that adults who used cochlear implants more hours had higher speech perception scores. Of course!!

The reason this is important is because this is something we can control. The other factors (duration of deafness, age of implantation, electrode position) which effect speech perception results are not controllable. But if we can convince families of children with hearing loss, and adults, that hours of use makes a difference, we can improve performance.

The Vanderbilt study showed that adults who wore their CI’s 10.2 hours/day had average speech perception. Adults who wore their CI’s more than 10.2 hours/day did even better.

I know many adults with mild hearing loss who have not worn their hearing aids during the last five months of the pandemic, because they were not being with people. I am concerned that many people are going to find that their speech perception scores are dropping.

Children with any degree of hearing loss absolutely need to have their technology on all day – at least 10 hours.  If not, we can expect a decline in performance. NO EXCUSES!!!




  1. Great! For those of us the ‘field’ this is obvious. Really good to have evidence though, to show others. Are there links to the research/other articles for evidence please?

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