Background: Hearing loss is a significant health burden in the United States with approximately 15% of American adults (18 years old and greater) reporting at least some trouble hearing. Sensorineural hearing loss is also the third leading cause of disability worldwide. Cochlear implants are often the best treatment for this disability. Determining cochlear implant candidacy involves both audiogram testing and AzBio Sentence testing. Currently there are suggested guidelines for cochlear implant candidacy based on audiogram results, however, the medical literature does not contain any studies evaluating the relationship of audiogram results to AzBio Sentence scores.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to objectively determine the relationship between various audiogram parameters and AzBio Sentence scores in order to determine the best predictors for cochlear implant candidacy. Establishing a relationship between the two testing methods may 1) improve the cochlear candidacy referral process while 2) decreasing time and cost associated with testing poor candidates. The end result may aid in improving referrals of appropriate candidates for CI evaluation as well as cut down on time and cost of testing poor candidates.