Most individuals with a cochlear implant receive very similar CI programming, a “one-size-fits-all” approach. We are exploring whether a more individualized approach could lead to better outcomes.
One of the main translational research goals of the Maryland Cochlear Implant Center of Excellence is to develop personalized cochlear implant programming protocols based on concrete scientific evidence. The ability to best process sound through a cochlear implant varies in different age groups. Studies to determine optimal programming strategies based on age and other factors are ongoing, to aid in creating best-practice protocols for different groups of implant users. Other factors aside from age, such as cause of hearing loss and genetics, may also play a role. Our MCICE researchers’ studies in the genetics and genomics of hearing loss are contributing to our knowledge in this area. This work will lead to better tools to screen for hearing loss, and may also lead to alternative treatment options.