We observed the process of auditory language acquisition in a congenitally deaf infant receiving cochlear implant at the age of 4 years. The influences of visual cues acquired preoperatively, such as lip-reading and sign-language etc, on the acquisition of auditory language after cochlear implantation were examined. The cues acquired visual helped to make the auditory infomation by cochlear implant meaningful, and to develop patient's syntactic function. The patient seemed to acquire and develop his language through audition after cochlear implantation in the daily communication with lip-reading and/or sign-language etc. It seems important to help children with a cochlear implant to make the auditory information through cochlear implant meaningful and spontaneous.
As there were a few cases of low quality of life that could not be explained only by the results of pure tone audiometry alone, we developed a self-administered questionnaire, called “the Acoustic Quality of Life Index (AQOLI)”, for screening, using data from the previous studies, and considering prebyacusis and Japanese culture. The questionnaires were sent to 1, 783 subjects in a district of Gunma Prefecture, Japan, with 1, 141 respondents (73% of recovery rate). The respondents included 444 males and 697 females, from 40 to 92 years of age. Simple statistics of 17 items revealed that the acoustic quality of life decreased with age. Of the subjects, 42.2% noted “decreased hearing ability” and the prevalence was correlated with age. Favorable response rate of the five items which indicated decreased ability in communication increased significantly with age. A total of 21.7% of the subjects reported that they worry about their hearing in their daily life, and those who complained of handicap also increased significantly with age.
We tried to establish a method of integrated estimation of subjective acoustic disability. The data used were from the questionnaire, “Acoustic Quality of Life Index” (AQOLI) in the first report. Two factors, “acoustic handicap” and “communication disability”, were identified by principal factor analysis with varimax rotation. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire were satisfactory. A dynamic change in the acoustic quality of life (AQOL) can be assessed by the two scales in the middle age or older people stage from the mental and psychosocial aspects. This study showed that the AQOL of the people aged 70 years or more is more severely disabled and handicapped than those of aged 40-69 years.
Distribution of hearing level was studied in 2, 031 subjects, who bought hearing aids. Ages of the subjects ranged from 65 to 89 years old. The subjects were categorized to 5 groups by their age. The difference in the distribution of the hearing level was small among the all groups. Accumulative incidence of the hearing levels below 70dBHL was about 90%, in the better hearing ears, over the frequencies from 125 to 2000Hz.