Your ears work well together, but what happens when one side is not pulling its weight?

What Are Cros/BiCros Hearing Aids?

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Technology

We all know how important it is to be able to hear clearly. But for those who suffer from hearing loss, finding the right hearing aid can be a challenge.

Hearing loss in one ear can be just as problematic as when it occurs on both sides. This puts strain on your good ear and requires special attention. Traditional hearing aids do little to help cases such as this.

Here, I will look at a different system purposely designed to help those with lob-sided hearing. We’ll discuss how they work and the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of hearing aid.

We will also look at the different manufacturers and models available and the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining a Cros/BiCros hearing aid.

Finally, we’ll provide some tips for people who are considering purchasing a Cros/BiCros hearing aid. Whether you are a hearing aid user or just someone interested in learning more about the technology, this article will provide valuable information and insights.

Differences between BiCros and Cros Hearing Aids

The main difference between BiCros and Cros hearing aids is their directional capabilities. 

  • Cros (Contralateral Routing of Signals) hearing aids feature a single microphone that picks up sound from the poorer hearing ear and sends it to the better hearing ear. 
  • BiCros (Bilateral Contralateral Routing of Signals) hearing aids, on the other hand, feature directional microphones designed to pick up sound from the better-hearing ear and send it to the poorer-hearing ear. 

Both types of hearing aids work to improve hearing for users with a unilateral hearing loss, but BiCros hearing aids are typically more effective at providing directional sound and speech clarity.

How Are They Different from Traditional Hearing Aids?

BiCros and Cros hearing aids are designed specifically for individuals with a unilateral hearing loss. Traditional hearing aids are designed to address binaural hearing loss in both ears. 

BiCros and Cros hearing aids allow individuals with a unilateral hearing loss to access sound from both sides of their head. 

These hearing aids feature two separate microphone and receiver systems. One microphone is located in the device worn on the hearing-impaired ear, while the other is located on the other side of the head. 

The sound is then processed and amplified in both ears, allowing the user to hear sounds from both sides of their head. BiCros and Cros hearing aids can also utilize directional microphones, which help to focus sound from the front better, reducing background noise.

Who Benefits Most from BiCros/Cros Hearing Aids?

Unilateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in one ear, can affect people of any age. However, certain groups are more susceptible to unilateral hearing loss than others and will benefit most from BiCros/Cros hearing aids.

The elderly are more likely to experience a unilateral hearing loss than younger people due to age-related changes in the ear. The aging process can cause the tiny hairs that detect sound in the ear to become damaged and unable to do their job correctly. 

Children are also at an increased risk of unilateral hearing loss due to various factors. Congenital hearing loss, which is present at birth, can affect one ear or both ears. Additionally, ear infections, which are common in young children, can lead to hearing loss in one ear if the infection is not treated promptly.

People exposed to loud noises regularly are also at risk of unilateral hearing loss. This includes people who work in noisy environments, such as construction sites or factories, or people who frequently attend loud concerts or music festivals. 

Cons of BiCros/Cros Hearing Aids

  • They are more expensive than most traditional hearing aid models.
  • They are more difficult to adjust and maintain than other hearing aids.
  • They are not suitable for all types of hearing loss.
  • They can be uncomfortable for some users due to the two devices worn behind the ears.
  • They can be visible and obvious, so some users may not like the appearance.
  • They can produce feedback or whistling in some cases.

Possible Alternatives to BiCros/Cros Hearing Aids

Oticon Hearing Aids – This cutting-edge hearing aid technology is designed to provide users with a more natural sound experience. It features advanced noise reduction and speech enhancement features and an app that allows users to customize their listening experience.

Phonak Hearing AidsThis hearing aid technology is designed to provide users with a comfortable, discreet listening experience. It features advanced noise reduction, speech recognition, and directional microphones.

ReSound Hearing AidsThis hearing aid is designed for those with a severe to profound hearing loss. It features advanced noise reduction, speech recognition, and directional microphone technology.

Do Your Ears Hear Equally?

Due to our habits and decisions throughout life, our hearing can deteriorate. We recommend booking a hearing examination to find out the exact status of your hearing and to see if your ears are working together. 

You can schedule your hearing exam right here and get the results immediately. With the information gained from the test, we can develop a treatment plan that will benefit both your ears individually.  

If you have any questions regarding your hearing or that of a loved one, then please contact us anytime. We are always available to chat about your hearing and how we can improve it. 

Take care of your ears now, and they will take care of you for the rest of your life. 

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Dr. Tracy Board Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Board began her career in audiology after completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has been fortunate to work in a plethora of healthcare and educational settings. As a result, she has perfected the art of effective adult and pediatric treatment. When she is not at the clinic, Dr. Board works directly with her state and national organizations to not only improve the quality of audiological healthcare in Texas, but also to advocate for her patients.