A direct acoustic cochlear implant provides its power directly to the inner ear by vibrating the perilymph via a conventional stapes prosthesis. Our experience with a patient with severe mixed hearing loss due to otosclerosis is described.
The patient, a 47-year-old male, had a pre-operative speech recognition score of 10 per cent and had been treated for many years for schizophrenia, both of which made him a poor candidate for a direct acoustic stimulation device. Nevertheless, the surgery was performed, which preserved the pre-operative bone conduction level and significantly improved hearing. His speech recognition score rose to 100 per cent. He uses the device all day and his auditory hallucinations have subsided. Improvement of schizophrenia symptoms has enabled the patient to reduce his psychiatric medications intake.
Hearing restoration was the main reason for the reduction of auditory hallucinations in our patient. Hearing loss is a potentially reversible risk factor for psychosis, but this association is often overlooked.
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