• Home
  • Study Details

Cochlear Implants for Babies and Toddlers with Single-Sided Deafness

Children who are deaf in one ear and have normal hearing in the other ear often have difficulty in school, hearing in noisy areas, knowing where sound is coming from, and communicating. Children who are five or older can receive a cochlear implant which can help, but they still have some difficulty. We think that implanting children who are deaf in one ear as early as we implant children who are deaf in two ears will help avoid these challenges. We also want to learn about how children are impacted by hearing loss in one ear and how much help early implantation provides.

Age & Gender

  • 0 months ~ 71 months
  • Male, Female, Gender Inclusive

Visit Availability

  • Standard business hours (M-F, 8-5)
  • Visits can be combined with regular clinical appointments


United States (Nationwide)

What will be asked of you

Children who are under three will receive a cochlear implant. At each study visit we will test how well their auditory skills are developing. As they age, we will ask them to repeat words in quiet and noise. Their cochlear implant will be programmed at each visit. They will need to wear it whenever they are awake. We will also have two other groups (control groups). All of the children in these groups will be five years old. One group will have typical hearing in both ears and the other will have single-sided deafness and no cochlear implant. The children in this group will come for one full-day visit. They will have a standard hearing test and repeat words in quiet and sentences in noise. They will do a task that shows how well they can tell where sound is coming from. We will also test speech, language, cognition, executive function, and sensory processing. The children in the implant group will also do these tests once they turn five-years-old.


Control group participants will receive $200, Cochlear implant patients will receive their cochlear implant, surgery, and audiology care. All participants will receive reports of their results.

In-person visits:
1 for the control groups, 12-18 for the implant group
Total length of participation:
1 day for control groups, 2-4 years for the implant group

Looking for Specific Volunteers

Able to participate:

  • the child has a severe-to-profound hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other
  • the child has a normal cochlear nerve
  • the child is typically developing
  • the child is under 3 years of age

Not eligible if:

  • the child has a moderate to severe cochlear malformation
  • the child has an ossified cochlea
  • you are not able to commit to a several year study.

Looking for Healthy Volunteers

Requirements for healthy volunteers are different than for those with a specific condition. If you are interested in becoming a healthy volunteer for this study, use the below categories to determine if you are able to participate.

Able to participate:

  • the child is between 5 years, 0 months and 5 years, 11 months old
  • the child either has normal hearing in both ears or a severe-to-profound hearing loss in one ear
  • the child has not received a cochlear implant

Not eligible if:

  • the child is not meeting their typical developmental milestones

Contact the Team

Visit Location

Contact & Visit Location

Primary Contact

Primary Visit Location

The Children's Cochlear Implant Center at UNC
5501 Fortunes Ridge Dr A, Durham, NC 27713, USA

Secondary Visit Location

UNC Health - Carolina Crossing
2226 Nelson Hwy, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, USA

Additional Study Information

Principal Investigator

Lisa Park
Otolaryngology (ENT)

Study Type

Clinical or Medical

Study Topics

Child and Teen Health
Ear, Nose, and Throat
Healthy Volunteer or General Population

IRB Number


Research for Me logo

Copyright © 2013-2022 The NC TraCS Institute, the integrated home of the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program at UNC-CH.  This website is made possible by CTSA Grant UL1TR002489 and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.


  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
logo for the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute
logo for UNC Health
logo for UNC School of Medicine
logo for UNC Research