Hearing Loss in One Ear / One-Sided Hearing Loss

One-sided hearing loss is also called unilateral hearing loss (UHL) and can also be referred to as single sided deafness (SSD). It occurs when one ear is experiencing a hearing loss but the other hear does not.

Problems with One-Sided Hearing Loss

Even though only one ear has the hearing impairment, one-sided hearing loss can pose quite a few problems with your overall hearing. The reason for this is because we have what is called binaural hearing, that means that we process sounds in our brain based on hearing it in both ears. When there is hearing loss in one ear, we then have monaural hearing and something is missing. In fact, research has uncovered that those who suffer from unilateral hearing loss feel that their handicap is more severe than people who have hearing loss in both ears. Similarly to how we lose depth perception when sight is lost in one eye, hearing loss in one ear poses several issues including problems with:

  • hearing on their impaired side
  • localizing sound (determining the source of sound)
  • understanding speech, especially when background noise in present
  • with interpersonal and social relations
  • concentrating in large, open environments

Causes of One-Sided Hearing Loss

In most cases, someone doesn’t gradually lose hearing in just one ear. Those who have single sided deafness usually have had:`

  • Injury to the ear or head trauma.
  • Exposure to a loud noise.
  • Blockage of the ear.
  • Exposure to certain drugs.
  • Illness or disease such as
    • Acoustic neuroma
    • Ménière’s disease
    • A viral or bacterial infection
    • Circulatory system disorders
    • Tumor

Treatment Options for One-Sided Hearing Loss

The good news is that there are treatment options for unilateral hearing loss. Come in for a hearing assessment and we can discuss your options. There are a number of options available for hearing loss in one ear. If it isn’t a temporary blockage or infection, then hearing aids may help. Often, hearing aids are recommended for both ears because hearing aid technology can help replicate that binaural hearing. So even though one ear still has optimal hearing, the hearing aids can communicate with each other and help your brain process sounds naturally.

Audiology Clinic Specializes in Solutions Various Types of Hearing Loss

Here at Audiology Clinic, we are here to help you through all aspects of hearing loss. For more information, contact us today and schedule an appointment. When you visit us, we customize every aspect of your visit, no matter what type of hearing loss you are experiencing.