One-SidedHearing Loss

One-sided hearing loss refers to a hearing loss or in some cases complete deafness in one ear. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

One-Sided Hearing Loss

One-sided hearing loss is also known as single-sided deafness (SSD) or unilateral hearing loss (UHL). As indicated by the name, it refers to a hearing loss (or in some cases complete deafness) in one ear. Below, we discuss the causes of one-sided hearing loss, symptoms you should look out for and potential treatment options.

What Are The Symptoms of One-Sided Hearing Loss?

One-sided hearing loss results in “monaural hearing”. Normal hearing is known as “binaural hearing”. Binaural hearing involves both ears working together to process the sounds that we hear. It’s a very similar process to our use of to eyes to see, we need hearing in both ears to process sounds accurately.

Many people who have one-sided hearing loss report more difficulties hearing than those who have hearing loss in both ears, known as binaural hearing loss. Some of the problems that one-sided hearing loss can cause include:

  • Difficulty hearing conversations on the affected side
  • Difficulty determining the origin of sound
  • Difficulty understanding speech in an environment with background noise
  • Difficulty with social communication
  • Difficulty concentrating in large, open environments

What Causes One-Sided Hearing Loss?

One-sided hearing loss usually happens quickly and is often caused by a specific incident. Some examples may include:

  • An injury to the ear
  • Blockage in the ear
  • Tumor in the ear
  • Illness
  • Reaction to certain types of drugs

Healthline notes that one-sided hearing loss can also be a result of head or ear injuries. A foreign body in the ear that can be caused by any of the following medical conditions:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Eardrum rupture
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Neurofibromatosis type 2\
  • Otitis externa (swimmer’s ear)
  • Otitis media with effusion
  • Shingles
  • Reye's syndrome
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Hearing loss in one ear may also caused by prescription medications including:

  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Diuretics such as furosemide
  • Salicylate (aspirin) toxicity
  • Antibiotics such as streptomycin and tobramycin

Treatments for One-Sided Hearing Loss

If you’re experiencing hearing loss in one ear, seek treatment ASAP. The sooner you have a diagnosis and treatment, the better your chances are of recovering. Treatment will depend on the cause, and must be diagnosed by a hearing professional or doctor. Treatment options can include:

  • Antibiotics or steroid medication
  • Surgery
  • Hearing aid for the affected ear

Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center is Here to Help You with all Your Listening Needs

If you’d like more information on one-sided hearing loss, or to book in a complimentary hearing assessment, please contact us at Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center to speak with one of our hearing professionals. We are here to take care of all your listening needs.

Sources

  1. https://www.audiology.org/news/unilateral-hearing-loss-what-do
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unilateral_hearing_loss
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/hearing-loss-on-one-side