If you’re experiencing difficulty hearing in one ear, you may have single-sided deafness. It’s estimated that up to 60,000 Americans develop the condition each year.
We’re taking a closer look at what you should know about single-sided deafness.
Single-Sided Deafness – What You Should Know
Single-Sided Deafness is also known as one-sided hearing loss, 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 single-sided deafness, symptoms you should look out for and potential treatment options.
What Are The Symptoms of Single-Sided Deafness?
Single-sided deafness 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 both 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 Single-Sided Deafness?
Single-sided deafness 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
- Reaction to certain types of drugs
Healthline notes that SSD 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
- Meniere’s disease
- Neurofibromatosis type 2\
- Otitis externa (swimmer’s ear)
- Otitis media with effusion
- Reye’s syndrome
- Temporal arteritis
- Vertebrobasilar insufficiency
Hearing loss in one ear may also be caused by prescription medications, including:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Diuretics such as furosemide
- Salicylate (aspirin) toxicity
- Antibiotics such as streptomycin and tobramycin
Treatments for Single-Sided Deafness
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
- 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 Single-Sided Deafness, or to book 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. Call us on (203) 208-3678 or request an appointment online.