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What is One-Sided Hearing Loss?

What is one-sided hearing loss? As the name indicates, it is when hearing loss is present only in one ear. It is not a common condition, but can cause a great deal of problems for anyone diagnosed with it. Other clinical terms for this diagnosis include unilateral hearing loss (UHL) or single-sided deafness (SSD).

Why is One-Sided Hearing Loss a Problem?

Of course, any type of hearing loss is a problem for anyone affected by it. However, one-sided hearing loss can actually present more difficulty hearing and processing sounds. Many people who have this type of unilateral hearing loss report feeling more handicapped than those who have hearing loss in both ears. The main reason for this is that we normally have binaural hearing; both our ears work together to localize sound and process speech. One-sided hearing is monaural hearing and the ability to tell where sound is coming from is lost along with the ability to hear speech properly, especially in noisy settings.

Symptoms of One-Sided Hearing Loss

According to Wikipedia, symptoms of hearing loss include:

  • hearing conversations on their impaired side
  • localizing sound
  • understanding speech in the presence of background noise.
  • interpersonal and social relations
  • difficulty concentrating in large, open environments

Causes of One-Sided Hearing Loss

Most cases of hearing loss that affect both ears comes on gradually over time. Single-sided deafness doesn’t usually occur gradually, but is caused by something specific like an injury, blockage, tumor, illness, or is sometimes a side-effect or reaction to certain types of drugs.

Treatments for One-Sided Hearing Loss

If you are experiencing one-sided hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing professional or your doctor as soon as possible.Treatment for one-sided hearing loss greatly depends on the cause and a cause can only be determined with an evaluation. Once the cause is determined, then treatment options can include:

  • Surgery
  • Antibiotics if there is an infection present
  • Steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation
  • Hearing aid for the affected ear

Audiology Associates of Greeley is Here to Help You with all Your Listening Needs

If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us  at the Audiology Associates of Greeley to speak with one of our hearing professionals. We are here to help you with all of your listening needs and your overall hearing health.