A hearing loss in one ear, or unilateral hearing loss, occurs when one ear functions normally and the other ear is impaired to some degree. There are several conditions that may lead to this kind of hearing loss.
Some children are born with a loss in one ear due to complications during pregnancy. Meningitis, high fever, measles, and mumps may also lead to a unilateral hearing loss. Regular and severe infections in one ear can lead to a conductive loss on one side as can impacted wax which can be removed by your doctor.
People who have a hearing loss in one ear may find that they tend to prefer their ‘good’ ear which they will direct towards what they want to hear and when using the telephone. They may also find that they have difficulty localising sound. So if someone calls out from another room, they are unable to determine where the sound is coming from.
Difficulty understanding speech in background noise is also a common experience for those with a unilateral hearing loss as is tinnitus which is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear.
If you suspect that you have a loss in one ear, it is important to have it investigated by a hearing professional so that more serious causes may be ruled out. Treatment would depend on the severity of the hearing loss.
A hearing aid can be worn on the impaired ear. However if the loss in the ear is profound, it may be more beneficial considering the use of a CROS hearing aid which captures the sound from the bad side then transmits it to the normal ear.
For more information, call us on 1300 362 231.
Author: Tanya Wilson
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