One-Sided Hearing Loss

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One-Sided Hearing Loss

One-sided hearing loss in a crowd

Being able to determine the direction of sounds is diminished with one-sided hearing loss.

Loss of hearing is a condition that can occur with varying degrees of severity and can be one-sided.  This may sound strange, but it is not an unusual occurrence.  People with hearing damage in only one ear can have either regular hearing in the other or can have varying degrees of hearing loss in their other ear as well.

How can you tell if you have one-sided hearing loss?

A few ways you can tell are:

  1. You are unable to locate the source of sounds.
  2. Have trouble in comprehending speech sounds.
  3. Have difficulty in hearing sounds that are high pitched.

    | People with hearing damage to a single ear often have tinnitus along with hearing loss. |

Hearing loss in a single ear can result because of several reasons.  Many of these reasons are due to various health conditions. Examples such as measles, Waardenburg syndrome, meningitis, Meniere’s disease, mumps, mastoiditis, acoustic neuroma, or other infections that are either bacterial or viral in nature.

There are times when physical abnormalities, such as tumors or ruptured blood vessels, within your inner ear can result in hearing damage.  Other times, physical trauma can be the culprit, such as a direct blow to the ear or head.

Why should I be worried about losing hearing in one ear?

People may not be as concerned about losing their hearing in a single ear since they are often able to hear well with their other ear. There are reasons not to take this type of hearing loss lightly.

Someone with hearing loss in only one ear often has trouble pinpointing the source of sounds and hearing a single voice amidst loud background noises.  These subtle problems can often cause the head shadow effect.  This effect defines the inability to hear sound levels within high-frequency ranges. It’s the inability of sound signals to travel all the way around the person’s head in order to reach the ear that has better hearing.

Because of the head shadow effect, several important sounds simply go unrecognized.  This loss of sound happens more with higher frequency sounds. Lower frequency sound signals have the ability to travel around the person’s head in order to reach the ear that can function better.  This lack of even sound perception can result in the person’s inability to hear the full richness of each sound and make sounds appear muffled or flat.

More severe effects of losing your hearing in only one ear are;

  • Onset of vertigo or losing your sense of equilibrium
  • Headaches
  • Increased levels of tinnitus, stress, and anxiety

Your social skills and personal relationships may suffer as you may become more irritable.  Your communication skills may also take a nosedive since you would be unable to hear several chunks of the conversation, especially if the speaker has a higher pitched voice.

Now that you are aware of the dangers of losing your hearing in a single ear, what can you do about it? A simple hearing test will help examine the severity and type of hearing loss that you are facing.  Your audiologist or licensed dispenser may suggest that you get hearing aids to eliminate the head shadow effect so that you can hear better and restore your sense of confidence.

Get started today by requesting your free hearing test and consultation at one of our 19 locations across Texas. See the full list of stores here, or email us directly at [email protected].


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