A person’s inability to hear sound clearly is known as hearing loss. Hearing loss can be mild, moderate, or severe. Hearing loss is usually in both ears (bilateral hearing loss) but can be in a single ear. Whether mild or severe, it’s critical to understand the signs of hearing loss in a single ear, the causes, and what you can do to help.
Hearing loss in one ear is known as single-ear deafness or unilateral hearing loss. “Single-sided deafness” is severe or profound hearing loss in one ear.
You might have hearing loss suddenly as well as gradually. Emergency treatment may be needed in case of sudden hearing loss in one ear.
Follow along as El Dorado Hearing gets to the bottom of hearing loss in one ear and what can be done to help.
Signs of Hearing Loss in a Single Ear
Our brain is in the habit of using two ears to determine a sound’s location and boost the hearing quality and range. But losing hearing in one ear may cause the following problems:
- You can’t pinpoint where a noise is coming from. Since the ear hears the sound first, then our brain determines the location of the sound. If you hear from only one ear, you may have difficulty figuring out the location and cannot pinpoint where the sound originated.
- Problems multi-tasking. Generally, the brain receives signals of sound from both ears but in the case of hearing loss in one ear brain has to struggle to understand the sound. This causes a lack of being able to multitask. Single-sided deafness increases the load on the brain, and you may feel fatigued after communicating with people.
- Can’t tell how loud a sound is. The brain detects sound more loudly when it’s listened to through both ears than at the same decibel was heard through one ear. The brain receives signals through the nerves in both ears and uses that information to process sounds.
- Struggle to hear in noisy environments. Your brain can filter the noise that is not useful, even in crowded places. This way of selective listening is easy for the brain if you have two healthy ears. But if you are listening with only one ear, your brain can not filter the sound correctly.
Causes of Hearing Loss in a Single Ear
The cause of hearing loss in just one ear can’t always be found, or it can be a combination of many factors, including the following:
- Genetic Disorders- Abnormal bone growth or other inherited abnormalities can cause hearing loss in one ear.
- Earwax- A buildup of earwax can cause hearing loss in one ear.
- Infections- You may have a viral or bacterial infection.
- Meniere’s Disease- This disease typically causes hearing loss in one ear with dizziness, ringing in the ears, and a feeling of stuffiness. This must be treated by a medical professional.
- Physical Trauma- You may have a ruptured eardrum, head, or neck injury. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect trauma is behind your sudden hearing loss.
The hearing loss in one ear may be permanent or temporary, depending on the root cause.
Hearing Test: What you need to know
If you are suffering from hearing loss in a single ear, we suggest you see a hearing professional for a hearing test as soon as possible. This test measures a person’s ability to listen to several sounds, pitches, or frequencies. The hearing test determines the degree and type of hearing loss.
We may remove earwax, suggest hearing aids or refer you to another specialty.
How Hearing Aid Helps
A hearing aid is a battery-powered electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear and designed in such a way that it helps in improving your hearing by amplifying sounds.
With the help of a hearing aid, you can listen to and communicate with others more easily. However, hearing aids do not restore your hearing but alleviate the strain of hearing. You may need hearing aids in both ears or only one.
Schedule an appointment with El Dorando’s Hearing
Whether hearing loss in one ear or both, gradual or sudden, proper treatment is necessary. Call us today if you’re experiencing hearing loss in one or both ears. Sudden hearing loss in only one ear can be a medical emergency, so don’t delay!