With the right therapies, individuals with unilateral hearing loss may be better able to locate sounds and interpret speech in noisy environments. In some cases, the binaural hearing may even be restored.
More people outside the hearing healthcare professional are aware of how frequent and problematic hearing loss in one ear is. About 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with single-sided deafness each year, a situation in which one ear is non-functionally deaf and does not medically improve from augmentation, while the other ear is operational.
In this blog, we will understand the causes, challenges, and tips for living with Single-Sided Deafness. Let us go further and take a look at the same below.
What are the Causes of Single-Sided Hearing Loss?
Single-sided hearing loss, as the name suggests, denotes a hearing loss that only affects one ear. Profound deafness is a possibility under extreme circumstances. The individual with the non-functioning ear has only monaural audio quality—their ability to hear is restricted to one side of their body—and is completely deaf.
Premature hearing loss has a variety of causes. A person next to a pistol that is shooting on the left may experience moderate to profound hearing loss in that ear as a result of the accident. The problem may also be caused by a disease, such as:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Waardenburg syndrome
An individual with unilateral hearing, regardless of origin, must adjust to a distinct manner of interpreting audio.
Challenges of Single-Sided Deafness
- Audio focus
The ears are also used by the brain to reduce ambient noise. It instructs one ear to concentrate on a voice in the ear that is closer to the noise you want to concentrate on. The background noises are controlled by the opposite ear. This is why you can still focus on the conversation at the tables at a noisy establishment.
The intellect becomes confused when you are unable to use that instrument. You only hear that because it is unable to block out surrounding noises like a fan blowing.
- The Power of Multitasking
The ability to use two ears allows the mind, which always has a lot of things going on, to juggle. Because of this, you may watch Netflix or engage in discussion while checking your social media accounts. The brain can no longer focus on one item when listening if just one ear is functioning. You typically miss out on the conversation going on around you while you scan your feed because it has to choose between what you observe and what you listen to.
- Effect of the Head Shadow
The head shadow effect illustrates how an individual with unilateral hearing loss cannot hear some noises. Low tones have prolonged wavelengths, which enable them to flex and enter the functioning ear while encircling the brain. Since high pitches have shorter wavelengths, they cannot travel far.
If someone is speaking in a high-pitched tone next to you while you’re standing still, you might not be able to hear what they’re saying unless you turn so that you’re working ear is on their side. On the other hand, because they produce longer sound waves that can reach each ear, people with deep voices can be heard clearly from either side.
Tips for Living with Single-Sided Deafness
- Don’t be afraid to describe your circumstances. Most individuals want to lend a hand; they simply need to be instructed on how. When a problem initially arises, let them know about your SSD and what you require to avoid future humiliation.
- Request the information you require nicely and transparently. Kindly be seated to the right of me and address me immediately when you communicate.
- Instead of continuously disrupting a discussion, using non-verbal indicators can be helpful. Gently remind yourself by leaning in closer, angling your head, or cupping your palm behind your ear.
- More individuals will acknowledge you and your SSD the more others will do so. They will follow your example, so if you feel happy with it, they will as well.
- Perhaps a few jokes about it would be acceptable; it would help everybody loosen up and break the tension.
- If you can’t hear all that is being said, particularly in a group situation, keep your composure. Allow yourself some time to fill in the blanks, but if you find yourself confused, it’s better to ask for an explanation than to be quiet.
- To verify its accuracy and to make the meaning clearer, repeat what you heard. This can also be used to politely express your need for some additional assistance and your appreciation for the speaker’s sharing of their knowledge.
- Invite each person to speak individually. It serves as another subdued warning to the audience that you might need some assistance hearing.
Treatment for Single-Sided Deafness
SSHL is frequently curable and reversible, in contrast to sensorineural hearing loss, which develops over a short period. To guarantee you receive an accurate diagnosis and course of treatment, let your hearing specialist know the hearing loss happened suddenly.
If the hearing loss is not properly corrected in the first few days, it could become permanent and irreversible. However, 50% of people who receive prompt treatment will regain the majority of their pre-symptomatic hearing.
An audiologist can pinpoint a single primary cause in about 15% of cases. The inflammation that occurred from this source can subsequently be treated.
Anywhere that inflammation is present, the wreckage is caused. It completes the theft of your hearing that the cause began.
In the end!!
Most of all – be kind to yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself if one of your ears isn’t working. If it depresses you, change how you view it. Love and respect yourself for the many characteristics and qualities you possess that others value. You are far more than just one ear that isn’t functioning properly.
If you have any queries about your single-sided hearing loss, do contact us at book a consultation with us now.or