What Is Single Sided Hearing?
Hearing loss doesn’t always affect both ears in the same way. Sometimes one ear experiences a hearing loss, while hearing in the other ear remains normal. This is referred to as Single Sided Hearing or unilateral hearing loss.
Causes of Single Sided Hearing:
Causes of single sided hearing are varied, however they commonly include:
- Inner ear infection.
- Head or ear injury.
- Damage to the hearing nerve.
- Meniere’s disease.
- Disorders affecting the circulatory system.
It is important that single sided hearing be investigated by an Audiologist and relevant medical professional/s as soon as symptoms start to identify the underlying cause of the hearing loss.
Hearing Difficulties Caused by Single Sided Hearing:
Single Sided Hearing can cause significant hearing difficulties, just like hearing loss affecting both ears. Common problems experienced include:
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments (e.g. restaurants, social gatherings and work functions).
- Difficulty pinpointing the direction of sound (e.g. traffic).
- Difficulty hearing speech from the poorer hearing side.
- Difficulty hearing softly spoken individuals and over a distance.
- Increased stress, fatigue and anxiety from straining to hear.
Treatment for Single Sided Hearing
Often there is a lack of understanding of the challenges faced by people will Single Sided Hearing and they may have been told that there is nothing that can be done for their hearing loss. However, this is not the case. There are solutions available to help overcome the problems caused by single sided hearing loss. Here’s a video of Kelly, our Director and Senior Audiologist talking about single sided hearing loss.
CROS hearing Aids:
A CROS (contralateral routing of signal) hearing aid involves wearing a microphone on the poorer hearing ear and a receiver on the better hearing ear. The microphone picks up sound from the patient’s deaf ear and wirelessly sends it to their good ear. This helps pick up speech and sound from the poorer hearing side. These hearing aids are available in different styles and technology levels, just like regular hearing aids, and are listed on the Office of Hearing Services Government hearing aid program, which is available to pensioners and Department of Veteran’s Affairs card holders. Hearing Sense also offers a free 30 day trial of these devices to see if they work for you.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aid:
This is a surgical alternative to CROS hearing aids. A small screw and sound processor is inserted into the skull behind the deaf ear. This device sends sound to the good ear via bone vibration.
A cochlear implant is another surgical alternative for single sided hearing.. A wire is surgically placed inside the deaf ear to activate the hearing nerve and a sound processor is worn outside the ear.
An Audiologist can help assess your hearing and determine if any of the above solutions may be beneficial for you. Book a FREE appointment with us today by calling 8331 8047 to see how we can help.