Sometimes you could be born with a hearing condition or lose your hearing abilities because of certain circumstances. Most people with this disability have issues with both ears, but there are cases where people lose the ability to hear in one ear only, and this condition is called single-sided deafness. If you hear excellent, then suddenly, you lose the ability to hear; you need to visit the closest medical centre so that they can know what has caused it and if you require surgery.
How hearing in one ear can affect you
The reason why we are given two ears is for a reason, and this helps the brain to be able to find sound and improve hearing excellence and spectrum. The moment you notice a sudden loss of hearing in one ear, you may encounter various issues because your brain has mastered the presence of your two ears. Some of the problems that come forth are;
- It is not easy to know where sound is coming from. The reason this happens is that the brain will be able to know where a sound has come from depending on the ear that heard it first, but if one ear isn’t working, then this can be difficult.
- It’s hard to hear when in a noisy place – when only one ear is working, the brain will not be able to access various signals from the nerves in your ears, making it hard to hear in a noisy place.
- Challenging to do many tasks at once- this is because only one ear is taking up all the noise in the environment, so the moment you are in a noisy place and someone is trying to speak to you, you won’t be able to hear them because your brain is trying to process the first sound you heard.
Factors that may cause loss of hearing in one ear
1. Abnormal bone growth in one ear
The condition that leads to abnormal bone growth in the ear is known as otosclerosis, and when it is not treated with immediate effect, it can lead to loss of hearing in one ear or both ears. When you visit the doctor with a hearing problem and they find out that you have otosclerosis, you will be asked to get a hearing aid or to get surgery to remove the excess bone growth. All this depends on the intensity of the issue.
2. Burst eardrum
Various items, such as strong noises from explosions, noise from airline take-offs and landings, and things that appear innocent but are actually harmful, such as cotton buds, can cause a burst in your eardrums. Avoiding noisy environments is the greatest way to avoid such problems; if you must work in such environments, look for protective gear to protect your ears from the noise, and avoid inserting anything inside your ears.
3. Ear illness
A viral or bacterial infection may cause loss of hearing in one ear. When you contract this infection, your ear will start having fluid build-up, leading to ear loss. It’s best if you don’t try and remove the fluid by yourself, visit your doctor for further instructions. If it’s not too severe you may be given antibiotics to relieve the pain and make the infection go away.
Earwax is not a bad thing since it’s a way for the ear to clean itself; when you have too much earwax, it can fall off, or you could clean your ear by yourself. If you are going to have a serious issue with excessive earwax, then you may consider visiting your physician, who will use an ear-suctioning tool to wipe out the wax in your ears. Other times wax can be difficult to remove, and an ENT specialist will have to be consulted.
How to know you have single-sided deafness
- You feel a ringing in one ear.
- Difficulty in hearing what people are saying hence asking them to repeat themselves.
- It is using one ear while speaking on the phone since it’s hard to hear with the other.
- Feeling tired after listening to something for an extended period.
Ways you can treat hearing in one ear
Some hearing problems are pretty severe, whether it’s one ear or not, so in case you have ossicles, surgery is the only alternative. In case you have fluid infections in your ear, your doctor may insert a small tube to assist you with this.
2. Hearing aid
If your loss of hearing has been caused by damage in your inner ear, then your doctor may ask you to get a hearing aid. Before you get one, your audiologist will advise you on the hearing aid you need to buy, depending on your ear. The most common hearing aids used are open fit aids.
3. Cochlear implants
In case your ear loss is quite bad, and hearing aids aren’t helping you out, then getting cochlear implants is the best choice for you. The cochlear implant differs from the hearing aid in that it bypasses your damaged inner ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. The hearing aid boosts sound and sends it to your ear canal. So, at this moment, your audiologist and your ENT doctor will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of having a cochlear implant.
4. Contralateral routing of signal devices
A CROS is unique as it plays the two-device rule where one device is a hearing aid, and the other is like a microphone. The hearing aid is worn on the good ear, and the microphone is worn on the lousy ear so that it can gather sound, which it will send to the hearing aid. However, the CROS doesn’t cure your hearing loss, but it gives you a chance to hear a sound with your good ear.
5. Bone conduction hearing system
This hearing system is unique; the bone-conducting heating system has an external hearing processor attached headband or a surgical implant. What the hearing processor does is that it picks up sound and transfers it to the good ear for you to recognize the sound. This hearing system works the same way as the CROS, where it doesn’t restore your hearing abilities; it just allows you to recognize various sounds in your surroundings.
6. Frequency modulation systems
The frequency modulation system uses radio waves to send speech and sound directly to the receiver’s ear. When you have this system, you will be able to hear various sounds easily when in a crowded place or case you are in a lecture hall, and your lecturer is far; you still have the chance to hear what they are saying clearly.
When you are born with extraordinary hearing abilities, then suddenly, you lose the ability to hear well with one ear. It can be devastating, but you should never give up because various treatments allow you to hear once again. Make sure you visit the best ENT specialist who will know your diagnosis and give you the best form of treatment. You should also not be afraid since some conditions are not that serious an example is the ear wax issue.