Single-sided hearing loss or hearing loss in one ear occurs when you have difficulty hearing in one ear only.

It is estimated that 60,000 people in the United States acquire single-sided hearing loss, but only a small proportion take action and get treatment.

People suffering from this may hear perfectly normal in their “good ear” but find themselves struggling to understand others in crowded environments such as a busy restaurant or cafe.

It can be largely frustrating having to turn your head constantly to face the person you’re talking to, and many people find themselves scanning the room to find the best place to sit so they can optimize their hearing in their good ear.

While the condition can be extremely uncomfortable, there are lots of things we can do to mitigate the impacts and balance out your hearing on both sides. This can allow you to live a happy and fulfilled life without restrictions.

During this short video and blog, we’ve put together all the things you should know about single-sided hearing loss.


What Causes Hearing Loss on One Side?

The causes of single-sided hearing loss vary. In some cases, people can be born with unilateral hearing loss or may develop it later on in life due to changes in their environment.

It is important to note that sometimes there is no one cause, but it is a result of multiple factors.

When you visit Aim Hearing and Audiology Services, we will follow a methodical assessment, which looks into all aspects of your hearing. This allows us to develop a unique treatment and plan, which pinpoints the exact cause of your hearing loss concerns.

Another thing we will look out for is earwax, which can cause your ear to feel full or blocked.

When cleaning your ears, you must be especially aware of the danger of cotton swabs or bobby pins. Pushing them in too far can cause irreversible damage and seriously impact your hearing in the long term.

Another reason for single-sided hearing loss could be due to fluid in the ear or an inner ear infection that is blocking the ear canal. This is usually temporary and can be resolved by taking a course of antibiotic medication, which should clear it up in around two weeks.

Other head injuries or medical conditions can cause a hearing loss on one side, which may be a result of nerve damage or disruptions to the cochlea.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a rapid unexplained hearing loss in one ear, which can be completely irreversible.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot we can do about SSHL, as it is just a case of waiting to see if it comes back. More often than not, there is a time window of between 24-72 hours, which means that any action taken beyond that is irreparable.

During the first pivotal 72 hours, there are many options we can offer which significantly increases the likelihood of restoring your hearing.

A common treatment for sudden deafness, especially where the cause is unknown, is corticosteroids. This works by reducing swelling and inflammation and helping the body to fight the illness. It has been shown to be extremely effective in treating sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

While SSHL may happen overnight, it can often occur to those who are subjected to loud noises daily such as servicemen, truck drivers, or those who work on noisy building sites.

Truck drivers, in particular, may experience single-sided hearing loss, as many choose to keep the window down during their journeys. This subjects their hearing to the sound of the turbulent engine, hence hearing loss on one side only.

If you are experiencing a sudden hearing loss on one side, you must see an audiologist as soon as possible. Time is of the essence and the sooner you seek treatment, the more likely it is that we can get some, if not all, of your hearing back.

Aim Hearing and Audiology Services Supports You

Whether you or a loved one is experiencing single-sided hearing loss, the most important step is seeking help from a professional.

By partnering with Aim Hearing & Audiology Services, you’re choosing the highest level of audiological hearing health care. Not only that, but you’re promised expert support and assistance throughout your journey, ensuring your hearing health is being cared for to the highest of standards.

While taking the first step may be the hardest, once you see the results for yourself, you’ll be confident you made the right decision in treating your hearing loss concerns.

To speak with a member of our team, you can reach us at (336) 295-1064.

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Dr. Shannon Frymark Au.D., CCC-A

Shannon Frymark, Au.D., CCC-A, audiologist, received her doctor of audiology degree from the School of Audiology at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is licensed by the state of North Carolina, earned her certificate of clinical competency (CCC-A) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and is a member of the North Carolina Speech, Hearing & Language Association as well as the Hearing Loss Association of America.