(If you tightly cover one of your ears, you’re simulating unilateral hearing loss, also known as single-sided deafness (SSD).
“People with unilateral hearing loss face challenges in localizing sounds and understanding speech in noise, but various treatments can improve sound awareness and potentially even restore the benefits of binaural hearing (hearing with both ears),” explains The Hearing Journal.
Every year, about 60,000 people in the U.S. are afflicted with SSD, a condition with non-functional hearing in one ear, which wouldn’t benefit from a hearing aid alone.
What causes deafness in just one ear? The Hearing Journal blames a possible benign tumor that can develop on the nerve connecting the ear to the brain or a viral infection or even a blunt head trauma, among other possible disorders.
Auditory experts say that traditional hearing is a complex interaction between both ears and the brain, allowing people to distinguish sounds among multiple talkers. People with SSD may find conversations challenging in a noisier environment, and need to be aware of environmental dangers, such as crossing a busy street. While many can adapt, others with SSD need to seek out technological aids.
One way to treat SSD is by rerouting sounds from the deaf ear to the good ear. The Hearing Journal describes how a transmitter is placed behind or inside the deaf ear, to pick up sound and transmit it wirelessly to the normal hearing ear. An amplifier can be added if the good ear has some hearing loss, too.
Some patients may also be candidates for surgically implanted devices. Solutions for SSD are growing with awareness of this condition, to help patients find appropriate interventions to increase their hearing capabilities.
A Atlantic Hearing has always given FREE hearing tests to the community. If you feel you may be suffering from symptoms of single ear hearing loss, please call us and make an appointment for your FREE hearing test. We would be so happy to help you.
Source: My Suburban Life, The Hearing Journal, Susan Rogan
Image credit: Depositphotos
A Atlantic Hearing Aid Center opened its doors in January 1971 and has been serving the hearing community ever since! We have always been conveniently located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 2310 East Oakland Park Boulevard.
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