When readers last dropped, they learned about congenital hearing loss, acquired hearing loss, and its causes. Today, we are sharing about the other types of hearing loss. Let’s learn about unilateral hearing loss and how Orlando ENT Hearing Center can be of service.

Unilateral hearing loss:

A unilateral hearing loss is when a person experiences hearing loss in only one ear. When a person has hearing loss in both ears, this is called bilateral hearing loss. Unilateral hearing loss can range from mild to profound.

Even hearing loss can affect a patient’s quality of life. Having to turn the “good ear” towards someone or ask them to repeat because the “bad ear” was facing the friend is irritating and sometimes embarrassing. Often, this type of hearing loss is called one-sided hearing loss. Alternatively, it is referred to as single-sided hearing loss.

When there is practically no hearing left in one ear, unilateral hearing loss may be referred to as single-sided deafness (SSD). Single-sided deafness is considered a hearing loss with normal or somewhat normal hearing in the “good ear” with severe to profound hearing loss in the “bad ear”.

In cases where the unilateral hearing loss is severe to profound, the patient affected basically only hears with one ear. This is called monoaural hearing. Single-sided deafness may be called multiple different terms such as unilateral deafness.

A unilateral hearing loss can be classified as both sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss. If you do not remember the difference between the two, check out our past blogs for a quick refresher on the subjects. Unilateral hearing loss can occur in both adults and children.

UHL diagnosis:

Unilateral hearing loss is very common, so do no fret if you receive this diagnosis. It is estimated that nearly sixty thousand people in the United States alone have unilateral hearing loss.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, about one out of every thousand children born in the United States has UHL, or unilateral hearing loss. Also, nearly three percent of school-aged children have it. Of course, for kids born with UHL, there is a higher risk for academic, speech-language, and social-emotional challenges than kids with normal hearing.

Children usually only experience serious difficulties associated with UHL if the hearing loss is not identified, and the children don’t receive proper intervention. There are aids and other learning mediums for children with hearing loss. For example, for children with unilateral hearing loss, they may give up on asking the teacher to repeat themselves due to unwanted attention it provides.

Over time, the children miss out on a plethora of vital information found on their tests, increasingly affecting their grades. Be sure to have your children’s hearing checked, especially those with undesirable grades and performance scores.

Causes of UHL:

Like any other hearing loss, unilateral hearing loss may be caused by genetics, syndromes, or physical ear abnormalities. The abnormalities may be found in the outer, middle, or inner ear.

Other possible causes of UHL include:

  • illnesses
  • infections
  • exposure to loud noise
  • traumatic brain injury
  • head injury
  • ear injury

Get your hearing and balance tested at Orlando ENT Hearing Center. Remember to avoid loud noises during upcoming holiday performances, concerts, and parties although there are not projected to be many due to COVID. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Staff Writer

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