All About Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL)
Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL) is also known as Single Sided Deafness (SSD). It occurs when there is hearing loss in one ear while the other ear has normal hearing. Unilateral hearing loss varies from mild to profound (total deafness). Profound unilateral hearing loss is very severe. It results in one ear having virtually no functional hearing ability.
If you suffer from UHL, you need not worry. There are hearing aids available for the management of UHL, for individuals of all ages.
UHL And you
Unilateral hearing loss results in a difficulty in hearing conversation on the affected side or in understanding speech in the presence of background noise. UHL also makes it difficult for individuals to determine direction, distance and movement of sound sources.
Those with UHL sometimes appear to suffer a greater handicap than patients with hearing loss in both ears.
Causes And Symptoms:
There are many causes for unilateral hearing loss:
- Physical trauma to ear/head
- Excessive noise exposure to one ear (fireworks, loud music)
- Genetic or hereditary hearing loss
- Specific syndromes such as Meniere’s Disease
- Infections such as Measles, Mumps, Meningitis, Microtia
Individuals with unilateral hearing loss display a few or all of the following symptoms:
- Frequent headaches
- Social isolation
- Anxiousness in low noise situations
- Trouble figuring out where sounds are coming from
- Variable light dizziness
- Trouble paying attention or evasiveness
- Lack of awareness of other people’s personal space and moods
- Lack of sound depth
- Inability to filter out background noise
- Difficulty in speech comprehension
Technology Can Help Manage UHL
At Bravo Hearing Centre, our hearing specialists can customise a variety of hearing aids that can help in the management of UHL. For example:
- Contra-lateral routing of signal (CROS): This is a hearing aid that takes sound from the ear with poorer hearing and transmits to the ear with better hearing.
- Bone anchored hearing implants (BAHA)/ Bone conduction hearing aid: This is a hearing aid that transmits sound on the side of hearing loss via bone conduction.