Why Hearing Loss Occurs On One Side: Causes and Treatments
Often, we think of hearing loss as an issue that occurs in both ears simultaneously, as is the case when a person goes deaf. You may have, however, known a person that has told you to speak into their “good ear” as they cannot hear as well on one side. In these circumstances, they have developed hearing loss in one ear only. There are a variety of things that may cause this, as well as several treatment options to restore hearing in the ear if possible.
- Sudden Hearing Loss – Sudden hearing loss, also known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss or SSHL causes approximately 90% of the instances of hearing loss in only one ear. It occurs over a period of three days, and is quite strong in its onset. Around 85% of those who seek medical attention will regain at least some, if not all of their hearing, but it is important that help is sought quickly.
- Infections and Autoimmune Diseases – Infections such as mumps, shingles, rubella, and Cogan’s syndrome have all been shown to cause some degree of hearing loss in one ear. Some of this hearing loss may be irreversible. Mumps is responsible for more cases of single-ear deafness in children than any other cause.
- Head Injury – A head injury can cause damage to the auditory processing area of the brain, or burst the eardrum or damage portions of the ear itself. Small tears in the eardrum will often heal well, but any ear damage should be cause for a trip to the doctor.
- Ototoxic Drugs – Many common medications list hearing loss as a side effect. Having hearing loss in one ear may be a result of this. These medications include aspirin, anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen, and some antibiotics. If this concerns you, speak to your doctor.
- Surgery – If the hearing loss is due to damage, a surgical option may be selected to repair the ear or remove any obstructions.
- Antibiotics – If the cause of the hearing loss is a result of an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed to help treat it in hopes of restoring the hearing.
- Steroids – If the ear has been damaged but does not require surgery, steroids may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and swelling.
- Change of Medication – If you are taking a medication that is impacting your hearing, your doctor will replace this medication with an alternative that does not produce a hearing loss side effect.
The hearing professionals at Bravo Hearing Centre in Etobicoke understand that your hearing is an essential part of your life, and any issue needs to be addressed. Visiting a specialist will help ensure that a suitable solution for your unique needs can be found quickly. Our team is committed to providing services and support based on the individual needs of each patient, including:
- Hearing tests
- Information about hearing aids
- Hearing aid evaluations
- Patient and family member counselling