I sleep through bed side alarm because I happen to be lying with my hearing ear to the pillow. I have Single Sided Deafness (hearing loss in one ear) …But I am able to manage my life…But…
What are Symptoms of Single sided deafness?
- Inability to hear sound from affected side of the ear
- Inability to locate the direction of where the sound is coming from.
- Understanding speech in background noise, sounds all blur into one flat mono channel
- May turn their head to hear with their “good ear.”
I can manage my life with one ear but is there some psychosocial impact?
It affects social, work and home interactions due to the reduced ability to localize sounds and to discriminate speech in background noise.
- Irritability and fatigue due to more effort needed to listen
- Frequent headaches, stress
- Social isolation
- Blamed for “not paying attention.”
- Avoids group situations because the noise overwhelms them,
- Can hear only half of the components of the music, e.g., bass or piano, but not both
How one sided hearing loss is diagnosed?
ENT evaluation and Hearing test (audiometry) can detect hearing loss in one ear. Further tests may be required to know the cause.
It can be conductive, sensor neural or mixed in nature.
Conductive hearing loss may be due to problem in the ear canal, such as earwax, ear drum injury or infections.
Senorineural hearing loss can be either congenital or present at or just after birth due to malformation of the inner ear or a dysfunction/absence of the auditory nerve. It can also be acquired later on in life as the result of various causes such as ototoxic drugs, immunological diseases and infections.
What is the treatment for one sided hearing loss?
Medicines and surgery may help in conductive hearing loss. Hearing aid help for sensorineural hearing loss
For permanent total one sided hearing loss even normal hearing aid does not help and aim is to restore the sensation of hearing by sending a signal to the better hearing side. It can be achieved by following two options-
BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid), are surgically placed into the temporal bone of the unaidable ear. A sound processor transmits sound waves to the implanted fixture, which in turn causes sound to travel via bone conduction to the cochlea of the better ear.
Non-surgical: CROS Hearing aid
Sound is picked up by a microphone worn on the unaidable ear and wirelessly transmitted to a hearing aid, which is worn on the better ear. The sound signal is typically transferred either by a wire connecting each device or wireless.
Unilateral Hearing Loss in Children:
Did you KNOW …?
SCHOOLCHILDREN with UNTREATED unilateral hearing loss are LIKELY TO FAIL one or more grades despite normal cognitive abilities?
Most of the time child with hearing loss in one ear is MISSED till he grows sufficiently older to tell parents about his hearing problem. Child may be labelled as not paying attention in school
They can greatly benefit from fitting of hearing aid or sound field system (desk top or ear level FM system) to ensure the child can hear the teacher’s voice. Children with profound one sided hearing loss may benefit from CROS hearing aid designed to transfer sound from hear with hearing loss to the FM Technology.
Helping child with a unilateral hearing loss
Keep background noise to a minimum as much as possible.
Get child’s attention before speaking to them.
Position yourself so that you are on their side with good hearing.
Make the teacher aware that child has a unilateral hearing loss.
Ask for child to be seated as near to the teacher as possible
What is the Phonak CROS System?
The Phonak CROS/Bi CROS wireless system allows sounds to be transmitted from the dead ear to the normal /damaged ear. It is also the smallest solution on the market and is even available in a waterproof version, specially designed for active people.