What to Know if One Ear is Stronger Than The Other

Adult man suffering with hearing loss in one ear.

Hearing loss is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It may mean something more than hearing loss related to age, which is known as presbycusis. You should know that when older people start to get presbycusis, both of their ears are equally affected. But what if your hearing loss is more severe in one ear than the other? What does this mean? Does it have to do with age or is there’s more to it than meets the eye? The truth is, if this is something you’re struggling with, your condition may be worse than you think. Below are other possibilities that you should be aware of:

Ear Infections

One possible cause of hearing loss in only one ear is a chronic ear infection. One common infection is Otitis media affecting the middle ear. It is an inflammation and infection of the middle ear, characterized by a build-up of fluid due to bacteria. It can last for several weeks. It is common among kids, but adults can get it too.

Please be advised, however, that severe infection can block the Eustachian tube. This can drain excess fluid from the middle ear, impacting your hearing abilities. When this infection occurs, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible. Chronic ear infections can lead to hearing loss of 24 to 45 decibels. If left untreated, they can cause permanent hearing loss.


The next possible cause of hearing loss is cerumen impaction, otherwise known as compressed earwax. This is a situation in which excess earwax affects hearing and causes pain. It is said to have affected six percent of the US population. 

You have to be careful, however, as compressed ear wax can lead to an infection due to the trapped bacteria. On the other side of the spectrum, a lack of good bacteria can also cause wax build-up and infection. In some cases, one ear has good bacteria, and the other doesn’t.

It’s imperative to visit your primary care physician first. He or she can recommend home remedies that may remove excess ear wax.


Finally, a tumour is an alarming case that can cause differences in hearing between ears. Acoustic neuromas, which are benign and slow-growing, are a common type of tumour causing hearing loss.

Acoustic neuromas grow on the nerve leading from the brain to the inner ear. They may cause dizziness and hearing loss. This is because those nerves create balance and hearing. If you have these symptoms, visit your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Sudden Single-sided Deafness

You may also come down with sudden hearing loss, which should never be ignored if and when it happens. Sudden deafness can have many causes. One of the common reasons for it is an infection in the hearing nerve. It’s actually considered a medical emergency. This means you need to visit an ENT doctor and have this treated as soon as possible before it gets worse. As with all medical emergencies, the sooner you get checked out, the better.

If you’d like to check the conditions of your ears, come on down to Fraser Valley Beltone today!

We provide extensive & free hearing tests in Langley, BC. Get in touch today to book your appointment.


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