Have you ever experienced unilateral hearing loss? Unilateral hearing loss is when you have hearing loss in only one of your ears instead of both. If you have this condition, most likely you will have trouble locating the source of specific sounds, understanding speech in a noisy environment, or focusing on listening to something. If you’ve experienced sudden hearing loss on either ear, you will need to head to a doctor immediately. Here’s what you need to know about unilateral hearing loss:
There are many things that can cause this condition. Causes can range from a blockage in your ear canal or a loud noise damaging your eardrums. Some of these causes are reversible, such as clearing out the wax that is blocking your ears, while other injuries are permanent, like an explosion that ruptures your eardrums.
Illnesses can also cause hearing loss on one side of your ear. For example, otitis externa, an inflammation on the ear canal as well as the outer ear, can block sounds from reaching the eardrums. Another example would be acoustic neuroma, where a tumour presses against the nerves responsible for your ability to hear things. Finally, disorders such as Reye’s disorder, while rare, can also affect your hearing ability.
Unfortunately, medication can also cause hearing loss. Some people undergoing chemotherapy treatment can experience unilateral hearing loss, while other meds like streptomycin (an antibiotic) can also induce one-sided deafness.
When it comes to getting your condition diagnosed, you must reach out immediately to a doctor when you feel like you’re experiencing the condition. That way, the doctor can quickly review your symptoms and conduct the right examination procedures to find the root cause of the hearing loss.
Often, you will be given a hearing test. The test includes playing many different sounds at different volume levels to see which ones you respond to. The test is pointed at figuring out exactly which part of your ear is affected, allowing them to identify the condition you have and its root cause.
Once the diagnosis is done and the root cause is found, you will receive treatment. What you get will depend on your condition. For example, if it is found that a tumour is affecting your ability to hear, you will need to undergo surgery to fix the issue. However, if an infection caused the loss, you will be given antibiotics to treat it. Also, if it’s found that medication you have been taking caused the loss, you will be asked to stop and perhaps be given an alternative medicine that does not cause the condition.
Now that you know more about hearing loss, if you or someone you know seems to be experiencing the condition, you know exactly what to expect and what to do. Be aware of the symptoms, and if you think you’re experiencing them, go to the hospital for immediate diagnosis. That way, the root problem can be more quickly identified before the condition can worsen.
If you are dealing with unilateral hearing loss, head to our hearing clinics in Abbotsford or Langley City today – we expertise in all-things hearing-related – reach out to us now!