Experience Care to Help Improve Your Hearing
Single-sided deafness (SSD), also called unilateral hearing loss, is a condition in which an individual experiences hearing loss in only one ear and has normal hearing in the other ear. While the majority of patients with a hearing impairment suffer from bilateral (two-sided) hearing loss, SSD is diagnosed in approximately 60,000 people in the United States each year. There is no cure, and treatment can be a challenge as traditional amplification devices prove to be less effective. However, alternative options for managing single-sided deafness are available from our hearing experts in American Fork, Spanish Fork, Highland, and Salem Hills, UT.
What Causes Single-Sided Deafness?
SSD can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is acoustic neuroma, a benign, slow-growing tumor that can push against the auditory nerve and affect your ability to hear properly in one ear.
Sudden deafness – a rapid onset of hearing loss that occurs with little or no warning, often following a viral infection – is another condition commonly associated with SSD. Patients may fall victim to sudden deafness as a result of an inflammation in the cochlea that causes permanent damage to the hair cells responsible for hearing.
Additional causes of SSD include trauma to the head, genetic disorders, Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, microtia, mastoiditis and even common childhood diseases such as measles and mumps.
Patients with SSD find understanding speech in the presence of background noise especially problematic and have difficulty localizing sound (recognizing the location or origin of a sound source). Sound localization depends on subtle hearing cues from two ears; removing one from the equation confuses the brain. Other symptoms might include anxiety, stress, social isolation, dizziness, difficulty paying attention, and speaking loudly.
Treatments for SSD
While there is no cure for single-sided deafness, options exist for helping patients cope with unilateral hearing. Traditional hearing aids don’t offer much help to those suffering from SSD, but Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) hearing aids can improve hearing and localization.
These hearing aids utilize a microphone that is placed in the vicinity of the impaired ear and an amplifier near the normal ear. The microphone picks up sounds and transmits them to your “good” ear. A similar device known as BICROS is suitable for those with some degree of hearing loss in one ear and total deafness in the other.
Another option is a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA), a surgically implanted device that uses direct bone conduction to transmit sounds from your affected ear to your normal ear. Vibrations in the bones of the ear canal and middle ear stimulate the hair cells of the cochlea, boosting your ability to hear.
Learn More About Treatment for SSD From Our Hearing Experts in American Fork, Spanish Fork, Highland & Salem Hills, UT
To experience our 5-star-rated hearing care, schedule your Complimentary New Patient Consultation today by calling (801) 763-0724 to reach our American Fork office or our Spanish Fork office. You may also click here for our convenient online form. Your appointment includes the following:
- Discuss Your Goals
- Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation
- Custom Treatment Plan
- Flexible Financing Discussion
During your appointment, we will take the time to answer all your questions about our advanced treatments and technology, our flexible payment options, and anything else you may want to know about us!