If you find yourself using your “good ear” to hear conversations or experience ear pain, you may have unilateral hearing loss. This condition causes uneven hearing loss between your ears. Causes range from earwax buildup to noise damage.
Your ears produce earwax to protect the ear canal from debris and bacteria. Typically, it clears itself away as your body produces more. But sometimes earwax becomes compressed in one ear, causing partial hearing loss or pain.
Chronic ear infections
Ear infections caused by excessive earwax or sinus infections can lead to permanent damage to the middle and inner ear. When your ears are infected, the tissue becomes inflamed, building up fluid that can damage the hair cells in one or both ears. Chronic ear infections can impair your ability to hear low-frequency sounds if left unchecked.
Whether it’s from your job or cranking the music too loud, noise exposure can easily cause unilateral hearing loss. The hair cells in your ears convert sound stimuli to auditory signals for your brain. Loud noises create irreparable damage to these delicate mechanisms, causing permanent hearing loss over time.
Acoustic neuroma: Benign tumors that press on the vestibulocochlear nerve that sends signals from your ear to your brain.
Meniere’s disease: An inner ear condition that causes vertigo and typically affects one ear.
Head trauma: Concussions can damage any point between the auditory cortex in your brain to your outer ear, resulting in unilateral hearing loss.
Ruptured eardrum: A tear in the thin membrane of your inner ear that can cause pain, tinnitus, or hearing loss.
No matter the cause, your safest bet is to visit an audiologist if you experience unilateral hearing loss. At Audio Help Hearing Centers, we conduct thorough hearing evaluations to provide you the best treatment options.
Treatment may include hearing aids or aural rehabilitation, so you get the support you need to get your hearing back on track. Audiologists also have available hearing protection to maintain your hearing and prevent further damage.