Symptoms of Unilateral Hearing Loss
In a previous blog post, we discussed the three primary forms of hearing loss. Within each of those types of hearing loss, a patient can be diagnosed as having either unilateral or bilateral hearing. Unilateral is hearing loss in just one ear while bilateralaffects both ears.
We should note that bilateral hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean both ears are equally affected. One ear can be stronger than the other. Having said that, there are two symptoms you can look for that suggest the possibility of unilateral hearing loss or a bilateral scenario in which one ear is stronger than the other:
- Impaired Directional Hearing – Having two functional ears is what makes it possible to distinguish what direction the sound is coming from. A person suffering from unilateral hearing loss experiences a reduction of this ability commensurate with the level of hearing loss in the affected ear.
- Impaired Sound Discrimination – People suffering from unilateral hearing loss often complain of being unable to discriminate between sounds in noisy environments. This is due to what is known as the ‘shadow effect’. The shadow effect means that sounds directly reaching the affected ear must travel around the head to be heard on the other side, causing them to be muddled with the sounds directly reaching the good ear.
If you suspect you have unilateral hearing loss, the only way to know for sure is with a hearing test. We offer free hearing tests at Darroch, so stop by and pay us a visit. We will do what we can to help restore as much of your hearing as possible.