Hearing Aids Can Help Single-Sided Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids Can Help Single-Sided Hearing Loss
Jeff Baller, Au.D., CCC-A

Do you have hearing loss in just one ear? This single-sided hearing loss is also quite common. You’re probably wondering if hearing aids can help if you have hearing loss in only one ear. The truth is that hearing aids are incredibly helpful! Here’s how hearing aids can help single-sided hearing loss. 

Do You Have Single-Sided Hearing Loss?

The first question to answer is, do you have single-sided hearing loss? Many people have one “good” ear and one “bad” ear but they might still have some hearing loss in their good ear. Book a hearing test to find out more about your hearing loss. During a comprehensive hearing test, both your ears are tested. You can find out how good your good ear really is, and how bad your bad ear is. 

Binaural Hearing

To understand single-sided hearing loss, we first have to understand binaural hearing. Binaural hearing simply means that we hear with both our ears. If you have single-sided hearing loss, you know just how important binaural hearing can be. When you can hear with both ears, you can localize sounds, or determine where a sound is located. You can also determine the volume of a sound, and how close or far away the sound is. Binaural hearing also makes it much easier to follow conversations. If you have single-sided hearing loss, you have a hard time understanding what’s being said.

What Happens When You Have Single-Sided Hearing Loss?

One of the main things that bother people with single-sided hearing loss is something called the “head shadow” effect. Sound waves travel through the air from all directions, but they don’t bend around your head. Sound waves coming from the side of your bad ear don’t bend around to the other ear. You’ll experience a shadow area as your head blocks these sound waves altogether. Here’s what happens if you have single-sided hearing loss:

  • It’s hard to localize sounds. When you have one good ear and one bad ear, you can’t compare the sounds between your ears. You don’t have any point of reference for the sounds you hear with your good ear, so it can be almost impossible to localize sounds.
  • It’s difficult to hear in noise. Do you struggle to have a conversation in a place with background noise? With single-sided hearing loss, you’ll have a hard time figuring out which sounds are speech sounds and which sounds are background sounds.
  • Sounds seem very quiet. We use both ears to determine how loud a sound is. With only one point of reference, it’s very hard to determine volume. Most sounds will seem very quiet. 

The Perfect Hearing Aids for Single-Sided Hearing Loss

If you have single-sided hearing loss, you might wonder if hearing aids will work for you. The good news is that there are hearing aids designed especially for people with single-sided hearing loss! We recommend that people with single-sided hearing loss wear two hearing aids that use CROS technology to treat single-sided hearing loss. 

CROS Hearing Aids

If you wear two hearing aids, your good ear can do some of the work for your bad ear. CROS hearing aids communicate with each other about all the sounds around you. This can eliminate the head shadow effect. Here’s how it works. A microphone in your bad ear picks up on all the sound waves coming from that side. It instantly sends signals to the receiver in the good ear. This way your good ear can send information to your brain about all the sounds around you, even from your bad ear. CROS technology can help you localize sounds, hear in noise, and hear sounds at a normal volume. 

BiCROS Hearing Aids

BiCROS hearing aids are similar to CROS hearing aids. These are designed for people who have some hearing loss in the good ear as well. The sounds from the bad ear are still sent to the good ear. But the hearing aid in the good ear will also amplify sounds and treat hearing loss in the good ear.

Professional Hearing Services Inc.

Hearing aids can treat single-sided hearing loss! Get back to hearing more sounds and stop relying on one ear for everything. With CROS or BiCROS hearing aids you’ll be able to hear better than ever. Book a hearing test today to get started.

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Mobile, In-Home Audiology and Hearing Care

Professional Hearing Services, Inc. is Denver’s premiere onsite healthcare hearing center provider. In business since 1992, we are independent Doctors of Audiology. Get your personalized treatment plan for better hearing today, direct to you in your home!
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