What is Unilateral in Audiology?

Pertaining only to one ear or one side of the head (i.e., The person with hearing loss on the right but not the left has unilateral hearing loss).

What is unilateral hearing loss?

Unilateral hearing loss is hearing loss that affects only one ear. It is the most common type of hearing loss, and it can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Age: Unilateral hearing loss is more common in older adults.
  • Genetics: Some people are born with a predisposition to unilateral hearing loss.
  • Infections: Ear infections, meningitis, and other infections can damage the inner ear and cause unilateral hearing loss.
  • Trauma: Head injuries, barotrauma, and other types of trauma can also damage the inner ear and cause unilateral hearing loss.
  • Tumors: Tumors in the ear or brain can also cause unilateral hearing loss.

Is it normal to lose hearing in one ear only?

It is not normal to lose hearing in one ear only, but it is not uncommon. About 1 in 5 people have some degree of unilateral hearing loss.

Is unilateral hearing loss considered deaf?

No, unilateral hearing loss is not considered deafness. Deafness is defined as a hearing loss that is severe enough to interfere with everyday communication. Unilateral hearing loss, on the other hand, usually does not interfere with everyday communication.

How do you fix unilateral hearing loss?

There is no cure for unilateral hearing loss, but there are ways to manage it. Some people with unilateral hearing loss find that they can compensate for their hearing loss by turning their heads toward the sound source. Others may benefit from using a hearing aid in the affected ear.