His knowledge in communication disorders has helped a wide range of patients, including both adults and children with hearing loss. He provides screenings, hearing tests, aural rehabilitation and has an extensive knowledge of both conventional and digital hearing instruments.
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Do you have a ‘good ear’? Many people experience unilateral hearing loss, a condition whereby hearing is compromised in one ear. This can be mild – an individual may prefer to use one ear while speaking on the telephone, for example or profound, which is known as single sided deafness.
Here at Hidden Hearing, we treat patients with all types of hearing loss, and this includes single sided deafness, which cannot be treated with amplification because the hearing or the speech decoding is too profound. Some hearing aids, and some surgical options, can help patients with unilateral deafness, and it is important to visit an audiologist as soon as you realise you may have a problem so that these options can be explored.
What Causes Single Sided Deafness?
Unilateral hearing loss may be the result of a traumatic injury or an infection or circulatory disorder. It is not always obvious how it has been caused, and sometimes it is known as sudden idiopathic hearing loss. In some situations, such as having a conversation in a quiet area, it may be possible to manage with normal hearing in one ear. However, if there is background noise or confusion, it will be much more difficult to hear and process sounds if you have single sided deafness.
How Is Unilateral Hearing Loss Treated?
The treatment options for those with single sided deafness include hearing aids and surgery. It can help to know a little more about these so that you can consider your options.
- Hearing Aids. There are two types of hearing aid that can be successful in patients with unilateral hearing loss: CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signal) and BiCROS (Bilateral Contralateral Routing of Signal) devices. In both types, the patient wears a hearing device in both ears, and a microphone worn in the ear with poorer hearing sends sounds wirelessly to a receiver in the ear with normal hearing. With this type of hearing device, the sensation of bilateral hearing is restored effectively. Both of these systems can be used in conjunction with audio equip-ment and phones, via wireless connectivity.CROS systems are recommended where little or no amplification is required in the better hearing ear. If hearing loss is present in the better hearing ear, the BiCROS system will be preferred since a higher level of amplification is possible.
- Surgical options. There are potential surgical treatments for one sided deafness, including bone anchored implants. These direct sound to the better hearing ear using bone conduction. As part of a surgical process, a titanium screw is surgically attached behind the ear that has the poorer hearing. A sound processor, attached to the skull externally, transmits the sound to the cochlea of that ear via the skull.
Book a Free Hearing Test at Hidden Hearing
Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics. We provide free hearing tests and our experienced team of audiologists will help you to find the best solution for your lifestyle.