how to restore hearing in one ear
Sudden deafness is a rare disease that should not be underestimated. It is not always due to poor hygiene.
The gradual hearing impairment associated with the aging process affects most people. Just as vision deteriorates with age, hearing also declines, which in most cases requires the support of an ENT specialist. However, while we usually consider the gradual deterioration of our hearing as something natural, sudden deafness causes us, quite justifiably, intense anxiety.
What is unilateral hearing loss?
Aging processes are responsible for most cases of gradually increasing hearing loss. As we age, hearing cells in the cochlea atrophy. They cannot regenerate, so the more time we spend in noise, the faster hearing deterioration can occur.
If hearing impairment affects one ear and appears suddenly, there can be many causes and types of hearing loss. Hearing loss can develop on both sides or affect only one ear, which is unilateral hearing loss. Why can’t I hear in one ear?
I can’t hear in one ear – what to do? First of all, it should not be underestimated. A person with unilateral hearing loss cannot recognize the sound source if it comes from the side of the affected ear, significantly reducing life’s comfort. Any hearing problem, therefore, requires consultation with a doctor. Moreover, the causes of hearing loss can be grave and do not always involve only the hearing organ.
Why can’t I hear in one ear? Possible causes
For proper hearing, all ear elements involved in sound waves’ conduction must work together. We deal with conductive hearing loss if the disorder affects the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss most often affects one ear, and causes include:
- damage to the auditory ossicles,
- otitis media,
- otitis externa,
- perforation of the eardrum,
- neoplastic diseases,
- excess ear wax,
- blockage of the ear with a foreign body.
Sensorineural hearing loss can also be responsible for hearing disorders. In such cases, sound waves are properly received and transmitted to the deeper structures of the ear, but they are not properly processed and routed to the brain, and we cannot interpret the sound. The causes of sensorineural hearing loss are mainly:
- aging processes,
- congenital defects within the hearing organ,
- acoustic injuries,
- complications after infections,
- complications after taking ototoxic drugs,
- autoimmune diseases,
- metabolic diseases,
- tumors of the brain and temporal bone,
- fractures within the skull or temporal bone.
I can’t hear in one ear – what to do.
Regardless of the cause, sudden deafness always requires ENT consultation. The diagnosis primarily involves a detailed history of the patient’s symptoms and general health. The ENT specialist performs a physical, audiological, and endoscopic examination, measures blood pressure, and, if necessary, also refers the patient for other tests, such as a CT scan.
Sudden deafness may accompany symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and balance disorders. This serious condition indicates damage to the balance organ located adjacent to the cochlea. In such a case, it is advisable to visit an ENT specialist as soon as possible. This is very important. In most cases, sudden hearing loss is a reversible phenomenon. However, if it is trivialized, it can result in permanent deafness.
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