Hearing Loss in One Ear: Why You Need to Address it Soon - SightMD Skip to main content

November 21, 2023

By: Gerri Competiello, AuD

Hearing Loss in One Ear: Why You Need to Address it Soon

We take it for granted, but the sense of hearing is special. To hear the words of another person says and then
answer so that he or she can hear you is the most basic form of communication. Then there are the joys of
listening to music or hearing what the characters in a movie are saying. In short, the importance of being able to hear can’t be overemphasized. That’s why when this sense changes or is not as strong as it was, action must be taken, and fast. Imagine, for instance, if you heard perfectly fine in one ear, but could not in the other…

If you are anyone you know should find that your hearing in one ear not as clear as it is in the other, do not take
the attitude of: “Well, I can still hear O.K. in the other ear, so I don’t need to do anything yet.” Wrong on all counts! If you are unable to hear in one ear, think of it as a signal from your body that something’s wrong and it needs to be checked—now. The condition whereby a person loses the ability to hear in one ear is known as “Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss” (or SSHL). As explained by the National Institute of Health, SSHL also known as “sudden deafness” – occurs when there is something wrong with the sensory organs of the inner ear.

This condition frequently – and literally – can happen overnight, as people who experience SSHL notice it when they wake up in the morning. In other situations, SSHL becomes apparent when a person tries to exclusively use the ear that has been impacted, such as placing a phone receiver next to it and finding that he or she is unable to hear anything. Other symptoms may include a fast, loud “pop” sound before his or her hearing disappears, a ringing in the ears, and dizziness.

The National Institute of Health classifies SSHL as a “medical emergency” and advises anyone who
experiences it to do likewise and consult a doctor immediately. By seeking treatment sooner than later, full
hearing will likely return between one and two weeks from the initial loss. Ignoring or delaying treatment will in
turn make lengthen the time it takes for hearing to return.

It is important to be in tune with what your body is “telling” you. Intense pain or discomfort are not the only indicators that something might be wrong. An inconvenient or annoying issue – such as diminished hearing – are signs that you need to be examined and take the necessary precautions. Along with the sense of vision, the hearing health of our patients is very important to the health care professionals at SightMD. If you think you may be experiencing signs of SSHL, make an appointment with us to have your hearing checked. Please, listen to us.