If you have lost, or are losing, the hearing in one ear, then you might not think that you need a hearing aid. After all, you can still hear through the other ear.
However, you can get specialist hearing aids that deal with one-sided hearing loss. How do these hearing aids work, and what are the benefits of using them?
How Does a Single-Sided Hearing Aid Work?
Unlike regular hearing aids which help you hear better in both ears, a single-sided aid boosts the hearing in one ear. This device uses your good ear to help you hear sounds that come into your bad ear.
These hearing aids work on a transmission and receiver basis. The transmitter part of the aid goes on the ear with the hearing problem. When this transmitter picks up sounds or noises, it sends them to the receiving part of the system. This receiver sits on the ear that has better hearing.
So, you effectively hear everything through the ear with good hearing. The aid sends all sounds there so you don't miss anything that comes into your ear on your bad side.
Why Wear a Single-Sided Hearing Aid?
Even if your hearing is good in one ear, deafness in the other ear causes some problems. For a start, you won't hear noises or sounds that come at you from that side.
This often causes social problems and anxiety. If someone talks to your wrong side, then you can't hear them. If you're in a noisy room, restaurant or bar, then you might start to feel stressed. The people you're with might find it hard to connect with you.
Plus, you might find it hard to keep yourself safe if you only hear clearly from one direction. For example, if you're crossing a busy road and can't hear traffic coming from one side, then you could have an accident. You might walk into the road thinking that it is clear when there is actually an oncoming car that you didn't hear.
If you wear a single-sided hearing aid, then you can hear sounds from both sides. You'll find it easier to have a stress-free social life, and the hearing aid will keep you safe.
You'll also find it easier to wear a hearing aid than to have a surgical fix on your ear. You can have surgery to insert a bone conduction or cochlear implant to deal with this kind of hearing loss. If you prefer not to take a surgical route, using a hearing aid is a simple solution.
To find out more about single-sided options, ask your hearing aid clinic for advice.