Single-sided deafness or unilateral hearing loss is where there is impaired hearing (partial or complete) in one ear and normal hearing in the other ear. Known causes of single-sided deafness include sudden loss of unknown origin, acoustic neuroma, measles, mumps, Meniere's disease, meningitis, labryrinthitis, physical trauma, and hereditary conditions.
Regardless of the length of symptoms, treatment options exist for single-sided deafness. For a sudden hearing loss, often an MRI is obtained and steroids are administered. For a long-term loss, a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) offers a permanent solution.
BAHA - This FDA-approved implant works by transmitting sound directly to the cochlea (inner ear) on the opposite side of the skull. The BAHA device is strategically placed behind the deaf ear so that sound is transmitted through the skull to the opposite side of the head to reach the patient’s functioning inner ear. The Baha device helps restore the sensation of hearing on both sides.
Steroids - Steroids have long been the gold standard therapy when it comes to sudden single-ear deafness. Oral steroids (given by mouth) such as prednisone can be beneficial. Steroids injected directly into the ear may also be helpful. Steroid injections are injected through the ear drum into the middle ear, where they are absorbed into the inner ear. This procedure is quick, relatively painless, and can be performed in our office.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and would like to discuss your treatment options with one of our experts, please call (860) 493-1950 or visit our patient portal to request an appointment.