Causes of Sudden Hearing Loss in One Ear

If you’re having problems with your hearing, know that you are not alone. Patients with sudden hearing loss on one side are at risk of hearing loss in both ears. Depending on the severity this can lead to the development of a loss for words. Hearing loss on one side can occur when an individual has difficulty hearing or experiences deafness that only affects one of the two ears. Due to a difference of only being able to hear out of one ear, people can be at a loss when understanding speech, for example when listening to a specific voice in a crowded cafe, or they have issues on the location of sound and where the source is coming from. This condition is called unilateral hearing loss / unilateral deafness. People with this condition are still able to hear clearly with the other ear. Additionally, if hearing loss has suddenly disappeared in one ear for no reason, a person may have experienced a sudden sensorineural hearing loss which is a type of nerve deafness. Often, the underlying cause for your sudden sensorineural hearing loss implies that the person has damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear, or that there is damage to the nerve that actually transmits sound to the brain.

Data from clinical studies, and according to the national institute on deafness and other communication disorders, roughly about ten to fifteen percent of people who suffer from sudden hearing loss have a reason that they can pinpoint for their hearing loss condition. Depending on the damage, or cause of your hearing loss, a professional may recommend surgery, medication, or a hearing aid. In some cases, hearing returns to normal on its own. If you have experience with this, it would be a good idea to inquire with a professional to see for your hearing loss or balance disorder. Continue to read on about the causes of sudden hearing loss in one ear.

Causes of sudden hearing loss in one ear:

  1. Swimmers ear: This is marked by inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal
  2. Otitis media: Occurs with chronic glue ear, which is an infection of thick or sticky fluid behind the eardrum
  3. Eardrum rupture: Occurs when there is a tear in the eardrum or a small hole in the eardrum
  4. Meniere’s disease: This disorder affects the inner ear and leads to deafness eventually
  5. Tumors: A certain type of tumor called acoustic neuroma can press on the nerve that affects hearing in people
  6. Reye’s syndrome: Mostly seen in children, and is a very rare disorder
  7. Vertebrobasilar insufficiency: Occurs when there is poor blood flow to part of the brain
  8. Neurofibromatosis Type 2: A disease that is hereditary which causes noncancerous growths to appear on the auditory nerve

If hearing loss has suddenly appeared in one ear for no reason, a person may have experienced a sudden sensorineural hearing loss which is a type of nerve deafness. Most people do not treat this issue as a serious problem and end up leaving it without getting the actual treatment that they need. Unfortunately, when someone leaves this untreated it has the possibility of worsening into the risk of permanent hearing loss. Often, the underlying cause for your sudden sensorineural hearing loss implies that the person has damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear, or that there is damage to the nerve that actually transmits sound to the brain. It is possible to be born with sensorineural loss, but it is more than likely to happen over time. Unfortunately, there is not an exact known cause as to what causes sensorineural hearing loss in people, and it can occur in people of all ages. Additionally, there are many possible ways that are leading to hearing loss in one ear, many of these cases can be because of a person aging. Many cases are reversible such as wax buildup in the ear canal or fluid buildup from ear infections. Although many are reversible, many are also irreversible especially when it comes to problems with the function of the ear. A person should always seek professional help when it comes to hearing loss in either one or both ears, as a lot of the time there is a treatment for these types of problems.

Treatment for hearing loss in one ear:

  • Hearing aids are the only way to treat sensorineural hearing loss
  • Surgery to either remove a tumor or to repair the ear
  • Antibiotics can be prescribed to treat the infection
  • If inflammation and swelling occurs, steroids could help reduce this
  • Medication that a person may be taking could be causing the hearing loss
  • Wax build-up removal products such as Debrox or with wax softening drops
  • Seek professional help if there is a foreign body in your ear. Do not try to tweeze this out on your own

Everyone’s hearing naturally declines with old age, and people will often have one ear that hears much better than the other. If hearing loss has suddenly appeared in one ear for no reason, a person may have experienced a sudden sensorineural hearing loss that is nerve deafness. The effects of sudden hearing loss can range from a mild to severe case and potentially can become a permanent condition. This often involved an unexplained loss of hearing either all at once or over a span of a couple of days. Sometimes it will go away on its own, but more than likely it has to be treated medically. Hearing loss on one side can occur when an individual has difficulty hearing or experiences deafness that only affects one of the two ears. Due to a difference of only being able to hear out of one ear, people can be at a loss when understanding trying to understand speech, which can be extremely stressful for many. If you or someone you may know has experience with this, it would be a good idea to inquire with a professional for your hearing loss or balance disorder.