When you think of hearing loss, do you picture it as something that affects both ears or just one? It can affect both at the same time, or just one, or gradually both over time. When severe hearing loss affects just one ear it is known as single sided deafness and is treated a little bit differently than other hearing loss cases.
Single sided deafness or SSD is typically permanent and can be brought on by trauma, sudden hearing loss, disease, or it can be hereditary. It also affects about 200 new people out of every one million people per year in the entire world, making it quite common. Treatment for SSD varies from other forms of hearing loss treatment. To successfully treat this specific type of hearing loss patients will receive a hearing aid(s) that help pick up noise from the damaged ear and bring it to the other ear. This hearing device system is known as contralateral routing of signal hearing aids. They are often referred to as CROS hearing aids which is easy to remember since the sound has to cross over to the better ear in order to be heard. These hearing aids come in wireless options and include a receiver and microphone system to help amplify sounds. The receiver sits behind the ear and the microphone is placed on the side with the deaf ear. The microphone then picks up sounds and sends it to the system and the better hearing ear. Another type of treatment is called bone-anchored hearing aids, or BAHA. This uses a small implant on the deaf ear side and connects to a sound processor which sends sounds to the good ear. Both of these systems are extremely useful when treating SSD. The decision on what type of treatment is best for you can be made by you and your hearing care professional when the time is right.
To learn more about hearing loss and treatment types schedule an appointment with Mass Audiology. As a leader in hearing aid solutions, we know how to help you get your hearing back! Contact us today to learn more!