Asymmetrical Hearing Loss, or Asymmetric Sensorineural Hearing Loss, is what is referred to when you don’t hear properly out of one ear and may require hearing care. This can commonly be caused by worse damage to one ear than the other. Some of the activities that you enjoy could be dangerous to your hearing, so if you frequently participate in loud events make sure to protect your ears with earplugs. If you already suffer from hearing damage and have symptoms commonly associated with tinnitus, you may also develop sensorineural hearing loss. This could cause the complete inability to hear in one of your ears.
Who suffers from Asymmetrical Hearing Loss
Those who are typically affected by asymmetrical hearing loss usually have had jobs or hobbies that cause damage to their hearing. Hobbies such as flying planes, shooting guns, or concert going. Jobs like construction, performing in orchestras and airplane maintenance can also cause asymmetrical hearing loss and require audiometric and clinical hearing care. The reason that these jobs and hobbies can cause hearing trouble is due to the fact that they are very loud but can be frequently more detrimental to one ear rather than the other. When a person shoots a rifle or shotgun they usually will hold the rifle on one side of the body. Damage to the ears can occur in just one experience. It doesn’t take years of abuse to cause asymmetrical hearing loss. This is why it is so important to always wear hearing protection and ensure that you cover your ears.
Getting Checked by a Professional
In some cases, asymmetrical hearing loss can be symptomatic of something more serious, like a brain tumor or other serious head condition. If you begin suffering from any of the following symptoms in addition to asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss, it is very important that you seek medical attention quickly:
- Blurry vision
- Tingling in your extremities
- Inability to remember things and frequent forgetfulness
If you experience any of the above symptoms and know that you haven’t participated in activities that could have potential to cause asymmetrical hearing loss, it’s very important that you have a full examination including an MRI. An MRI will allow your doctor to better understand your conditions and make sure that your hearing loss is not due to the larger, more urgent issue.
If you experience asymmetrical hearing loss, but do not have any of these other symptoms, your doctor still may insist that you have a full examination. This is common practice for individuals who lose hearing. Your doctor will likely perform a hearing test in his office and may send you for further tests to conclusively understand the cause of your hearing loss.
Asymmetrical hearing loss can also be a sign of an acoustic neuroma. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is a noncancerous tumor that appears when on a nerve inside of your brain which can affect both your hearing and your balance. These tumors can be surgically removed or treated with radiation. It’s important to seek treatment from your doctor if you are showing symptoms of this type of tumor which include being off balance, slowly progressing or sudden loss of hearing in one of your ears, tinnitus, dizziness, and numbness.
Asymmetrical Hearing Loss in Children
Children sometimes are born with hearing loss problems, but if they experience asymmetrical hearing loss, it is likely not found until they get older. Unfortunately, asymmetrical hearing loss can be the cause of speech delays as well as educational difficulties early on in school. If you suspect that your child may struggle with asymmetrical hearing loss or you see that your child leans one way in order to better hear someone, it is important to have your child’s hearing tested.
Children’s Toys Could Be to Blame
While your child might have been born with problems with their hearing, it’s important to make sure that they don’t get hearing damage from loud toys. Toys with very loud high sound frequencies can cause damage to children’s hearing. If a child has a loud toy near their crib or in the car, it could pose a hazard to their hearing. You can test how loud your child’s toy is by using your computer to check the decibel level that the toy emits when it’s making noise. Doing this could be very important for your child’s future.
Steps to Take if You Notice Hearing Loss in One of Your Ears
The most important steps you can take if you notice hearing loss in one of your ears is to seek treatment from a medical professional. You should also begin wearing earplugs regularly, especially if you are in a job that puts you in situations where you are around loud noises. You should also stop participating in hobbies that can further damage your ears until you’ve had a chance to be treated by a doctor. If you continue to participate in your hobbies, like shooting guns, and attending loud concerts, invest in quality earplugs that will protect your ears.
If you notice these symptoms in others, it’s important to try to have an open and honest discussion with them about seeking treatment. You can explain the importance of protecting your ears and let them know that hearing difficulty is one of the most common ailments. Let your loved ones know that it is not something to be embarrassed about.
If you are suffering from tinnitus, you may be able to reduce the symptoms by using a white noise machine, using hearing aids and through a change to your medications. Don’t stop your current medications until you’ve had a chance to discuss the proper treatment with a doctor and had a full medical exam. Unfortunately, most hearing problems cannot be cured they can only be treated but seeking proper treatment and following the instructions you’ve received about proper hearing care can help to alleviate the pain or uncomfortableness you feel as a result of your hearing problems. Another way to help your body is to reduce your stress levels. Making sure to keep your home clean and reducing allergens in your air is also important in helping you protect your hearing.