Unilateral Hearing Loss http://www.betterhearingjax.com/our-services/audiologic-evaluations/ What type of Hearing Aid works best when you have total hearing loss in just one ear? Dr. Jacqueline Olson, Clinical Audiologist with Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute explains the condition and shows viewers the CROS hearing aid. She appears on a segment of First Coast Living with her CROS hearing aid patient, Brian Register.
Partial Video Transcript
Unilateral Hearing Loss
The loss of hearing in just one year is so much more common than generally believed. Crossing roads, meetings or conversations in loud environments can become major burdens for those with unilateral hearing.
Yeah, thanks to advanced technologies in the area of hearing aid supplies solutions exist today that can significantly improve life with one sided hearing loss. Jacqueline Olson, she is a clinical audiologist with Jacksonville Hearing and Balance and Brian Register is one of her patients who is benefiting from that technology.
We are going to hear your incredible story coming up in just a second because I think it's really important when we talk about hearing loss, you just lost yours all of a sudden and they have no idea why. So we are going to get to that in a second. First, Jacqueline, let's talk about you. What is unilateral hearing loss? What's that all about?
Unilateral hearing loss is something a lot of people will sweep under the table. They tend to just say, "Oh, here, I am going to compensate somehow." It's when one ear they either hear less out of or sometimes like in Brian's case they don't hear very much at all out of. What they'll do is they'll always position somebody on their good ear.
So you'll sometimes see them doing the good ear dance as they are walking down the street. You know sit on this side, or sit on this side. That's OK, but think about experiences like driving in the car, that person is on your bad side, communicating is harder or in a noisy environment makes it really challenging.
Is this something only adults are having to do?
Oh no, I think the latest assessments are saying that close to four hundred thousand children in school are suffering with unilateral hearing loss.
I have to ask just to elaborate on that, are there other signs we should be looking for with the kids, that can give us an indication that maybe our kids are having this problem?
Well, sometimes when they are being caught now because new worn hearing screenings. Sometimes they are falling through the cracks because there are so many different ideologies. It can happen later on and usually those are the kids that the teacher will see them as a problem child or a child that's not listening or not paying attention. But as Brian can tell you it's not a matter of not paying attention it's truly that they are not hearing as well.
Or if you think about of child sitting with their bad ear facing their teacher and their good ear facing someone that's rattling papers and doing a lot of other noise, hearing the teacher can be really challenging.
Brian, let's get into your story, I was shocked when you first told me that one morning you just woke up and you could not hear. What happened?
Woke up one morning and it was a normal morning you don't think about hearing in the morning, you take a shower and everything goes well. Got in the car and all of a sudden the radio kind of different and played with it and thought, "Somebody messed with me." And I realized when I went to talk on the cell phone that hearing was gone.
Initially I thought bacteria, something like that, you know something pretty common. Went to see my general physician. He gave me some antibiotics that kind of stuff. Said come back seven to ten days and I did, because it didn't work. Went to see Jacksonville Hearing and Balance and after a number of different tests MRI, CT Scans, shots in the ear ‑‑ that was exciting ‑‑ then they came to the conclusion that it was unilateral hearing loss. From there we explored the ideas of hearing aids and what could we do?
How long of a period were you without being able to hear?
From September through January of this year.
How did that affect your life?
You mean socially and everything you kind of taper down. It is embarrassing. You don't want to embarrassed in public, nobody does. You don't want to be put in an awkward situation and constantly I was. So it was one of those things where I did a lot more at home than I did out. Truthfully the hearing aids kind of gave me my life back. I was able to hear normally, at least normal as I can with technology.
The most amazing thing when I first saw you was I didn't even notice you were wearing a hearing until you took it out and showed it. What have you done? How are you hearing now?
I am going to refer that to the Doctor, she's the expert