There are two types of hearing loss: hearing loss in both ears and hearing loss in only one ear.
Hearing loss that occurs in only one ear is sometimes called unilateral hearing loss.
The following is an explanation of hearing loss that occurs in only one ear.
Overview of unilateral hearing loss
Unilateral hearing loss is a hearing loss that literally means that only one ear can hear or be heard.
There are two ears, one on each side.
Many people think that if you lose hearing in one ear, you still have the other.
Then again, there are also two eyes, hands, and feet.
Even if you lose one of them, you still have the other one. Wouldn't that be inconvenient? Don't you think so?
It is the same with the ears. If you lose hearing on one side, it is inconvenient.
The following inconveniences can occur with unilateral hearing loss
- Not knowing the direction of sound
- Not being able to understand when the hard-of-hearing person speaks to you
- Difficulty understanding who is speaking when more than one person is speaking
As you can see, there are many problems that occur when one ear becomes deaf.
Not knowing the direction of sound
The ear detects the direction of sound based on the difference in time it takes for the left and right sounds to reach the brain.
Therefore, if one ear is hard of hearing, the direction of sound is lost.
When you lose track of the direction of sound, you don't know where people are talking to you from.
When an object falls, it is difficult to know where it fell.
It is difficult to understand who is speaking.
This can cause problems such as
Can't understand when someone who can't hear me speaks to me
It is a rather common occurrence, but of course, when a person who has difficulty hearing speaks to you, you may not realize that he or she is speaking to you.
This is especially problematic when you are on the phone.
Since the phone is taking up the other ear that can hear, you can barely make out the sounds around you unless you can hear the other one.
Symptoms of unilateral hearing loss
In unilateral hearing loss, there are cases of sensorineural hearing loss and there are cases of conductive hearing loss.
This depends on the cause of the unilateral hearing loss.
Understand that there is no such thing as a "one-sided hearing loss! There is no such thing as a "one-sided hearing loss.
Causes of unilateral hearing loss
The most common causes of unilateral hearing loss are
- Stress-induced sudden hearing loss
- Meniere's disease
- Chronic otitis media
- Mumps hearing loss
Stress-induced sudden hearing loss and Meniere's disease tend to cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Chronic otitis media tends to cause sensorineural hearing loss.
Of course, there are other causes of unilateral hearing loss, but these three are the most common.
There is also mumps hearing loss, which is caused by the mumps.
This one is the one to watch out for. In the case of mumps hearing loss, there is a possibility of losing hearing in one ear.
Treatment of unilateral hearing loss
As is true for hearing loss as a whole, there is basically no cure for hearing loss.
However, in the case of stress-induced sudden hearing loss, treatment at an early stage, especially within 48 hours, may help restore hearing.
In any case, if you feel any discomfort in your ears, see an otolaryngologist.
The sooner the better, and in some cases, your hearing may be restored.
Criteria for certification of unilateral hearing loss as a person with disability
Unfortunately, according to current Japanese standards, it is not possible to receive a disability certificate if you have hearing loss or cannot hear in only one ear.
Unfortunately, Japan is still lagging behind in this area.
Please refer to "Under current Japanese standards, a hearing loss in one ear does not qualify for a disability certificate" for an explanation of the criteria for the Certificate of Eligibility for Disability for hearing loss in one ear.