Many times hearing loss is associated with a gradual decline of hearing, but what happens when hearing significantly decreases in just one ear? This issue—called unilateral hearing loss—affects people from a broad range of lifestyles. Dramatic or gradual loss of hearing in one ear can be a symptom of several different problems.
Sudden loss of hearing in one ear can be caused by direct injury to the ear, exposure to loud noises, certain kinds of drugs, tumors, or illness. These illnesses span from Beriberi—a disease caused from a lack of vitamin B1—to Brittle Bone disease. Even diuretics can result in hearing loss in one ear.
Regardless of the cause it is important to see a professional right away in order to prevent any long-term damage or to diagnose any existing issues that have gone unnoticed. In some very mild cases unilateral hearing loss might be caused by a build-up of wax—if the wax build-up is significantly impairing hearing it is always smart to consult a professional rather than to try at-home removal. Attempting to remove wax or foreign objects at home with tweezers or other sharp objects may result in more damage to the ear. Once diagnosed there are a myriad of different treatment options depending on the cause of hearing loss.
Whereas the gradual decline of hearing in both ears is more common, experiencing any significant hearing loss in only one ear may be the result of a bigger or more immediate issue. Take your ear health seriously and get checked in order to ensure your hearing remains at its best.