Many patients come to us with concerns regarding one of their ears, and one of the most common questions we are asked is, “Can I have a hearing loss in one ear?”

The answer is absolutely.

It is called unilateral hearing loss or, in some cases, single-sided deafness.

Some people are born with no hearing in one ear, called single-sided deafness.  Such a hearing loss is often found during a newborn hearing screening.  If, for some reason, a baby’s newborn hearing screening was not completed, a hearing loss in one ear may not be found until the child is 4-6 years.  This is when there is a hearing test as a part of starting school.

Other causes of hearing loss in one ear are a disease process in the middle ear, a growth or tumor on the hearing nerve, surgery in or around the ear, or an infection that affects one ear.

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Some people experience a sudden hearing loss, which feels like one of their ears has been turned off.  While this can happen due to a loud noise like a gunshot or an explosion, it can also happen for no clearly identifiable reason.

Either way, it can be pretty difficult to recover from such an unexpected, dramatic loss.  If there is a sudden change in your hearing in one (or both) ear(s), it is crucial to visit your local audiologist immediately.

Your audiologist will test your hearing and work quickly to determine the cause for hearing loss and to remedy it.  It is important to not wait in the hope of your hearing returning, but make an appointment to see a professional at North Houston Hearing Solutions right away.

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Dr Kathryn Crane

Dr. Kathryn Crane, CCC/A, CH-AP, Doctor of Audiology, joined North Houston Hearing Solutions in February 2021. Dr. Crane graduated with a Bachelors in History and a Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin and received her Doctorate of Audiology in 2014 from Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Crane joins North Houston Hearing Solutions after many years at a large ENT practice in the Memorial area of Houston. She has developed significant experience and skills in comprehensive diagnostic audiometry and in the fitting of hearing devices. Though not a native Houstonian, Dr. Crane is a native Texan having grown up in Dallas, Bryan, and Austin. She has lived in Houston since 2013 and considers Houston home.