Explore the challenges of single-sided deafness and the advanced hearing aids designed to improve sound localization and quality of life.
Single-sided deafness (SSD) refers to a condition where a person has normal or near-normal hearing in one ear but has no hearing in the other. Such a condition can arise due to a variety of reasons, such as sudden sensorineural hearing loss, acoustic neuroma, or trauma.
Individuals with SSD often struggle with localizing sounds and understanding speech in noisy environments. Fortunately, technological advancements in the world of audiology have introduced specialized hearing aid solutions tailored for those with SSD.
People with SSD often face unique challenges in daily life. Without the ability to hear from one side, they might find it hard to locate where a sound is coming from, which can be especially disorienting in busy environments.
Moreover, without the input from both ears, understanding speech amidst background noise becomes increasingly difficult. This can lead to:
Another challenge faced by those with single-sided deafness is that many brands mandate the purchase of a pair, rather than a single hearing aid. Fortunately, certain brands, such as Audicus, offer the flexibility to purchase just one device, providing a cost-effective solution.
While traditional hearing aids amplify sounds for ears with reduced hearing capability, they're not always suitable for SSD as they can't restore the ability to localize sounds. However, certain specialized solutions have been developed to address the unique needs of SSD:
Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) Devices
These devices pick up sounds from the deaf side and transmit them to the hearing ear. They come in two parts: a microphone to pick up sounds from the side with hearing loss and a receiver for the ear with normal hearing. The receiver delivers the sound without amplifying it, ensuring that the person can hear sounds from both sides.
Bone-anchored hearing devices utilize the power of bone conduction. They are surgically implanted into the skull bone behind the non-hearing ear. These devices pick up sounds from the deaf side and then transmit them through the skull bone to the functioning cochlea of the hearing ear.
Bilateral Cochlear Implants
In situations where both ears have significant hearing impairment but one ear is profoundly deaf while the other has some residual hearing, bilateral cochlear implants can be considered. They stimulate the auditory nerve directly and can provide a sense of binaural hearing.
Choosing the right solution for SSD is vital and depends on multiple factors:
If you suspect you have SSD or have been diagnosed, it's paramount to consult with an audiologist. They can provide insights into the best solutions based on your specific needs and lifestyle.
Remember: While SSD presents challenges, advancements in hearing aid technology offer promising solutions to improve the quality of life.
A hearing aid is a device that amplifies sound waves to make them louder so they can be heard better with pure and refined quality if you’re experiencing hearing loss. Usually, it has one or more tiny microphones inside that picks up the sound, an amplifier that does the job in increasing the sound volume, and speakers that will send this improved and amplified sound to your eardrums so you can hear them better. This may be worn in or behind the ear, depending on the design and style.
The price of a hearing aid may vary and this would greatly depend on several factors such as the hearing aid type, the technology being used, and the available features. On average, a basic pair of adult hearing aids may cost around $2,000 and $3,000, while the advanced models with more features and better technology may have higher price tags.
There is no definitive answer to which hearing aid brand or model is the best, as it all comes to your specific hearing conditions, preferences, needs, and budget. Every hearing aid manufacturer may offer their devices with different kinds of features and this could significantly affect their prices. Some of the most popular hearing aid brands include Jabra, Eargo, Hear.com, Audious, MD Hearing, and Audien, so it’s worth checking out their products.
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