How unilateral hearing loss affects you will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the loss. For example, if the loss is profound, that means you will be unable to hear anything from one of your ears, while the other will remain unaffected. This is also called single-sided deafness Similarly, those with only mild unilateral hearing loss will likely be able to hear the majority of speech, but will struggle with softer sounds.
However, if you are living with profound unilateral deafness, while it can be difficult and scary, there are a number of things you can do to make your daily life easier:
Make adjustments to improve communication: from making sure people have your full attention when they talk to you, to facing others when they’re speaking and repeating important information back, are all small lifestyle changes that can make a significant difference
Alert people to your hearing problem: simply telling people that you cannot hear out of one ear means they’ll be more likely to direct their speech to the side you can hear from. Similarly, telling people exactly what you need - such as them looking directly at you when they’re speaking - is a great way to ensure your communication is as effective as can be
Turn off background noise: if you can, removing any background noise while you’re having a conversation can go a long way towards helping you to better understand speech without having to strain
- Get support: there are plenty of groups - both online and in real life - that are designed to support those with hearing loss or problems, and assist you in meeting those in a similar situation for sharing tips and advice