My hearing loss is different in each ear. Should I be concerned? | Healthy Hearing

When someone has hearing loss in both ears—but one ear is worse than the other—it is referred to as “asymmetrical hearing loss.” Other names include “interaural asymmetry” and “asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss.”

For most people with hearing loss, the left and right ears have similar patterns of hearing ability. If your hearing test reveals asymmetrical hearing loss, your hearing care provider may refer you to an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) before she fits you with hearing aids. That’s because having different levels of hearing capability between the ears could signal an underlying medical condition.

Let’s take a look at the causes of uneven hearing loss between the ears and how hearing care providers can help with treatment.

Slight asymmetrical hearing loss is normal

During a hearing test, your hearing specialist, usually an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, will carefully measure your ability to hear volume and frequency (pitch) in each ear. The results are then mapped on an audiogram. The right ear is mapped with a red line, and the left ear with a blue line. The plotted lines for both ears should be relatively similar to each ear.

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