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Hello! My friend told me that it is diagnosed that her brother has unilateral hearing loss. I have never heard before for this medical term and I kindly ask you to explain me what unilateral hearing loss is. I assume that this has something with deafness. Am I right about this? Thank you in advance!

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Hello! You are not quite right. Unilateral hearing loss means that on ear person can hear normally, but other ear has some difficulties. This means that on other ear person could have total or partial hearing loss. Unilateral hearing loss can be heredity disease, or can be caused because of strong ear infection, meningitis, etc.
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My son has profound unilateral hearing loss in his right ear. Unilateral hearing loss is a hearing impairment in one ear, this can be mild, moderate, severe or profound. (profound being pretty much no hearing) People with a unilateral hearing impairment usually have trouble localising where a sound is comming from, and in noisy situations may have trouble listening to speech.
Yes it is deafness, but in one side only. Depending on the type hearing loss aids may help, but not always. There are so many causes, from birth, gentic, problems in pregnancy, problems with labour, diseases in the womb. Illness in youth, deterioration due to ear infections, a bump on the head. Each case is different.
If someone you know has UHL, find out what is there good ear and make sure you speak when the good ear is in your direction and get there attention before speaking.
Hope this helps.
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Yes a young child with unilateral hearing loss needs to see an audiologist, a real audiologist and not just some salesman flogging hearing aids at the mall.  Testing a very young child--even a toddler, for that matter-will probably require equipment that hearing aid dealers are pretty unlikely to have.  Testing childern can also be sort of an art.  There are audiologists who specialize in testing children, and "adult" audiologists refer patients to them if they're interested in helping the patient, not just collecting a fee.  Your child should definitely be seen by an ear, nose, and throat specialist who specifically treats children.  Just to be clear on this, I mean a real doctor--not a nutritionist, not an acupuncturist, not any new-age superstitions, just evidence-based medicine with real research behind it.  If this were my child I'd call the nearest major medical center and have them help me to find a pediatric otologist--who will most likely be a member of the academic department, and that's a plus.

I hope for your child's sake and yours that you live within a few hours' drive of a major medical center, because you may very well find yourself spending a lot of time on it even without a long drive.  I speak here as a patient with "interesting" problems.  I am being seen mostly at the University of Michigan, which is "only" an 80- or 90-minute drive each way.  Fortunately, the big academic centers have people whose job is to get you through the system without taking up any more of your time than necessary.  (I was originally seen at a very reputable academic center where the ancillary staff was horrendous, but I think that's the exception.)

Your letter suggests to me that 1) the patient has already been seen by an ear, nose, and throat specialist and 2) the parents need more information about the problem and 3) it wouldnt surprise me if somewhere along the way the specialist suggested fairly extensive testing and the parents just kind of drifted away without arranging for it.


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