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Living With a Hearing Disability: Single-Sided Deafness (SSD)

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Hearing disabilities

Hearing disabilities

Single-Sided Deafness

Single-sided deafness is more common than people think. As an invisible disability, it is often misunderstood or overlooked.

Single-sided deafness (or SSD, as I will refer to it from now on) comes in varying levels, from partial to complete hearing loss in one ear. This article is about my personal experience. I will share my tips and advice to help others who are living with the same condition.

Being Deaf in One Ear

For as long as I remember, I have been completely deaf in my right ear.

The first time I realized my hearing was different from that of other kids was at a friend's birthday party. We were playing "Chinese Whispers," and I had to pass on a message that had been whispered into my completely deaf ear. The girl sitting next to me wasn't allowed to repeat what she'd said, and I didn't hear her at all. I had to make something up. The end result was hilarious, although at the time, I felt more embarrassed and isolated by the experience.

I have two older sisters, and one of them has the same problem. My sister's SSD was not diagnosed until a hospital trip after she fell off a climbing frame at school. It was assumed that this was when she lost half her hearing—and my parents thought I was copying her when I said I was deaf in my right ear, too! My SSD was not confirmed until I was five years old. This leads us to believe the condition is hereditary, although the cause of our hearing loss has never been properly diagnosed.

It has, however, been closely monitored throughout our childhood. I lost count of the times I had to be called out of class at school for hearing tests just to be told that, yes, I was still deaf in one ear! Oh, really? I hadn't noticed!

I once asked my mother why my sister and I had to keep having these tests. They often involved having incredibly loud, windy sounds played in my good ear while attempting to hear beeps in my deaf one. Sometimes the windy sounds were so loud they gave me double vision! (I could often feel the vibrations of the beeps, so I was able to guess when there were sounds, which made the test quite useless.)

My mother explained that the purpose of the tests was to make sure my hearing didn't get worse (quite ironic considering the volume!). I then lived in fear of losing hearing in my good ear, too. I even believed I would be deaf by the time I grew up! Now, aged 30 and still with perfect hearing in my left ear, I can rest assured that this will not happen. But as a child, it was confusing and scary.

While I'm sure the tests were intended to be helpful, they just made me feel like something was wrong with me and made me fear for my hearing. These are all reasons I believe that there should be more comprehensive information available and a clear diagnosis of the type of hearing loss involved. This will also, in turn, help parents to know how to deal with a child with SSD.

If Your Child Has SSD

Growing up with single-sided deafness can be tough. Given time, we can learn to adapt and thrive, becoming successful adults with little to no hindrance in our daily lives. Here are things I wish my parents had known while I was growing up:

  • Do not make your child feel disabled. one of the biggest factors when it comes to dealing with SSD, or many disabilities, is that much of what gets you through life is how you view yourself and what you are capable of. We all have the power to achieve great things; being constantly told you cannot do this or that, or cannot function normally because of your hearing, will only hold you back. Your child will believe they are disadvantaged and may lack confidence in their abilities as a result. Yes, SSD has its disadvantages. But I believe it has its advantages too. Being deaf in one ear means the glass is half full- not half empty.
  • Do not assume your child can/cannot do things. SSD varies in severity, and as hearing occurs in the brain and not the ears, the condition may be processed differently depending on the individual. I, for example, have incredibly acute hearing in my left ear, which I believe compensates. I have heard that SSD can affect learning, speech, maths, reading and writing. As far as I am concerned, this is a myth- I have been fully proficient, in fact above average in all of these things. On the other hand, not hearing well in class has its disadvantages, and it all depends on the method of teaching and the level of background noise in the classroom.
  • Encourage your child to be open and explain to others about their condition. SSD is not something your child should be ashamed of. Unfortunately, special treatment at school and teasing can cause them to feel otherwise, but they need to learn from early on that any issues people have are not their fault- it is often a lack of understanding. Being open and telling friends and teachers about being deaf in one ear will help, but it should be something your child chooses to do when they are ready.
  • Do not make an issue out of it. Sometimes my mother would remind me of being deaf in one ear when I wasn't even thinking about it. She would often overcompensate or talk directly into my ear when I could have heard her perfectly fine otherwise. If your child feels their hearing is not an issue, don't make it one. Usually, people with SSD can get by just fine without people having to shout or talk directly into their ear. Do not fuss over a child with SSD or insist they get a hearing aid or corrective surgery. If your child is unhappy and wants to look into hearing aids/surgical help, do so. But be aware not all SSD can be corrected.

How SSD Impacts Your Life

I often forget I have what is considered to be a disability. It is only certain situations that remind me of it. In fact, I was blissfully unaware of what I was missing out on until quite recently, a few years ago, after reading several articles on the condition about certain abilities people with SSD are lacking:

  • Hearing in stereo: People with complete SSD are monoaural. They cannot hear in stereo; there is only one channel of sound.
  • Picking out and understanding a voice in a noisy environment: I had no idea that other people could home in on a voice in a noisy crowd and hear it clearly! When I listen to a conversation, and there is background noise (especially other voices), the sounds all blur into one flat mono channel and are almost incomprehensible. People with normal hearing can selectively hear a single voice against background sounds and focus on it- which seems like magical eavesdropping to me!
  • Locating sound direction: One of the most awkward effects of SSD is the lack of ability to locate the direction of sound. Being called by friends in a crowd or from across the street is an example of how embarrassing SSD can be. I used to spin around looking wildly in all directions trying to guess who was calling me and where the hell they were. I now tell everyone I know not to do this because it is useless unless they have a neon sign above their heads to help me locate them in a crowd! However, they often forget and still call me across a busy street, which forces me to stand and wait until they become more visible.
  • Locating sound distance: Nor did I know people with normal hearing could locate the distance of sounds; don't they just get louder or quieter?
  • Social stigma: There is a social stigma surrounding deafness of any kind in the hearing world, and kids and adults alike often tease and joke about being deaf if you ask them to repeat something more than once. Yet, SSD is worlds apart from being truly deaf- you still have the gift of hearing, and you cannot relate to the deaf world. I cannot understand sign language, and as I can hear perfectly well so long as there is no excessive background noise, I do not feel the need to learn. I am hopeless at lip reading. People with SSD don't really fit into either world.
  • Lack of understanding: Many people do not understand SSD and treat those with it as though they are stupid. One such person was an old geography teacher I had. One day he asked me to fetch an Indian boy from another class to see him. Now there were two boys with similar names; one was called Jatinder and one was called Jeetender. I went and got the wrong boy didn't I? He mocked me in front of everyone when I got back and called me a 'handicap to the class'. This is a perfect example of how ignorant and insensitive teachers can be when dealing with SSD.

As far as I am concerned, I have never felt that my SSD was disabling- despite that spiteful geography teacher- yes it can lead to awkward situations at times, but I am just grateful that I can hear. I can listen to music, I can hear my own and others voices, and sounds of all kinds. My hearing in my left ear is better than some peoples hearing in both! I can hear high pitched frequencies that many others cannot. I have some musical skills and can play by ear, although musical ability and tone deafness have nothing to do with hearing ability (much as artistic ability and spacial awareness have nothing to do with sight). I may not be able to hear in stereo, locate the direction and distance of sound, or fully understand a conversation among other conversations, but the rest of the time I can hear well and I am grateful for it.

A mono splitter I use for my headphones

A mono splitter I use for my headphones

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Read More From Patientslounge

How to Deal With a Hearing Disability

One of the key things I have found to help cope with SSD is humour, and the ability to laugh and not take my mistakes too seriously. Sometimes my brain interprets things people say as the most ridiculous things- which says quite a bit about my imagination! Comic relief has helped to get through awkward situations while growing up. I notice people don't hold back as much when it comes to making fun of this kind of disability either- someone in a wheelchair might not be the butt end of quite so many jokes (although I am sure such a disability is far worse in many ways).

Another important lesson I have learned is to be open and tell people as soon as possible about being deaf in one ear. I don't like to introduce myself in this way—because I don't like to be identified as '"that half-deaf girl" plus, I like to give people time to regard me as 'normal' before thinking they have to shout or talk to me slowly like a halfwit. But as soon as I feel comfortable, I will explain. Particularly if someone asks why I keep swapping sides if they walk on my right-hand side. The worst thing is for unsuspecting people to be rude or angry because they don't realize I have a hearing problem and think I am just ignoring them, blanking them, or not paying attention. Explaining the issue resolves this (now it's up to them to remember!).

Most important of all: be grateful for what you do have. It's easy to feel miserable and full of self-pity if you suffer from SSD, especially if you were not born with the condition like me and have experienced what you are now missing out on. But do not take for granted that you can still hear. Try to count your blessings and see the good side (no pun intended) of being deaf in one ear.

Annoying Things for People With the Condition

  • Stereo headphones: These are the bane of anyone with single-sided deafness. Fortunately, mono splitters can be purchased that can be used to modify stereo headphones and blend all the sounds into one channel. There is nothing worse than listening to your favourite song, only to have the guitar solo omitted because it's playing on the wrong side of your head!
  • Surround sound: I think I feel a bit of resentment here because everyone says what an amazing effect this has. To me, it just sounds like everything getting louder and quieter.
  • Noisy parties: Don't get me wrong, I love parties. What I don't love is the mash of sound blurring into one messy ball of incomprehensible noise. Meeting new people in this kind of environment can be very awkward, and explaining you cant hear them unless they sit on your 'good side' and (depending on the volume of the background noise) talk into your ear- which is often too intimate when first meeting people- can be perplexing.
  • Creepy sounds at night: Is that a burglar breaking in? Or is it a neighbour? Or even just the plumbing? Who knows? There is nothing more frustrating and unnerving than unidentified sounds coming from who knows where when you are alone at night (or even when you are not alone and your husband is sleeping and doesn't hear them!).
  • Busy junctions on roads: car sounds everywhere. Too many directions to try to keep track of at once. Crossing the road here is suicide!
  • English cars: I am English, but I live in Spain. One of the great things for me personally, when it comes to living in a country where people drive on the right rather than the left, is being able to hear the driver well (I don't drive myself, and the driving seat is on the left-hand side, my 'good' side!). In English cars, the engine noise often drowns out any conversation. If I ever took driving lessons though, it would have to be in an English car, so I could hear the instructor well!
  • Losing my mobile phone: Getting someone to call it is no good. I usually call it myself and assign my husband to the task of locating the sound.
  • People assuming you are being rude/ignoring them: I've been in situations where I am concentrating on something, and there is background noise which I have learnt to ignore (If I reacted to every unidentified sound, I'd be jumping all the time). Often this background noise is someone attempting to talk to me on my deaf side. I don't realise. They get mad.
  • People shouting/talking very slowly like you're dumb: Come on. This is so patronizing. Just stand on my correct side for goodness sake.
  • Reacting to loud noises: If there is a bang, everyone will jump and look in the direction of the sound to see what it is. I will often jump towards the sound and look in the opposite direction. It's better to train yourself not to react at all to avoid the ridicule.
  • Films with sound effects and music louder than the voices: No, just... no. This forces me to use subtitles.
  • Not being able to swap ears while on the phone: Okay, this is a bit petty, but sometimes my ear gets hot and tired! I often envy other people being able to swap during long phone conversations!

Cool Things for People With SSD

  • Being able to sleep in noisy environments: Laying with your good ear on the pillow is enough to muffle out troublesome sounds, and although you can still hear the alarm clock, you can use SSD as a good excuse if you want to sleep in!
  • Selective Hearing, literally: One of the ways my brain compensates for constant unidentified sounds is by filtering them out. Anything that doesn't sound like it should be close by (even if it actually is) or important, generally gets ignored- another good excuse for not listening to what you don't want to hear.
  • Being able to focus better without distraction: This works for me, at least! It's so much easier to get lost into your own internal reality without so many external distractions. But then I've never had 'normal' hearing to compare..
  • Strategic placement for things you don't want to hear: If one of your friends munches popcorn too loud at the cinema, stick 'em on your deaf side! Sitting near the speakers in a pub? To the deaf side!
  • It saves on ear plugs: You only need to use one at concerts and gigs and other situations where earplugs are needed. Although this does get strange looks, admittedly. Also, you can save your hearing by turning your deaf side towards the loud music!
  • It forces you to use your brain more: More brain usage = more intelligence! I'm not sure if this can be proven, per se, but I am pretty sure that my hearing issues have forced me to listen harder, think harder and try to keep more on-the-ball than others. I have overridden automatic base reactions such as jumping at noises, which takes a lot of discipline.
  • Using an awesome Steampunk style ear trumpet: Ok, this one is pushing it a bit, but how cool would that be?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Vanadis

Comments

Louise Elcross on July 05, 2020:

I suffer from this and have done all my life. In the area I was born in the early sixties, I was labelled as 'Backward child' because of my deafness. Back then there was no understanding for a poor child that could not hear in my family. I got smacked and seriously punished by my parents for being stupid. Now I am sort of grateful this is the way I am because I dont have to hear what I dont want to hear by just putting my hand over my good ear. There are positives in everything for me. Thank you for writing this I really enjoyed reading.

vanesa on February 19, 2020:

my name is vanesa and I bearly have this condition alittle longer than 5 months. it is very hard to live with it finding this article made me realize I wasent the only one. although a lot of this comments in here say some were born with this, I wasent im 28 years old and all my life I was able to hear with both until 5 months ago when I went to sleep with a real bad headache and woke up like this. going to the doc was just hopeless nobody had the answers all refer me to the ENT.. everything was so suddent. I had to manage to continue my life with this trying to live normal. its all new to my brain to let all sounds go to just one ear.. im still cooping with this.. stressfull days give me headache but its good to know theres people out there with the same condition.. thank you for this article...

Kathy on May 03, 2019:

Vanadis, thank you for sharing your story. Am also suffering from hearing loss since birth, right ear to be exact. Just learned the cause of my hearing loss recently through the MRI. The doctor recommended BAHA. It would cost around Php1M (USD 20,000) for this procedure. Any success stories with BAHA?

Tim Peters on February 22, 2019:

I have been deaf in my right ear from birth but like Vanadis it was not 'discovered' until i was 10.

I had moved school and my new teacher noticed that when my fellow pupils were busy writing when she was speaking I was always lifting up my head and turning it towards her. She called in the school hearing guy who confirmed i was completely deaf and hearing aids would be useless as it was in the inner ear.

Although Vanadis education wasn't effected mine was as i started secondary education doing remedial maths & english (essentially the class thickie). It took me a long time to catch up with my peers and i would urge any parent to act quickly if they have any doubts about their child's hearing.

SSD has stopped me from doing a lot of jobs (i could not join the police or the RAF which was my dream when younger) and now with all the new technology i would not be able to work in a number of areas such as radio, tv and even shops (recently in Lidl's the guys working on the checkout all had ear pieces in).

It appears in the UK that it is not considered a disability but i always have to mention this in job applications.

I totally agreed with the noisy situations as i takes some much effort to join in with conversations at parties, bars etc that after an hour or so i have to leave and going to concerts are even worse.

I have bookmarked this page as it is so good at explaining SSD.

Thanks for posting it.

Mark Fairhead on February 13, 2019:

This is so well written - mirrors my own experiences and feelings having been SSD from birth.

Megan on February 06, 2019:

I have this but my right ear is closed. It’s there but looks like it didn’t quite finish growing lol. But I agree with everything in this article. Humor is the only way I make it through the days sometimes.

Jennifer C Dewar on December 12, 2018:

Thank you so much for this article. Although I lost hearing in one ear 9 years ago, all that you write resonates so accurately with me. I am a candidate for a single Cochlear Implant but am on the fence since at home and many situations I hear really well with just one hearing ear.

It is the social situations, as you point out, that are a real challenge.

Mark on November 14, 2018:

Seek help if you have one your deafness it has cost me to loving relationships it is so difficult on my partner to repeat assessed etc. constantly when it is my problem or so they have told me maybe this seems a little cold but seek care it can save your relationships

Waheeda on September 05, 2018:

Pls anyone answer me...no replies from anyone..

Waheeda on September 02, 2018:

Hi I'm waheeda from Chennai, this is really awesome article same like you vanadis my story also related with...I have lost my left ear wen I was 17 now I'm 28... suddenly I had hear loss I diagnosed then doc told me sum nerves cut in my ear after tat I don't like to go for any treatment,.. totally messed up really very bad experience with SSD...while I get cold my nose were block tis is so bad to overcome with cold infection....I wil right ear block tooo wen I get cold. Now I have fear about losing my good ear...daily while praying I'm asking God y tis is for me ???? But hereafter I won't bcuz like me there are so many people living wit SSD...mine love marriage my husband very caring I got married in 2015 still now I don't have baby I'm confusing tis with my SSD problem... please anyone help me or answer me I will loss my good ear also ???

Ronda Danielle Johnson on August 31, 2018:

Vanadis, thank you for your sharing. I lost hearing in my right ear 2-26-14. I was 49 years young. :) Its been a very challenging thing for me...especially at work. Sometimes not hearing what someone needed...it is nice to know i am not alone and, others can relate.

I just very recently got fitted for a Cross Over hearing aid. wow it made me cry, not that i can hear over there, but that i can hear whats over to the right. No hollow sound and, yes, i can swap my phone to the right side. But, I gotta say, they kind of hurt a bit and, i think i feel a bit the same. The sound in my good ear is a little strange now. I will be honest, I am not sure i will keep them. I will keep them a while longer...im just not sure. They are also, very exspensive. Costco has them, but not the Cross Over. anyhow, thanks again for the article. I too think, i need to learn the languaage of signing.

Best, Ronda Danielle Johnson

USA

Olivia on July 20, 2018:

I've been deaf in my left ear since I was born. It actually hepled me a as a babe since it was the first sign to the doctors that something else could be wrong which was true. While I have always known there are other people out there who are deaf on one side this is the first time I actually read an article about it I could relate to. Like the some others are saying, I didn't even realize that it was a disability or issue until I was about 6 or 7 and the other children pointed it out and acted differently after finding out. While I personally never thought I was disabled as my other ear had quite good hearing as I had trained myself to pick up on certain words but anytime people find out they are at first extremely surprised and then treat me awkwardly for a bit. Even my doctor forgets about my bad ear sometimes. I even was one of the better singers in the choir I was in as I could pick up the small differences in the notes and could tell if we were singing slightly off key. Sorry I'm rambling. What I really mean to say is I am so happy to have found this article and to know I am not the only one to have this and that this article is proof of that.

ree david on July 02, 2018:

I found this article 2 years ago, right after my 3 year old daughter was dx'ed with a UHL in her left ear. I have read this article countless times and sent it to every teacher, therapist and family member. You give me so much hope and really help me understand her!!

For those of you that were saying you are having a hard time hearing in noisy situations- I got her the Roger Focus from Phonak- she wears an open dome hearing aid in her "good" ear. She mostly uses it in school. It may be a good idea to look into it. We are very happy with it.

Best of luck to all and again thank you for sharing your experiences with us!!

Bill on June 02, 2018:

I have SSD as a result of Glomus Jugulare Tumor in my right ear. Have SSD for 30 years.

Thank you for the article . It is so accurate about the difficulties of SSD. I'm going to send it to my friends and boss at work in order to help them understand the challenges of SSD. At work I find it difficult to keep track of the general banter and everyday conversations.

SSD is very socially isolating

Julie on May 14, 2018:

I've been deaf in my left ear since around age 7, so don't remember what it was ever like to hear in stereo. This article is bang on and the paragraph about reacting to loud noises made me laugh out loud. Even after over 30 years with SSD I still do this, usually in large meetings when someone will suddenly speak loudly to get peoples attention and I'm the only one looking the wrong way!!

ruth leary on May 11, 2018:

A bit different, when I was 49 became gradually deaf in left ear. Wrongly diagnosed as middle ear infection etc. Turned out after 2 years challenging, I had an MRI scan. Acoustic neuroma! The advice my

surgeon was that anyone SUDDENLY becoming deaf in one ear, should have a scan. If it had been picked up earlier, I would not have had such

invasive surgery

Lydia on February 12, 2018:

I have been almost completely deaf in my right ear since as long as I remember. Probably the earliest memory I have of really thinking about it as a kid was when I was on the phone. And one time when I was little I went into an ear appt where they do the beeps in either of your ears and my left ear went great but when they got to the right I stopped being able to hear them way earlier and the nurse looked so distraught and I had to tell her that I already knew I had very little hearing in that ear. A lot of these points are so true. I have never really considered myself disabled or that different, but I think that is largely attributed to the fact that my SSD is more mild and also I did not really experience much stigma. Probably because I have adapted well and am able to hide it. But all of my friends know and I have basically conditioned them to move to the side of me that has the good ear. Although sometimes they will get annoyed when I request to sit on a certain side so I can hear better. The phone thing is one of the things you mentioned that I really connected with, probably because it was one of the first indications of my deafness I can remember and also because I have always wanted to just be able to switch ears on a call. Alas, it's great hearing about this story and the other people who commented's stories. I have never really met or heard of people having this, except for one guy and when I learned about that I was super excited to learn that my condition was shared by others.

Breanna on November 06, 2017:

Thank you so much for sharing your story I’ve had SSD since I was born and I didn’t think it was very common. It makes me feel a lot less alone to see that what I’m going through is not just me and that other people know the struggle of always having to place yourself on your good side. This put such a smile on my face since I related with everything you said.

SC on October 16, 2017:

I always knew there were things I was missing being born deaf in my left ear. Now at 49 NAION took away all useful sight from my right eye. Being different molded me into somewhat of a loner. Now I don't know where I fit in.

Kira M on October 05, 2017:

After reading this, I have a genuine smile on my face. Born with ssd but just now finding out what my condition is called from this article at 22. I'm from a very small town. My school was ill prepared and I dealt with a lot of prejudice over my condition. Core teachers always put me in ap, though, so I would agree with it you there. Reading through so many comments, it's crazy to see how many people have related here. Not so alone.

Ashley on September 19, 2017:

Thank you so much for sharing I am 25 years old and last year I lost my hearing in my left ear due to Cholestoma. I have been struggling a lot with opening up and dealing with this. Being that I still have a few more surgeries ahead of me I am a little discouraged. Reading this article helped me realize that I am not in this alone and that there are several people in the world who struggle with SSD.

Krishna on September 12, 2017:

I am also having same problem.. Does anyone think why god gave us only one ear

DavidC on September 10, 2017:

SSD in left eat, diagnosed when I was 20 probably form birth (now 50) mild hearing loss in right. @Anamanri - know exactly what you mean. For teleconferencing try doing if from your own desk using a phone I work in an open plan office but find that a phone reduces interference, that's whats I do from mine when I can. When I'm in a meeting or I have to telephone conference in a communal room its harder but I'm lucky enough to be senior enough to tell people I'm half deaf and if I miss something I'll ask for it to be repeated and tough, get on with it. Remember a couple of things, one we're luckier than those that are totally deaf in both ears and two it doesn't stop us from being good at our jobs and sometimes better than others!

AnaManri on September 07, 2017:

I've been deaf on my left ear since I was 7. and with mild hearing loss on my right. I work as a scientist, now with the advance of technology meetings are all held by teleconference. has any of you ever encounter problems with this? specially since there are only open areas and everyone is talking on their phones, is getting so hard to cope and participate, my boss is treating me to fire me since I don't participate (the truth is that is so hard to the the conversation) and I stay behind. Do you have any tips or examples of how to make it better.

Jananne on September 05, 2017:

I've been deaf in my left ear since I was four (due to a mastoid operation). I agree with everything you say, especially the subtitles which I use virtually all the time.

My problem is made worse (if thats possible) by extreme tinitus in my good ear.

The thing that really gets me is people who have known me for years and my family, laughing when I don't hear something. I could literally scream sometimes! I'm 52 years old now, have had SSD for 48 years and yet people who should know better still make fun of me. When I'm having a "down in the dumps" time, it reduces me to tears.

lena bean on September 02, 2017:

And then my family would tell me that God made up for it with my perfect vision because everyone in my family wears glasses or has some sort of vision problem. lol

lena bean on September 02, 2017:

Oh I can't tell you how comforting it is to see someone with the same problems as me. I've had SSD in my left ear since birth and I've always had these problems. I relate to almost everything you said but you forgot that annoying experience when you first tell someone and they get on your deaf side and whisper something and ask "Can you hear that?" Well I obviously can't, I'm DEAF. And then they gradually get louder until you can hear them from your good ear. Hehe know what I mean?

Pete on September 01, 2017:

You nailed it! I've had hearing problems for over 10 years now and over the past 2 years the hearing in my right ear has become useless. I spent the past 2 years trying to convince my audiologist that I needed bicros hearing aids. She kept making adjustments to my right hearing aid that just introduced more noise and distortion. Finally a new hearing test convinced her that bicros may be more helpful. The good news is that bicross minimizes the head shadow effect but all the other issues you speak of are still there. I am a senior citizen so I am fortunate that it didn't happen earlier in my life like so many others but it still is as frustrating.

Amanda on August 30, 2017:

Alright I agree with alot of you stuff you wrote. I have been deaf in my left ear since I was four. I was so sick always had ear infections all the time. I remember always doing the hearing test. And I would always wish so badly I would be able to hear it. That I would remember what they would do with my right ear on the test that I would do it when they would test me on my left side. I always feel everything is loud. It to the point I always have my head slightly tilted left so i can hear all around me. Yes i agree with not being able to switch when being on phone. Ugh. Lol! When i was you younger I had a friend of mine who was dear and had hearing aids. So she and I would put one of hers in mine. I guess I wanted so badly to hear in that ear and thought I could get a hearing Aid. And it would make it all better. Nope didn't work. I been made fun of. People get mad cause I cant hear them if the are to the left of me.. I feel the pain that you have experienced. I do too!!!

Gg on August 28, 2017:

Awesome article and I completely agree with everything here! :)

I've been deaf in my left ear ever since I was born, never had any problems at all growing up!

I didn't realise the significant differences until I was well into my 20s when my friends started teasing me (lovingly) about me looking the wrong way when I hear traffic.

In fact many of my friends I met early in life had no idea I was half deaf because as a child, I never had a reason to tell them! I always had the habit of reading people's lips while they talked :) So I agree with your point that it definitely isn't a disability :)

And I do love the fact that I can sleep through anything if I put my good ear in the pillow

Van on August 24, 2017:

thanks you, now, i realized that i'm not the only person with hearing problem. i can hear well with my right ear. but it really sometime being not normal. but i accepted myself as i am....

Will Kramer on August 11, 2017:

My biggest upset with the condition is my inability to realize how loud I'm getting when speaking while under a lot of stress or in an upsetting situation. I have been admonished all my life for being too loud.