Bilateral Hearing Loss | Hearing Loss In Both Ears

Bilateral Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is said to be present when a person has a defect which stops them from understanding sound and it can be found in one ear or it can be recognised as being a loss of hearing in both ears. The latter is referred to as bilateral hearing loss, or BHL. This type of hearing loss can be caused by a wide range of instances or factors. Bilateral hearing loss can be classed as being conductive or sensorineural which are two classifications of loss. It is important to have all forms of hearing loss thoroughly investigated and properly diagnosed by a appropriately qualified professional. There are many different forms of hearing loss and even two people suffering from bilateral hearing loss may have very different complaints or issues.

While it is common for bilateral hearing loss to occur over time with the level of hearing diminishing, it can also occur very suddenly. All hearing loss should be checked out but anyone that suffers from sudden loss should make an appointment with a local GP at their earliest opportunity.

Causes of Bilateral Hearing Loss

The factors that cause hearing loss are varied and there are many different factors and influences involved. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors and this type of hearing loss may be congenital or it could be caused by particular medications or it could even be due to being exposed to loud noises or noisy environments. The fact that so many different factors can have an impact on why a person suffers from hearing loss means that there is a need to have it routinely checked not only to establish the level of loss but any deterioration.

If the hearing loss is a conductive form of hearing loss, this is down to a breakdown in the effectiveness of sound waves being passed from the outer ear. This form of hearing loss is far more commonly associated with physical damage, including a perforation of the ear drum or a large build-up of wax. This sort of hearing loss is far more likely to be able to be treated by medical professionals. Hearing loss that occurs suddenly through physical damage, infection or loud noises is not always reversible.

Managing Bilateral Hearing Loss

There are a number of treatments and methods available which can help deaf or hearing impaired people to make the most of their life. Hearing aids and hearing devices rank amongst the best inventions and they have helped transform the life of many people who suffer from hearing loss.

As well as hearing aids for people who have suffered from deafness or hearing loss since birth it may be possible that a cochlear implant will provide them with a better response. These implants are inserted, via surgery, into the inner ear. As research continues and the benefits of medical technology continue to improve, there is renewed hope that there will be more options available for people who suffer from hearing loss.

With respect to people who are deaf in both ears, binaural hearing loss sufferers, there is a need to provide assistance that provides them with as natural a hearing experience as possible. This is where there is a need to ensure that people can judge direction and distance from sound sources. Many modern hearing aids and hearing devices are being created to provide the brain with as much information as possible. This will ensure that people receive as full a sonic landscape as they possibly can, and which utilises the capabilities and powers of the brain. This is why using two hearing aids will often be a better solution than wearing one. Cost can sometimes be a factor and it may be argued that some people will benefit from using one hearing device but for a complete picture, there is a lot to be said for sending signals to both sides of the brain. This is the case for a number of reasons, including:

  • Improved localisation and being able to tell where sounds originate from
  • Improved ability to hear amidst background noise
  • A stereo landscape as opposed to mono
  • An improved ability to hear softer sounds and natural sounds
  • A reduced need to strain yourself while hearing
  • A better balance for listening
  • A more satisfying listening experience

Studies have also shown that a person who suffers from hearing loss in both ears but who will only wear one hearing device will see the quality of hearing in their non-device ear diminish faster.

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