Single-sided deafness can make everyday activities more difficult. Business meetings, crossing the street, driving a car and enjoying a meal in a busy restaurant can be hard work and very stressful.
Creative coping mechanisms become a regular occurrence – sitting on a certain side of the table or room, telling people to speak into your ‘good ear,’ avoiding busy restaurants or family gatherings and asking your colleagues to constantly repeat themselves while at the office or in meetings.
It can be exhausting.
Debra B., Baha recipient
Single-sided deafness (SSD) occurs when you have little to no hearing in one ear and normal hearing in the other. It can happen at birth, suddenly or gradually over time.
You are not alone. In fact, each year approximately 60,000 Americans find themselves exactly where you are right now.11 We hear so many stories from people who struggle with hearing loss in one ear. Luckily, we’ve also heard stories from those who overcame it.
Aaron suddenly lost his hearing in his right ear overnight. Not only did he lose his hearing but he also lost his connection to one of his most favorite things in the world- nature. His hearing loss changed his personality and even made him withdrawal from the ones he loved most. After talking with his audiologist, he knew the Baha 5 SuperPower is exactly what he needed to have 360 degrees of sound again.
Debra was diagnosed with a cholesteatoma that was life changing. The invasive tumor left her totally deaf in her right ear, leaving her without sound and often times missing out on conversations that were happening right in front of her. Thanks to the Baha 5 System, Debra is no longer missing out on any conversations and is enjoying richer relationships with family and friends.
Hearing with two ears (called binaural hearing) provides clear advantages.
Ears work as a team. Hearing and actively engaging in life is easier when using both ears. Hearing with two ears allows you to identify sounds both near and far, as well as those that occur 360 degrees around your head.¹ With two ears, you can better understand speech and hear more clearly. You can also better determine where a sound is coming from and hear better in noise.
If one ear is taken out of the equation, it may become difficult to:
Sounds that originate from your bad side will fall in the shadow of your head, so when they finally reach your good ear, it may be more difficult to hear and understand them clearly, especially in noisy environments.2 This is especially true for higher-frequency sounds. Because they have shorter wavelengths, it is easier for them to be reflected by the head.²
Because consonants are higher-frequency sounds that contain much of the meaning of speech, the head-shadow effect makes it difficult for people with SSD to understand speech in the presence of background noise.²
A limited ability to discern the direction of sound is more than inconvenient – it can be dangerous. Crossing a busy street, driving through traffic or not knowing where your child is when they call your name at the playground may be very unsettling.
The Cochlear™ Baha® System is an implantable hearing solution that works by picking up sounds on your deaf side, converting them into sound vibrations and transferring them to your good, working ear through the skull bone.