Read below about hearing loss in one ear, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your hearing loss in one ear from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Hearing Loss in One Ear

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced hearing loss in one ear. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Glue Ear (Otitis Media With Effusion)

    "Glue ear" is caused by fluid built up in the middle ear (under the eardrum). It happens more frequently in kids than adults because of having frequent colds and less developed tubes in the ear. In adults, it's caused by acute or chronic sinusitis in 66% of cases. It may also be caused by cigarette smoke, allergies, reflux, genetics, or bacteria, all of which stimulate the production of the fluid.

    63% get better in 3 months; 90% in 1 year

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, constant hearing loss, hearing loss in one ear, trouble hearing that is better in noisy environments, ear canal pain
    Symptoms that always occur with glue ear (otitis media with effusion):
    ear fullness/pressure, hearing loss in one ear, constant hearing loss
    Symptoms that never occur with glue ear (otitis media with effusion):
    ear canal pain, fever
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  2. 2.Earwax Blockage

    Ear wax production is a normal process, as the body makes wax to protect the ear from infection. Sometimes ear wax can build up and cover the eardrum, which is a thin layer of skin that stretches across the end of the ear canal and picks up sound from outside. Ear wax buildup has nothing to do with poor hygiene, and it is not possible to prevent a build-up by washing.

    Condition likely will go away on its own after 5 days without treatment. However, with pain, dizziness, or feelings of fullness, the earwax should be removed.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, dry cough, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears
    Symptoms that never occur with earwax blockage:
    swollen ear, fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  3. 3.Possible Meniere's Disease

    Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in the ears called tinnitus, hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. Meniere's commonly develops between the ages of 20 and 60, and most often starts in only one ear.

    Life-long condition, attacks may happen 6-11 times per year on average.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, episodic dizziness, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ear fullness/pressure
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Age - Related Hearing Loss

    More than 2.2M adults over the age of 70 have age-related hearing issues. It is caused by a buildup of Hearing loss has been attributed to loneliness, declining activity, and lower quality of life for seniors.

    Progressive but treatable

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    possible hearing loss, increased difficulty with speech due to hearing loss, hearing loss that is worse in noisy environments
    Symptoms that always occur with age-related hearing loss:
    possible hearing loss
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Hearing Loss in One Ear Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having hearing loss in one ear.

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  5. 5.Cholesteatoma (a Non - Cancerous Growth in the Ear)

    Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst that is located in the middle ear and mastoid bone in the skull. It can be a birth defect though more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.

    Chronic, but curable

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears, pain in one ear canal, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss in one ear
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Chronic Glue Ear (Otitis Media With Effusion)

    "Glue ear" is caused by fluid built up in the middle ear (under the eardrum). It happens more frequently in kids than adults because of having frequent colds and less developed tubes in the ear. In adults, it's caused by acute or chronic sinusitis in 66% of cases. It may also be caused by cigarette smoke, allergies, reflux, genetics, or bacteria, all of which stimulate the production of the fluid.

    63% get better in 3 months; 90% in 1 year

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, hearing loss in one ear, trouble hearing that is better in noisy environments, ear canal pain
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic glue ear (otitis media with effusion):
    hearing loss in one ear, ear fullness/pressure
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic glue ear (otitis media with effusion):
    ear canal pain, fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  7. 7.Brain Tumor or Mass

    A brain lesion can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Nonetheless, they are a potentially serious issue and should be discussed with a physician.

    Uncertain. Prognosis is very dependent on what is found

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, irritability
    Symptoms that always occur with brain tumor or mass:
    focal neurological symptoms
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  8. 8.Burst Ear Drum

    The ear drum is a thin membrane that vibrates as sound hits it, transmitting that vibration into signals that the brain understands! When it bursts, your hearing is affected. It typically happens after some force to the ear drum, such as a blow to the ear, an exploding firecracker, a fall onto water, or even a sharp object in the ear.

    Smaller perforations heal over days to weeks almost 100% of the time. Larger perforations may need a procedure. If healing doesn't happen in 8 weeks, surgery may be necessary.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    ear canal pain, constant ear pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss
    Symptoms that always occur with burst ear drum:
    ear canal pain, recent ear injury, constant ear pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Bell's Palsy

    Bell's palsy (facial palsy) causes sudden weakness in facial muscles and makes half of the face appear to droop. The exact cause is unknown, but it's believed to be the result of swelling and inflammation of the nerve that controls the muscles on one side of your face or may be a reaction that occurs after a viral infection.

    Weeks to 6 months

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    arm weakness, facial numbness, arm weakness, hearing loss, pain on one side of the face
    Symptoms that always occur with bell's palsy:
    face weakness, weakness in one side of the face
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hearing Loss in One Ear

  • Q.Have you been experiencing dizziness?
  • Q.Do you hear a ringing or whistling sound no one else hears?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Has your hearing loss been confirmed by a test?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our hearing loss in one ear symptom checker to find out more.

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Hearing Loss in One Ear Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced hearing loss in one ear have also experienced:

    • 7% Ringing in the Ears
    • 7% Pain in One Ear Canal
    • 7% Ear Fullness / Pressure
  • People who have experienced hearing loss in one ear had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Day
    • 25% Over a Month
    • 22% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced hearing loss in one ear were most often matched with:

    • 60% Possible Meniere's Disease
    • 40% Earwax Blockage
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

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