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Learn about your 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.

Hearing Loss in One Ear Checker

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Your Hearing Loss in One Ear May Also be Known as:
Can't hear in left ear
Can't hear in one ear
Can't hear in right ear
Hearing loss in left ear
Hearing loss in right ear
Quiet in left ear
Quiet in one ear
Quiet in right ear

Top 7 Hearing Loss in One Ear Causes

  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.

    You can carefully watch and wait on this one. 90% of cases resolve without treatment in 6 months. If you do go to the doctor, he/she would take a look in the ear to confirm the diagnosis. Adults can request vasoconstrictor nose sprays (Neo-Synephrine or Afrin), but that can't be used long term. Flonase can also be prescribed. Follow up with a doctor if things don't get better or improve in 1 week!

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, constant hearing loss, hearing loss in one ear, trouble hearing that is better in noisy environments
    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.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.

    90% of cases resolve without treatment in 6 months. However, since your symptoms are already long lasting, you should go to the doctor who will take a look in the ear to confirm the diagnosis. Adults can request vasoconstrictor nose sprays (Neo-Synephrine or Afrin), but that can't be used long term. Flonase can also be prescribed.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, hearing loss in one ear, trouble hearing that is better in noisy environments
    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
  3. 3.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 40, and most often starts in only one ear.

    You should visit your primary care physician. This is a complex condition that is treated with prescription medication to help reduce the amount of fluid inside the inner ear, as well as medication to prevent vertigo, dizziness, and vomiting.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, ringing in the ears, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ear fullness/pressure, brief fainting episode
    Symptoms that always occur with meniere's disease:
    dizziness: at least 2 episodes
    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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  4. 4.Chronic Ear Infection (Suppurative Otitis Media)

    Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media is persistent drainage from the middle ear due to a damaged membrane. It is considered chronic when it lasts for more than 6 weeks.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who may suggest topical therapy or systemic therapy. Topical antibiotics are the first line of treatment for most patients.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hearing loss in one ear, ear canal pain, pus leaking from the ear
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic ear infection (suppurative otitis media):
    pus leaking from the ear
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options. However, some cases do not require treatment as symptoms go away on their own.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    arm weakness, arm weakness, hearing loss, hearing loss in one ear, leg weakness
    Symptoms that always occur with bell's palsy:
    face weakness, weakness in one side of the face
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician. A hearing test is likely to be performed. This is a complex condition that is treated with prescription medication to help reduce the amount of fluid inside the inner ear, as well as medication to prevent vertigo, dizziness, and vomiting.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, episodic dizziness, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ringing in the ears, ear fullness/pressure
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss surgery to remove the cyst.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    ringing in the ears, ear fullness/pressure, hearing loss in one ear, vertigo (extreme dizziness), ear discharge
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hearing Loss in One Ear

  • Q.Has your hearing loss gotten better or worse?
  • Q.Is your hearing loss constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long has your hearing loss been going on?
  • Q.How severe is your hearing loss?

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

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Hearing Loss in One Ear Symptom Checker Statistics

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

    • 6% Ringing in the Ears
    • 5% Ear Fullness / Pressure
    • 5% Headache
  • People who have experienced hearing loss in one ear had symptoms persist for:

    • 64% Less Than a Day
    • 12% Over a Month
    • 12% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced hearing loss in one ear were most often matched with:

    • 12% Glue Ear (Otitis Media With Effusion)
    • 1% Chronic Glue Ear (Otitis Media With Effusion)
    • 1% Meniere's Disease

Hearing Loss in One Ear Checker

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

Take a quiz