Deaf in One Ear

One Good Ear, The beginning.

 I decided to make this hub, only because I can't find much on how a person feels when they only have one good ear. In my case I was born ( as far as we know) with complete deafness in my right ear. Which to me throughout my life it has been both a curse, and a blessing if you can believe it. I think it gives me, a sense of humor when I look back at different events that occurred and my role in these events.

 I can vividly remember when we found out I was deaf in my right ear at a very early age. Of course my mother may remember it differently but I was only about three or four so I imagine my adult mind filled in the blanks or whatever. In any case I remember standing on the kitchen chair which I had pulled up to the kitchen telephone on the wall. I must have did this from time to time to talk to my grandmother. I remember standing up there and my mother finding it odd that I used my left ear to talk on the phone. Even preferring the left ear. I remember she took the phone from me to move it to my right ear, to make me talk to Mamaw this way, and I remember crying because she insisted I do it this way. Even when I said she was not there on that side. I think I thought in mind that she must have been standing on my left side at her house. See, that's what I mean about a sense of humor. Children think differently.  Thinking of these things make me chuckle, even though my mother was seriously concerned I'm sure.

This was about 1973-74 so at the time they did not test newborns for hearing impairment, etc.

My mother was very young, she was sixteen when she had me and I'm guessing about nineteen or twenty by the time it was discovered. I can imagine there were times she thought I was just being stubborn or ignoring her, with my nose stuck in Sesame Street or whatever. Which also makes me chuckle, I don't know why.  Probably because I know I do, even now, have selective hearing, blocking out what I don't particularly want to pay attention to.

Anyway this hub is basically to help me sort out my feelings about it all and maybe just to get it out in some sort of organized way. And maybe someone will think this is similar to their own experiences, or maybe not.

Cut out of Ear
Cut out of Ear

Epiphany !

 I actually had an epiphany just a few weeks ago. I now being thirty-nine years old, knew I could not hear at all in my right ear, not even a little. I can still feel my eardrum vibrate at very loud noise but no sound. What I didn't realize was that my parents still didn't know the severity of deafness in my right ear.

A few weeks ago someone, said something to me at my parents house and I had to ask them to repeat it, because they were on the right side of me, I didn't catch it all. So of course, again, I had to explain to them, ( people I grew up with ) that I couldn't hear in that ear. My dad then said, well your only about 60% deaf in your right ear.

Okay, here is the problem, the audiologist, places me in a soundproof vault then hands me a little button for each hand and a set of earphones on my ears. He then tells me to push the button when I hear a sound in that ear. Problem!!!  I'm four!!! I like buttons, I push them, any of them, especially when given permission. Pair that with the fact that I can't tell where sound comes from. I was pushing buttons left and right literally. I thought it was a game.

So I guess my epiphany is, that I must compensate really well. Even people I have lived with my whole life didn't realize the severity of the deafness.

The Down Side

 Of course there are down sides to having only one good ear.

The first was the fact that when teachers learn of this, I had to sit in the front row of every class. Which I hated. And the other kids thought I was getting special treatment, which led to teasing, but the good part was I just turned my head and blocked it out mostly.

Another down side is my balance. I have terrible balance, which I attribute to my vestibular system which is directly related to my ears.  I fell down alot. I fell off the school bus, I fell off the bleachers, I fell for no reason at all, it seems. And you know how funny it is to see someone fall, we all laugh we just can't help ourselves. 

At about four or five I was a little ballerina, took the classes etc. This was always thrown back in my face every time I fell. My dad would say " And to think you were a little ballerina." I guess he thought this was supposed to help my balance. Funny really. Kids running around in little tu-tu's what balance I mean really!

And of course the biggest down side now is that I sometimes can't hear people, and have to ask them to repeat themselves quite often. Most of the time repeating once is enough and I don't have to go into the whole explanation about how I can't hear you because I'm deaf in my right hear...............blah blah blah.

My husband gets frustrated at me sometimes because he thinks I do hear him, when I actually don't.

So it can be frustrating for me as well as to others around me.

And surround sound !  What is that ! Something my husband wants in the living room for movies, music, etc. OK, Whatever!

Deaf in one Ear, How many can identify?

Funny Story

Throughout childhood there were many instances when I just didn't hear or understand what the heck was going on.

I remember one time in particular. It was probably about 1978, I was eight years old. That winter there was quite a bit of snow. we lived a little ways out of town and about halfway home, dad noticed a truck that had slid off the road, down a hill and was sitting at the bottom. There was a man inside and a young boy, I was in the passengers seat. So dad stopped on the side of the road. I was on the side closest to the truck, so he instructs me to yell down and ask the man if he needed him to call a wrecker. So i climbed up out the window hanging out enough to holler down " Do you need us to call you a record ?" The man laughs, my dad laughs and I just sit there wondering what was so funny. It wasn't until years later I guess till I figured out how to spell wrecker that I actually saw what was so funny.

I have a habit of filling in the blanks sometimes when it comes to words or sentences. Just because it's faster and I usually can get by with it. But there is the occasion, that sometimes I try to do that only to find out that I wasn't being asked if I'd like a drink, but rather they want to know ,( Them: "What do you think?" Me: " Yes, I love one, thank you." ) ughhh..........

How do you Cope?

I know there are other folks out there with the same issue. And some handle it very well. I think it made me more introverted than perhaps I would have been. Very shy growing up. I always second guess myself, because I think maybe I heard it wrong or something.

I do better now, I got good at filling in the blanks, or reading lips, but I was wondering how others fair with the same problem. I don't know anyone else around here who was born deaf in one ear. I know people who have become hard of hearing for one reason or another. And they usually say one ear is worse than the other, and complain about it. And I can't see what the big deal is since I got by on just one ear my whole life.

So if anyone would care to comment let me know how you are doing. How do you cope? How do you compensate for it? As I am sure you all do whether you realize it or not. Since it's probably just natural to go about your lives and not give much thought about it, unless an issue arises.

It's not a big deal most of the time, but there are times that it is annoying and just down right aggravating.

I Hate to Drive.

Just something I thought I'd throw in. I hate to drive. Well at least when others are in the car with me. Since I am deaf in my right ear, and all hearing is on the left. I hate to drive because if anyone tries to talk to me while driving I can't hear them at all. I usually hear a lot a mumbling but nothing coherent at all. I usually end up making them repeat themselves often.

Same goes for keeping the radio off. It just drowns out all other noise. I might miss something sombody says or sounds from outside like sirens or horns. I think this is almost a paranoia of mine. My husband thinks it is a little odd, but I can't help it. Even when he's driving the radio is off most of the time. He has been really good about it. I have had some people who insist on having the radio on but he puts up with it. I think we have had some really good conversations in the car due to the radio being off as well.

Just thought I'd throw this little bit of info in here because I wonder if there others who do the same thing.

Deaf in One selective hearing
Deaf in One selective hearing

Selective Hearing

My husband thinks I have selective hearing. I think he is right about somethings. I mean often times he is on the right of me which is my bad side. And if I am busy doing something at the time that means I have to stop my train of thought, and the activity I was doing and direct my attention to him fully. This is sometimes hard to do. I mean when I am on my train of thought I don't want to loose it, I want to stay focused. I think if he is on my good side when this happens, I am much better at multi-tasking and listening to him and completing what I started.

So sometimes I guess I do have selective hearing. I do tend to tune him out on occasion. I mean if I think what I am doing is important, or if he could just wait five minutes to let me get done with what I am doing, then I could focus on what he is saying. Otherwise I would have to stop what I am doing and direct my full attention to him by turning around so I can hear him.

He gets so frustrated. I think it's more because of the fact that most of the time it is no big deal and I manage to figure out what he is saying even without asking him to repeat himself. He sometimes forgets that I am deaf in my right ear.

Once I explain it to him though he is usually pretty understanding and usually gets mad at himself for not remembering. It can make for some pretty bad feelings sometimes though. But we usually work it out just fine.

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Alecks Gates profile image

Alecks Gates 10 months ago

Has anyone ever tried bone-conduction headphones? They are designed to vibrate the bones for hearing instead of producing vibrations into the ear canal. What an interesting way to produce hearing... it might help for some of us!

I have seen a few cases where it helped people deaf in one ear. I don't know if I could ever get used it it!!!

Tom from Ohio (USA) 10 months ago


I honestly have never known another like myself. I know there are others, but we are so rare it is almost impossible to just bump into another. I am 39 now, and have been mostly deaf in my right ear since birth. For me the reason was that my inner ear was improperly developed, and had one of the 3 bones in my inner ear attached to the membrane that is connected to my spinal cord. Of all the conditions a surgeon like the one I had when I was 16 could repair, mine was the only one that could not be. The article here describes much of what I had experienced growing up. My parents tried their hardest to be patient and understanding, but the fact is that only those in a similar situation can even start to understand what it is like for us. It is true that we are not of either world - hearing and deaf. We also know that what most see as minor or meaningless assumptions, are in fact serious for us. As a result, we don't make assumptions - doing so can be dangerous at almost any level. What most are not aware of is how deep having at least 60% hearing loss in the right ear can lead to differences and disorders within the brain. I did not know until recently that I experience a form of aphasia because my speech and related memory areas are more limited than most. I did so poorly on my standardized tests (especially the language portion) in high school because I had trouble even understanding the words or phrases - I literally guessed as best I could. I also don't think mathematically like most people who are good in math can. I only realized a few years ago that I actually think in processes. From my perspective, "facts" are only perceptions and assumptions are dangerous when they are treated as facts. The only thing that works are processes. The steps taken to meet a goal will always result in meeting that goal, and don't change once the steps are proven. This is why I still use the simplest processes to find the simplest answers: 2 + 2 = 4. I don't memorize the answer, but the process to find the answer. Unfortunately, this is usually slower than just recalling a "fact", but this is how I was able to cope with being virtually deaf in my right ear. The advantage is that processes often apply to many situations. To change the topic: I do have a family but I don't have real friends that I might invite to my home. I love my wife with everything I have, but I also know that I think one reason my wife is the person I married because we grew up in different parts of the world - she is from China. I think it helped us start our relationship by having a natural buffer where both of us knew there would be differences that we would have to at least accept to become more serious. The other detail that helped just as much was the fact that we met online in a chat room over 19 years ago. My wife has been the only person I have ever dated or had any real friendship with. I do think it is the nature of living with SSD that has kept me from having long friendships. The other reason is that it is just my personality - the best relationships I have are either professional or romantic. I will say that I don't have any real regrets, except possibly that I don't understand most people as much as most people don't understand me. Sports? - No interest. Parties? - Forget it.

Theresa 13 months ago

Wow I feel like I have written this. I have Ssd since birth. It was not discovered until I was school aged. My school years were confusing and frustrating ,I now think because like you, my parents did not realize the severity of my hearing loss. As an adult I have come to realize what coping mechanisms I have adopted over the years. I too hate to drive and Hate going out to parties that are loud. I have always been very introverted I think due to fear of ridicule in childhood. I find it comforting that others have the same experience.

brandon parncutt 16 months ago

thanks for sharing this with the world. i too am deaf in my right ear, and have been probably since birth. i didn't notice it, and it wasn't discovered until i was in school. i can identify with everything you have experienced which is awesome. being in car, and especially driving (in the US...being deaf in the right ear may not be much of an issue in the UK or elsewhere); music in the car? you might as well pretend i don't exist as a passenger. i feel like i have missed out on a lot because of it, especially when others make quick witted jokes and such. i have found that it is extremely difficult for me to make out lyrics in music and i have difficulty remembering them unless i read them. i was wondering if anyone else experienced this as well? perhaps it is related to which side of the brain is processing the sound. oh, i can definitely feel the sounds in my right ear...i just cannot make out what it is if that makes sense. forget locating sounds, and i avoid noisy social situations just because i miss out on so much of it since i cannot hear a thing. the biggest plus is absolutely is so nice to be able to just lay on my good ear and drift into dark silence :). i got made fun of quite a bit for my hearing issues, and i guess, my requisite awkwardness/clumsiness from my hearing disability?...which i think did contribute towards my shyness in my younger years unfortunately. all this being said however, i do appreciate my condition a lot more as i get older (i'm 31 now). oh, i think that maybe there could be some autistic characteristics of my psyche/personality which may be related or caused by this disability.

Lauren 2 years ago

Can't believe how scarily true this post is, I knew people suffered from this but I didn't know it was this common.. I myself have suffered with SSD from an early age.. my mum always used to shout me from downstairs and obviously I could never hear her, she thought it was just me being ignorant and choosing not to hear her so one day she took me the hospital to get my ears syringed thinking this would work and still my hearing was no better. I then went through all the necessary tests and the MRI scan confirmed it. I've always had good grades at school and it has never stopped me from doing what I want to do. Everyone who knows me knows to automatically jump to my right (good) ear so I can hear them properly :).

Can I just ask as well when anyone was diagnosed with this did the doctor say this could prevent you from travelling to tropical countries, because the vaccinations people need before they travel there's something in that that could make you go completely deaf? bear in mind this was a long time ago the doctor told me this when I was diagnosed but every time I have mentioned it now to new doctors they haven't a clue what I am on about!?

Harry Walmsley profile image

Harry Walmsley 3 years ago

It has been a while since I have been on this site and time and technology have moved on. The problem of using stereo headphones when you can only hear with one ear has been covered in this hub. As it happens, I’ve been using headphones in conjunction with speech to text software which I use for my writing for several years. I am fortunate in that I lost my hearing when I was extremely young and do not suffer from titinus or remember stereo hearing, thus I can enjoy music, but not on headphones.

Headphones were supplied with the speech to text software I use and I had the impression that this was a “special” headset. I was a little bit annoyed to find out that my children had managed to break my two pairs of headphones while Mine Crafting and Skyping with their friends. This was after trashing two of their own headphones. The problem was that my son, David, would forget he was wearing the headphones and attempt to walk off with them attached to the computer.

As Christmas is approaching I thought a pair of wireless headphones would solve the problem, but discovered at my local electronics retailer that they could only be bought online and costs £75! While wandering around the shop I noticed a cheap “Internet calling PC headsets with a noise cancelling microphone using only one ear piece”. I decided to take a chance and at home, not only did I discover they work perfectly well with Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, but they were excellent for listening to the music, in glorious mono, which I had stored in stereo on my computer. I can even dictate and listen to music at the same time. I tried the headset on my smart phone and they worked well, transferring irritating stereo into superb mono! The best £14.99 I have spent in a long time.

Happy Christmas


RICHARD BELL 3 years ago

Well I have to say that it has surprised me to see so many other people affected by the same condition that I have. I was born deaf in one ear which was caused by a genetic condition passed down from my mother. I don't ever remember it being a big problem for me when I was growing up, in fact I was pulled out of schools so often for tests at hospitals that were often situated far away that I actually got lots of days off, of course most kids would consider that to be some form of bonus. What I think always amused me though was that my Dad, always thought that such disruption was a big issue and that it could scar me for life, so we always went somewhere afterwards to make up for what he thought was a traumatic experience for me, of course it wasn't that way at all!!!!!!

Unfortunately the area where my condition has affected me is my professional life, I harboured a lot of dreams to join the military when I was a kid, I have not had the career I really wanted but I discovered a loop whole in the Royal Navies medical examination regime and joined their logistics branch, which enabled me to go to sea as an officer which I still am now. So, ok I am deaf in one ear but I've participated in 2 wars, several rescues, counter drugs operations and many more things which I really shouldn't have. I'm still considered border line in terms of my hearing capability so at work I play my cards close to my chest, I'm now looking for something else to do with my life because I don't like living with the uncertainty. I would like to say that I am very proud of what I accomplished, especially when you consider that I was continuously told that I wouldn't be able to cope with it etc.

Regarding social activities, I do find that certain situations can be annoying, parties, restaurants etc, and I have to say that I am sensitive about it, I was never teased or anything, but I don't like being labelled as different when I think really I'm not. Sometimes my hearing and the funny things it can do, can cause some friction between my wife and I, if I'm concentrating, like when I'm at work navigating a ship I like a cat, ready to pounce on the slightest of noises, but if I'm engaged in a non essential task, and she mentions something off hand, sometimes I wont catch it, some times we have conversations whilst engaged in some other activity and I kinda make up a different version in my head, I heard all the words, but I just don't necessarily get the gist right. I read somewhere that people who have SSD, their brains have to work harder to sort out the noise, so they have shorter attention spans. I think I fall into that category, I am a copious note taker, because I like to refer back to things, other people often comment on that, they think that it is because I am meticulous, but in fact its because I need to. My wife some times struggles to understand this phenomenon, I am sometimes sensitive, so we can sometimes have the odd disagreement about it.

I recently had a son and I was terrified that he might have the same condition, we have had him extensively tested since he was born but the signs are good.

I would like to say to all those people out there, with a similar condition, you really shouldn't hide the fact that you suffer from SSD, most people are ok with it, it is nothing to be ashamed about, I think half of the reason I have the drive and ambition that I had was because of the desire to prove myself to the rest of the world, I know now that I didn't need to do that, my wife loves me for who I am so its ok and I have done a lot of good interesting fulfilling things.

In the future I may consider BAHA, but I can't quite get my head around the idea of having a titanium screw bolted to my skull, the idea of having hearing (of sorts) on both sides makes me emotional when I think about it, I feel the same as when I was told that my son probably has normal hearing, I was very emotional that day. I may look into it in the future, the NHS do it for free so no issues there.

As I said before don't worry too much about not having normal hearing, I've got on ok, the things that will hold you back are your own mental attitude to it, feeling embarrassed or inferior to other people, forget that your not, I'm not, we're not.

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 3 years ago Author

Hi everyone, I want to thank you all for all the comments and all the positive feedback you give. It is so nice to see a group of people come together over something that may have felt like a disability to some of us, or an inconvenience to others. To know that we all know exactly how each other feels and we all have had similar experiences. I love seeing how this hub as brought us together in a sense. You all take care and thank you so much once again. It warms my heart .

Ben 3 years ago


Erika 3 years ago

Wow, I'm almost in tears reading this feeling like someone actually knows what I go through! I am deaf in my left ear. I am 25 years old. I still have a very normal life with husband and kids. My biggest issues are the riding in a car, sitting in the movies on the wrong side, dinner/restaurant table , walking down the hallway, etc etc etc.. Pros are sleeping with my good ear down drowns out all the noise, bad news is when I had my babies I was worried I wouldn't hear them cry, but no fear mommas always have that instinct. I work in customer service and have to sit at a desk where customers a on my right side. Some people's still don't know and look confused if they've know me for years and are just finding out. I have adapted well over the years. I had chronic ear infections as a child and they think it has stimmed from that. Started hearing loss in my teens and it gradually got worse.

Thank you all for the comments I just loved feeling in place.

Amanda 3 years ago

Hi everyone,

I have been deaf in my left ear since birth. I am now 21. It is such second nature to me now, I sometimes think everyone else is the weird one. Sometimes I love being half deaf (first dibs on seating, easy to sleep, good excuse for just about EVERYTHING) but then other times, like when a waiter keeps going to my left and I don't even notice they are there, I just want to cry. My boyfriend has gotten real good about over compensating for me ever since I first met him. If I don't hear someone, I just look at him and he repeats it for me without even thinking about it. I used to be able to read lips, but my eyes got bad (really got the short end of the stick lol). Gosh.. there is so much I want to say about it. Elementary school was terrible.. kids would constantly mock me. Especially when they put me in "special" classes (that was just for a week. They ended up placing me in advance classes the next week). Ballet in high school was another challenge that just proved how different I was from everyone.. I was the only one that fell constantly and drew everyone's attention. then there was college.. my lack of equilibrium made me unable to get the "spins" when I drink so I never know when to stop. I still don't remember most of those nights as a result and am not so sure I want to. I typically refrain from going out because loud/ crowded places make it IMPOSSIBLE to hear anything and make my quite uncomfortable. I relate SO much with all of these posts. Like the "deaf dance". I have been doing that since I was little and thought I was alone! Or the comment of surround sound. What is that? lol! I think the WORST part is not knowing where sound comes from. Whenever someone calls my name, I have to spin in circles a couple times before said person waves their arms. Like I said, sometimes it's a curse and other time I just want to cry. But honestly, I would never change it.

Lindsay 3 years ago

Yay for having a half-deaf community! :)

I am completely deaf in my right ear, and was born that way. It has been really cool reading all the stories and laughing as I relate to them all! I crack up when I watch shows like Glee that show people being "deaf in one ear" that TOTALLY exaggerate it. I think the disability is a very subtle one, and most people in my life have no idea that I can't hear on one side (or forget!).

I've noticed the biggest challenge for me is actually in my job. I am a teacher, and the lack-of-being-able-to-locate-sounds part of 1/2 deafness is a huge struggle when you have students whispering or misbehaving behind your back and you have no idea where to direct your "teacher glare."

I also hate driving since I can't hear on my right side. I didn't connect my hatred of driving to my deafness until recently. Luckily, my husband helps design hearing aids for a living, and he said he'd work on making me a car aid - with a speaker on the left side and a microphone on the right side of the car! I hope he does because that sounds perfect. :)

I like the idea someone had of having a convention for those who only hear in one ear. It's kind of hard because I've never felt like I'm fully part of the "hearing" community since I miss so much of the hearing experience, but I'm also not really part of the "deaf" community since I can hear. We totally need a half-deaf community of our own! :)

Benjamin Jimenez profile image

Benjamin Jimenez 3 years ago from Oxnard, California


My daughter went def in her right ear in July of 2012. We went to Raging waters in San Dimas and after this trip she got sick (like the flu). Had balance issues and then woke up def in her right hear. She has learned to deal with it, but it is harder for her to hear people now. She has lots of trouble in school because of it. She is somewhat embarrassed of it and is afraid of others knowing about it. As a parent I fell bad that there is nothing I or any doctors can do to fix this issue. The buzzing in her right ear bothers her sometimes and I wish there was a way to stop this. I hope one day she gets her hearing back either by science or a miracle but this most likely will not happen.

Charm 3 years ago

oh my LORD, i feel normal again... so i am not the only one :) I have a little bit of hearing on my right ear but its VERY hazy. (you know when you go for a swim and you have water in your ear) that's how things sound on my right ear

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jennyooooo 3 years ago

I've also been totally deaf in my right ear since birth, am 37 now. parents discovered when i was 4. It's effected me quite a lot- especially social confidence etc . Thank you so much for writing about this :) i've never spoken to or met anyone with exact same experiences.

michael Fleischer 3 years ago

This hub is wonderful. I have a now 9 year old son who is completely deaf in his left ear. We really didn't know at all until shortly before his 8th b day. We knew he failed a hearing test in a peds office but he was found to have a lot of wax in his ear and he was amazingly functioning very well in kindergarten and 1st grade. He has semi circular canal dysplasia and has likely been deaf in that ear since birth. I read all these posts very carefully and I cant tell you how much all this means to me as a parent ( I have normal hearing) as I would do anything to fix this for him but I cant. He is thankfully healthy in every other way and has completely normal hearing in his right ear. I want to be able to help him and make him aware of his condition without making him feel like damaged goods. I am a physician ( an eye doctor) myself and completely understand what a handicap this can be for people. Anyway thank you all for your wonderful participation

Alexander Rookey 3 years ago

I’m so glad I found this post! I’m eighteen years old and found out I was completely deaf in my left ear when I was four. I don’t feel like being half deaf has restricted me in any way, in fact, I love being half deaf.

I got to go to the audiologist every year growing up (my mom was terrified that something would happen to my good ear). To me, the going to the audiologist was a real treat. For one thing, my mom would usually make an evening out of it and take me to dinner afterwards. For another, I really thought the audiologist office was fun. I mean, my doctor was pretty great. I was one of her first patients when I started going at four. Everything she had me do seemed like a game. After all, they give you a clicker and headphones and tell you to press the button whenever you hear a beep. I tried so hard that I swear I imagined beeps sometimes just so I could hit the clicker. I didn’t want to miss a single one!

I often use it as a conversation starter. Well, it ends up being a conversation starter after the first time I walk down the hall on the wrong side of someone. Whenever I end up on someone’s right side, I fall back and then catch up with the person on their left. I’m so used to having to switch sides that I just carry on like nothing happened. It usually isn’t until I see the look of confusion on the person’s face that I explain to them that I can’t hear in my left. Yadira, I enjoyed reading the post other you wrote about having to do “hearing dances” because I’ve never met anyone else who understood what it was like before. Whenever I meet someone, there’s always a two or three week period where they have to get use to only being on my right side. I always pick where I’m going to sit at a table based on where I can hear. My goal is always to get the seat furthest to the left or else I feel like I’m ignoring the people to my left. Everyone gets used to it after a while though. What’s crazy is that now, even when nobody is talking to me, I still can’t stand being on the right side. I feel really uncomfortable until I’m standing safely on the left side again, where I can hear. I was relieved to read that I’m not the only one who feels like that. Would anyone agree that it’s like an OCD for half deaf people?

Okay, so having to switch sides is a drawback to being half deaf. But I love the benefits. For example, I am a freshman in college and live in the dorms. I can tell you how grateful I am to be able to sleep with my good ear to the pillow! I actually feel bad for normal people who can’t just block out noise by turning on their side. This must be one of the first things half deaf people learn to do because quite a few people mentioned it in their posts. What else… people give me headphones all the time because one of the earpieces broke so they don’t want them anymore. I remember learning my left side from my right was a breeze because I could just cover up my ear and to see if I could hear out of that side. I knew I was deaf on my left side before I even knew which side was my left side.

I hope many more people post on this site. It’s nice to know other people are having the same experiences I am.

scott 3 years ago


my name is scott i live in Australia.. i was born half deaf on my right side. I am now 24 turning 25.. i kinda have gotten use to it.. i did laugh at some of the stories cause i can relate to it..

the best thing about being half deaf is being able to sleep in!! if there is something going on i can just turn my ear to the pillow and hear nothing!. haha

my down side in this is when i go out clubbing or in loud places. I cannot hear anything i struggle to do so.. worse is when i try talking to a girl or my friends and they think i am ignoring..

so telling them the same story over and over again does get to me..

it kinda is cool to know there are other people out there who share these same problems..

i am just going to say i do not want to change it.. yeah i can join the army or police force.. but it has made me who i am today.. i would say i am more blessed then cursed..

thank you for your time..


Vennicia 3 years ago

I'm 23 and i'm not sure if I was born deaf in my right ear. I just remember my teachers telling my mom that I had a hearing problem in the 3rd grade.

I was shocked when I found out, and it was hard for me to cope. Once my school found out they transferred me to a different school that had special

education classes and I felt out of place. Eventually my teacher recommend that I be put in another class with a hearing device. I had a walkman like recorder and the teacher had a microphone attached to her shirt. I was made fun of by some kids and some thought I was cool because i got taken out of class for speech sessions ( which I didn't Need). Sometimes the teacher would yell at a student and it would blast into my ear (trying to make me completely deaf smh). When I got into middle school I stop wearing the device and I was fine. When I was younger I would ask God why did he make me incomplete with one ear, but now I got over it and just accepts things the way they are. At least I can hear, there are people that can't hear or never heard anything. So I'm grateful ! Glad to see that I wasn't alone and Thank You everyone for sharing.

Matt 3 years ago

Listen up everyone. I'm 23, I was born deaf in my right ear, and it has never held me back. When people talk to you on your right side just turn your head and look at them (unless you are driving). This makes them think you are actually listening to them anyway. Also, DO NOT BE AFRAID to tell someone you are deaf in your right ear. Nobody cares! I was so afraid in high school to tell people except my closest friends. But people grow up, and don't give a rat's ass about it. There even are pros to being deaf in one ear. You can put your ear in your pillow at night, you will probably have a great singing voice, you can teach yourself to focus on one sound to pinpoint it, you can mimic people a lot easier. I mean even Julius Caesar was deaf in his right ear, and he started the Roman Empire. (but he got too cocky and got himself killed, so don't do that haha). People have WAY more serious problems in their life than not hearing out of both ears. Use it to inspire you. What makes you different makes you unique. In the near future, they will have ways of fixing it. Keep your head up, and just live your life. Don't be dumb and blast music, and all that. It's not even necessary. You could be way worse off in MANY ways. Embrace and be grateful for what you have.

Leon 3 years ago

Hello Harry,

Thanks for your warning! Maybe you are right. The main problem is not your hearing, it is your brain. But I don't know what to do with the SSD problem. Althought I have adapted to the problem and try to overcome it. But some situation is so hard for me to deal with. And I have never told anyone else about the problem except my parents. I just do not want others think I am different with them. And I am convinced that the SSD problem has made me a little shy. I just hope the technology will develop quickly and can help me solve such problem. You said the hearing aids can only address 10% of the problems you will have being SSD. But I have an idea that at least I know someone is talking to me in a crowed situation with the hearing aids, does such idea right? If you have any suggestions, please reply to me, thanks! I really want to have a normal hearing conditon.

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Harry Walmsley 4 years ago

Hello Leon,

A word of warning, hearing aids can only address 10% of the problems you will have being SSD. This is because most of the problems are due to your inability to process Sound for which you need two separate signals which can be compared and processed by your brain.

Auditory processing is explained in the second half of this you tube video from Stanford University, USA.

Problems associated with SSD similar to Auditory Processing Disorder which to the complex of your brain will vary from person to person. People who have Auditory Processing Disorder have good hearing each ear. The best form, which I have found, on APD is “The Wrong Planet” a US site for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Of course you can have Auditory Processing Disorder and have no signs of autism.

Drilling a hole in your head and attaching a bolt may have one hell of a placebo effect, but it will not make it appreciably easier for you to hear in a crowded and noisy environment; allow you to find your mobile phone which is ringing somewhere in the flat or enjoy the increases of surround sound. The BAHA only addresses head shadow, and is only of value were there is moderate background noise. In a room with no background noise I can hear well, as I have excellent hearing in my good ear.

Remember your brain is as important to hearing as your ears.

Best wishes from Ireland.


Leon 4 years ago

I am so impressed by the comments from all of you. I never realized that there so many people just suffered the same problem like me.

I am deaf in my right ear since very early time. Now I am 25. So I have already adapeted to the problem.

Now I am a college student. Yes, there are so many inconvent thiegs in my life, especially before the college. But now the life in the college is better now. I can choose the seat in the classroom that I like on condition that I reach there early. But soon I will graduate from the college and go to work. I am a little worried that the SSD will affect my work life. So recently, I was doing research in the hearing aids or solutions for the SSD. I found that there are already several choices, such as transear, BAHA, soundbit, cros hearing aid. I suggest you have a try. For me, it's unfortunite that I can't receive such hearing aids. I am a Chinese, and such products are not sold in my country, expect for the BAHA. But the BAHA is too expensive for me on condition that there is no insurance here. I don't know what to do.

Otherwise, SSD is not so bad at least I find such wetsite here, which improved my English. Maybe I think such inconvinience will urge me to make great achievement.

Eric 4 years ago

I was born deaf in my right ear. I love to listen to music. But I have constant annoying thoughts about the experience I am probably missing.

Monotim 4 years ago

Sarah mention the desire to join the military. I believe the Navy is still allowing entry for hospital corpsman rating. See your recruiter and refer to bumed 513 (I think that's the sect in the manual that states you only have to have hearing in one ear. ). I served and rarely had any issues just the options for career choices are limited.

Ashley 4 years ago

Hello all!!! I am deaf in my right ear as well from a head injury when I was seven. I guess I have dealt with it for so long it is just habit that when I go out with friends I always sit with my left ear toward the waiter and my friends. Most of my friends, family and co workers know about my ear and feel they actually help me with the problem by making sure they are on my left side when they speak to me. If they are on my right side I can not hear them and will ask them to repeat themselves and remind them why or make a joke about it.

I have always been out going and active and have never let this slow me down or hinder me. My balance is horrible, but I have learned to just laugh it off and hope one day science will find a way to fix my ear.

In a way I guess my being deaf in one ear has actually helped me to be an outgoing person. Sometimes I will make jokes about it if I don't hear someone b/c they are on my right side.

To me everything happens for a reason and I don't look at being deaf in one ear as a disability. It is something that makes me who I am and makes me, me.

Jessi Johnson 4 years ago

Wow so many comments to read I did not read them all but what I did read was very insightful.... I have a 4 month old baby who was born deaf in the right ear and I feel that this will help me and my family to better accommodate his needs...

Sarah 4 years ago

Hi im 16 and i am completely deaf in my right ear as well. everything you mentioned is about the same for me except for balance, i never really had issues with my balance. i was a gymnast even for 8 years. Its really hard for me to cope with it because my dream for the past 4 years was to become an air force pilot or a combat medic. but because of my ear i am completely disqualified from joining the army in any way, which is really hard for me to deal with. other than that i think its just annoying explaining it and saying what all the time. i don't have directional hearing and i can only hear things if im focused on it.

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MonoTim 4 years ago

My name is Tim and I was a measle baby in the early 60s born with no auditory nerves in my right ear. I have to say I'm thankful for being born at all it is a true gift so while I may be deaf in one ear I've learned to live with it. It is good to see all of you here knowing we are all gifted with a challenge in our lives that may have pushed us or taunted our feeling of worth in a sometimes cruel society.

I have done a lot in my years I spent 20 years in the Navy Reserves as a Hospital Corpsman, graduated from college and yet there are some things I still need to task myself on....

I'm anti social it's not that I hate people it's that I do not do well in conversations. I can't be in a crowded room, bars or social events. I don't like to go to church because there is a sharing of faith in the worship (people walk and shake hands and say "peace be with you". ).

I know it's probably silly just glad to be alive but it's one challenge ahead of me. Anyway I would love to see us start a group together maybe we can do some good like help the deaf cope in a hearing world.

steve wright uk 4 years ago

Hi Im steve from the uk

I have been deaf in my left ear from birth it does blessings and downsides when Im in bed and there is noise outside i turn my rightside on my pillow

the downside is if Im in a room with noise and Im talking to someone

I can,t concentrate on the coversation and it's a nightmare and my attention span is zero can,t concentrate I can,t listen to music if someone is talking I like doing puzzles and math is it normal to have this lack of consentration it can be very fustrating my family and friends think Im being moody

I can feel vibration inside my deaf ear

I read somewhere that people who are deaf in one ear do not have a good sense of balance Im 49 I can ice skate, climb, ride a bike and hold my leg in the air

My collegues at work find that if they call me they have to stand in view if they stand out of view then I have to go looking for them

and yes I do feel stupid and if one of our customers is calling for assistance and Im walking in the oppersite direction away they don,t know I have an hearring problem it can be embarrassing I spoken to people about this condition and most don,t seem to understand

All I know is that I was born this way most of the time everything is just a wall of noise but at night when all is quiet i hear everything that creaks water pipes gurgling to the night life outside

I envy the people who can hear out of both ears

steve wright uk

anonymous 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. Just a week ago I was... "struck" (is tha the right word?) with Sudden Hearing Loss. After the initial shock and bewilderment of the Emergency Room trip, this page was the first I encountered. It immediately made me feel less afraid of the days ahead. I'm still not officially diagnosed with permanent hearing loss (waiting for a second hearing test), but whatever the outcome, I'm confident that I'll be able to continue my active, healthy, vibrant life. Thanks again for making this a lot less scary.

victor 4 years ago

am so shy to relate my issue publicly my right ear is 80 percent deaf but was not born deaf am 27 but do not know what to do now any idea on how to go about it please email me at

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DJMix 4 years ago

Hi all,

I finally finished reading the comments and I am even more blown away than I was. This is a great hub! Jason, Tom, Brent, Stephanie, Harry, Diane.. and all the other posters--just fantastic! I am struck by the overlaps in how people compensate. My story about our friend has unfortunately not changed, but it's nice to be able to read so many stories from personal experience.

Jason, it sounds like playing football really was a major accomplishment! I have almost no vision out of my left eye, which of course is much different, but I am still struck by the similarity of compensations I had to make. Sports were always difficult because of depth perception issues... so I became a star swimmer instead. People have always looked at me funny (or thought I looked at them funny!) and I had to just cope. I have had massive tinnitus in my head since I can remember, and I wonder about the correlation with visual impairment... anyone else experience a correlation? No one could ever figure out what it was from, and I stopped trying to when I was a teenager. But now I realize I like to fall asleep with the TV on, some sort of background noise so the ringing in my ears doesn't drive me crazy. I'm the opposite of you guys! Complete silence drives me almost out of my mind, as the ringing becomes louder... I now wonder if it's part of the reason I talk so much... hmmm.. or why I keep so busy *all* the time... not a bad motivator, I guess. Anyway great to read the comments and I'll keep checking back. DJ

Jason 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing this,I'm 23 and I too am death in my right ear, I don't believe it was at birth, I had chronic ear infections as a child and it lead to a lot of hearing loss in my right ear. Over time I learned to adapt to it and its awesome how I can relate to you. I tried keeping my disability a secret because I didn't want to be teased or looked down on. 6th grade in particular I was forced to wear hearing aids and I purposely got rid of them because of the teasing from my friends. I am also a sports junkie but was disallowed by doctors to participate in contact sports and me being the stubborn person I am would eventually will my way into participating anyway in high school as I was on the football team. It was extremely difficult to comprehend what was going on wearing a helmet and I feel looking back its a major accomplishment i can be proud of doing as well as I did under those circumstances but unfortunately i feel like this disability hindered me from my potential but i live with it.

It funny that you say you live to drive with no music with me its the opposite I like to drive with music to avoid conversation and my fiancé hates to drive with music, its funny, she knows of my deafness in my right ear but doesn't understand. I feel its awesome there's other people out there that can relate, thank you for posting this, once again :)

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DJMix 4 years ago

Hi Diane,

This is an absolutely wonderful post! I'm glad I found it--though I wish I had earlier. My wife and I recently befriended a young guy and enjoyed his company. The third time we met he told us about his SSD; in retrospect it explains a lot, since there were several issues that arose, all in line with the article and comments above.

We had fun together, but his bluntness and rudeness was a bit off-putting. He developed a sort of crush on my wife--not surprising in itself, since she is very sexy (yes, I know I'm biased!)--but the way he focused so intently on her, almost to the point where I didn't exist, was quite unsettling for us. In fact we sort of fell out over this and a few related issues.

I regret now that we didn't have more insight into his experience (and that he was not as forthcoming as he could have been). There is almost no misunderstanding or crossed wire that, in hindsight, I cannot attribute at least in part to SSD issues discussed here. But he won't acknowledge that, possibly because he doesn't want to feel 'disabled' or lean on it or something like that.

The problem is I don't even think we can really apologize or explain, since he seemed determined to come up with strained explanations rather than allow for the role his SSD obviously played. There was no way he could focus on more than one person at a time; it's true he might have just been a jerk, but I suspect there was more to it. There is an amazing store of information and experience to read through here, and I'm only about halfway through it. It is a great resource, and our recent experience makes me hungry for more knowledge from people who have lived with it. Thanks all!

Marcus 4 years ago

Hello Guys, I`m deaf from my right ear since I was born. I`m trying to figure out if this hearing impairment could have influenced my personality. My theory is that since I can only hear from my left ear the right side of my brain was more stimulated and I became a more logic, unsensitive person. Does anyone know if there is a study about this? Or does anyone share my theory?

Stephanie 4 years ago

Hi Everyone, Again :) I am fully deaf in my right ear, likely from birth. My left ear is 100% fine according to my most recent hearing test.

Sorry I am so busy and this post will be all about me (I haven't read all of the other comments since my last post, but I will once I have time...more on that in a second).

I just wanted a safe place to share my feelings right now. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I just started my Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy (Yup, Denise! Can I contact you at a later date for advice re: OT and hearing issues please?). I also decided, for the first time, to request "Accommodations" from school for hearing related issues, which is getting me more worked up than I need to be right now.I don't know about this accommodation thing; full-out disclosure, the "coming out" event, asking and discussing about the host of modifications I may but likely won't ever need... I'm so tired of this "becoming disabled" process that I have prescribed myself to, seeking "accommodations, buying hearing aids that don't help me hear my right side anyway...I just want things to go back to how they were before I let this get out of hand.

Not that I don't suggest that you seek accommodations if you feel you need them. Perhaps these could be of benefit to you and/or to me: I am currently trying to test the waters to see if I need "computerized notetaking" (aka professional who takes class notes for you, so you don't miss any content), and am negotiating the idea of video captioning (just in case I miss something said during the video). The challenges I usually face include crowds, social situations, noisy environments, no directional hearing, and can't hear sounds that come from my bad side that well...

Anyway, that's my catch up to you. I had more to say but I am saving that for personal journals.

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Brent Walker 4 years ago from Sydney Australia

I am going to add a tiny bit of info to my post.

Recently I was talking to a neurologist who told me how the right vagus nerve became more active. It had to do with my head inclination permanently stretching the muscle in the right side of my neck that is beside the vagus nerve. This permanently stimulated the nerve. He believed that because the muscle in the left side of my neck was also shortened so that would have de-stimulated the left vagus nerve. So the combination was responsible for my unusual heart condition. But then my unusual heart also gave me an advantage in endurance sport such as long distance running and swimming. But that is another story!

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Brent Walker 4 years ago from Sydney Australia

What a great blog. I hope I can inspire some of those who think being deaf in one ear sucks. It’s a pity I didn’t find it years ago.

I am 68 and was born stone deaf in my left ear. I took a long time to learn to walk and was very clumsy as a kid. I kept my head twisted over towards the left – obviously to hear better with my right ear. I was not diagnosed as being deaf in one ear until I was eight (in 1952). Nothing could be done then but the ENT specialist told me (and mum) that I had 150% hearing in my right ear. I remember that consultation clearly.

I have bad balance. I took forever to learn to walk, water ski and to ride a surfboard. Recently I found out why! My left leg is just over one inch longer than my right between the ankle and knee. So my body didn't just compensate by making my right ear hear better through the inclination of my head to the left it also compensated for that by growing my left leg longer to push my center of gravity back more to where it should have been). I suspect that is the reason for my bad balance. I wonder how many others who were born deaf in one ear and who have bad balance have the leg on their deaf side longer than the other leg?

When I was young I was tall for my age so was put at the back of the class at primary school. I spent many hours with the dunce's cap facing the corner. This was partly because I was very disruptive - presumably because I was bored as I couldn't hear the teacher and other kids. Eventually at about age 11 I was stuck up the front of the class with some disruptive pre-pubescent girls and wow, all of a sudden I went from being the class dunce to something else. A special moment occurred when the headmaster of the local high school came to my class and took a maths lesson. I went from knowing nothing about maths to understanding the principles in one lesson.

Later when I went to high school I always sat in the front or second row and I still do this at conferences even today. In the end I excelled in just about every subject and was school dux in maths, applied maths and physics. This was always a mystery to me as my adoptive family (I was adopted at birth) did not have the same sort of neurological wiring as me and, as I have found out recently, nor do my half siblings (on genetic mother's side). I don't know anything about father's side.

Being stone deaf in one ear can be a problem if you let it, but it is not an insurmountable problem and there are many advantages. I have the same problem driving a car as others with right ear deafness (we drive on the LHS side of the road in Australia and NZ). So it is much better when I have been driving in Europe or the US. There are many funny stories about when I have misheard my front seat passenger and ended up doing something that they didn’t expect.

I enjoy music but not when listened to through ear phones or ear buds. I lip read, hate loud noisy parties unless they include dancing because then you don't have to listen to people talk. I also talk too quickly – as several others do. My wife gets exasperated, particularly in a car so I often get her to drive. Then we can have a sensible conversation. Oh and my hearing can be very selective. It is a wonderful excuse when you don't want to hear something or you don't want other people to know that you heard something.

I am mystified by my apparent level of intelligence. (I am an actuary and have been president of the consulting arm of my international body and I have written many papers not only on my specialty but on other subjects where I have pieced together the relationships between what appears to most people to be completely disparate information.) But I think I have an answer and it relates to a physical condition of my heart. One of the above contributors with left ear deafness from birth who seems to have high blood pressure might pick up on this.

At my first ever medical examination (at 19) the doctor told me I had high blood pressure but it reduced after I lay down for a while. I also had brachycardia (a very slow heart rate) and hence I have an enlarged heart which I figured was caused because I was very fit at that time. More recently my heart issues have got a little worse, particularly after a very nasty bout of myocarditis and pneumonia which led to congestive heart failure. Why me? Well my research suggests that the heart issues are caused by an overactive right vagus nerve. There are other symptoms such as I was a chronic spewer when little and I have poor temperature control , which leads to excessive sweating.

So, I suspect that if my body compensated for my left ear being stone deaf by making my right ear more responsive and by growing my left leg longer then I suspect it also made the whole of my right brain more responsive. This then gave me the academic advantage that I wouldn't have otherwise had. But it also has given me an enlarged heart, which improved my swimming prowess (I won a school blue for swimming and life-saving). But of course there is a small pay-back later in life, which I am now experiencing. But gee once you understand a problem you are nine tenths of the way to fix it.

So to all those that read this blog with one ear total deafness from birth - remember that nature always provides negative feedback to compensate for things that aren't right. Look for the feedback that nature has given you and use that feedback to your advantage. Treat the feedback as a gift rather than condemn nature for making you a little different.

Tom Red 4 years ago

How to be better with only one ear !!!

Hi everyone I'm 40 years old and lost the hearing in my left ear when I was 16. I had a terrible fall from a circus marquee (messing around by climbing up and sliding down) I fell 40ft and not only lost the hearing in my left ear but also paralysed the left side of my face. My face has now came back about 80% but not my hearing. I have turned only being able to hear in one ear into something special and after reading your posts would like to share my story and hopefully give others some ideas on how they to can be as happy with one ear as I am.

When it happened it was the worst thing in the world, I even lost my apprentiship because my boss accused me of ignoring him and giving him dirty looks ( I had half a face and could not hear him, how nasty are some people) anyway I overcome it and now thank him as I have become far more successful than all of the horrible people I've met.

I come from a musical family and have always played keyboards and drums and not being able to hear in stereo was probably the worst bit about it, but music has helped me overcome the problems with separating the sounds and direction of sounds.

I will now try to group and explain how I have overcome some the worst bits.


Everyone's post mentions this so I'll explain what I did. I have learned over the years to become a very good lip reader, to the point where my friends now ask me what other groups of people are saying and I have used this to great effect to interact with groups and total strangers by understanding what they are talking about and then going over and starting a similar conversation lol you can have great fun with this. This alone is not enough and I realised that I needed some extra tools so I brought some body language books and studied this. These two things together have enabled me to interact and get on with people far better then my stereo enabled friends. Not only that but job interviews and any situation where you need to interact. So please invest time in these two things you will find you will love it and I believe I have an advantage now rather than a diss advantage. Don't be scared to tell people you are deaf in one ear, I say I have an ignorant side and a social side, once people know (even though they always say "pardon" as a joke it's there way of dealing with it! ) they then understand that your not ignoring them. One thing you can't overcome is sitting in a restaurant, at meetings etc unless you have everyone on your good side. I always say I'm sitting here so that I can hear everyone as I'm deaf in one ear they now save me the best seat in the house. Im now a project manager and chair the meetings and with my body language skills, lip reading and honesty nobody is pulling the wool over my eyes. Great hey

Music and films

I am not afraid to go for it and decided to do a sound engineers course (this sounds mad I know but bear with me on this) my mate also wanted to do the course and he confessed to me that he was partially deaf on one ear also and had never said anything to anybody so we went along and told the truth. We got taken out of the course and they set a studio up for us so that the speakers were forward and back not left and right. We got the nickname Monotwins and this year we are setting up our own radio station and releasing our own tunes so if you hear us or see us please say hi and that you have read this comment as it would mean a lot to me to have given some people some helpful advice. Anyway my stereo is now forward and back and over the years I have trained myself to hear in what I call one ear stereo. We passeed by the way how cool is that. So set up some speakers at home and try to concentrate where the different instruments are coming from is the guitar more in the left or right etc etc. you will need to place the speakers about 6 ft apart. This will also help you when you out and about you normal business. You will never be perfect with this but I can locate sounds when people call me much better than I could before and it is getting better.

One thing having one ear has helped me better than anything is percussion I have played at ministry of sound for radio 1 and all over the uk on in the clubs because I don't get confused with all the other sounds going on and can just concentrate on the rhythm and I have been told by some of the best that I'm better then them. This has only ever been a hobby for me and I am hoping this year to do it full time and do some work for ch4 drumming my way round the world visiting the tribes and showing them what I can do and learning from them.

As you can see I have given it the full beans and you must too ....we have more reason than most to make the extra effort and I can promise you all that it is well worth the effort. We can become better then we could emagine and I hope that you have enjoyed reading this.

By the way this is the first time I have ever typed into the Internet about only being ale to hear in one ear and I was shocked that there are so many of us and the reason I wanted to share my story with you all.

We are not deaf we hear in one ear only and I am very thankfully that it was only one ear I lost. I have always said I'd never try to get the other ear back (only joking that one day I will get fitted with jack plugs so I can plug myself into the studio lol) but with the advances in tech who knows.

Love ya be happy

Don Taylor 4 years ago

Good to see everyone's comments.

I'm a song writer and singer and I have a recording studio at home. I lost my hearing in my left ear about a year ago. Wow! what a difference. Head phones don't work for me anymore. I'm trying to set up my speakers on my right side so I can hear more of a separation but it's not working very good. Maybe I'll record in mono. I play in a band and I need to place myself where everyone's on my right side. Still love music but I'm having to adjust.

Bailly 4 years ago

Hi! I am fourteen and I am half deaf. It is hereditary through my grandmother being totally deaf. We didn't know until I was nine unlike many other people due to the fact that I could read lips very well. It didn't really realize how much It bothered me until I went to camp and I felt like I could talk to my friends about it. I just felt like no one understood what I was going through life with one ear. I realized it wasn't really the physical part of it that bothered me. It did a little bit, but not that bad. What really bothered me was the mental part of it.

One year I went to camp and a lifeguard really made me realize how it really wasn't a curse. It's a blessing! She explained to me that We can connect to people in ways that people without our disability can't. We can help others who have disabilities to get rid of the loneliness that a lot of us seemed to deal with. She also opened my eyes to the fact that I could connect to God in ways no one else can. God, as the lifeguard (Hillary) explained, is not sitting in heaven flailing his arms and wondering what happened. He blessed every one of us with this gift. That night I rededicated my life to Christ.

Hillary helped changed my life and I hope maybe I helped you too. Now I'd like to share a Bible verse with you. It is James 1:2-4. It says, " Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various [ltrials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." God lead me to overcome my problem and I have even been a lead in a school play, sang the National Anthem at a school football game, and was one of 40 of nearly 100 girls to make show choir at my school. :)

Mary 4 years ago

We have the same story. My right ear is deaf and it's hard to have conversation with other people. Others don't believe me because I listen to rock music a lot.

tbe 4 years ago

I lost all my hearing in my left ear at age 40 due to an auto immune disease. I have a 30% loss in my right ear. I have been this way for 8 years and in some ways it seems I am having a harder time dealing with this then when it first happened. I just feel very alone

Isidro 4 years ago

I was born deaf since I have one side deaf and the other side 60 percent.

Michael 4 years ago

Anyone no the reason y they are deaf. Like sensonral hearing loss or nerve or eustachcan tube dysfuntion or genectics ..

Sean 4 years ago

Although a lot of people on this site have found benefits of half hearing i have not! I lost my hearing in my left ear when I was eight years old due to a horrible ear infection, And since then things have not gone smoothly for me. First of all I get constant ear infections which I cannot notice until its to late as I have no hearing anyway. These get so bad that my balance gets totally screwed. Its hard to explain but its literally like there is a massive weight on the bad side(ear) and your body is being pulled towards the ground to to try stay upright you have to tilt your head 90 degrees in the opposite direction. Also I have had to get 3 operations to help the ear!

I realise that not everyone will have had the problems above but the thing that my half hearing most affected me is my social life. Its been completely affected. First of all is my confidence, I'm a 19 year old good looking male, But as many of you know I find it extremely difficult to hear people at any place where there is a lot of people and background noise. ''People will just say tell them your deaf and move in closer to them'' In my personal opinion that doesn't exactly work as when people are chatting in a group I can only focus on one person at a time on my good side! Also it can make people you just met uncomfortable too. Not my luck with women so far isn't great so now i just stick with my friends and thats that.

Finally, Until I eventually made some friend's I found out that they didn't like me at the start as they thought I was ignoring them when they were trying to talk to me. Its makes me wonder how many other people think this too?

This is just my opinion i'd hate to be fully deaf. And im lucky im not but id give anything to hear fully again!

Fyghter 4 years ago

Just found out stem cell for deafness is been treated in usa on babies looks like the future is here no more deafness

Paul 4 years ago

I haven't ever met anyone that is deaf in one ear like me, it's cool to see so many posts and see that we all do very similar things. My parents found out I was deaf when I was 6 by playing the whisper game with me (they would whisper something in my ear and then I would have to whisper the same thing to the person next to me) but I would always turn my right ear to them and they didn't know why until they took me to the doctor. I'm deaf in my left ear so Im lucky I can hear people in the car next to me while I'm driving though I do still have to turn down the music. I'm 21 now and still forget myself sometimes that I'm deaf in one ear, I still subconsciously think that this is how everyone hears haha. I do feel bad sometimes though when someone has a full conversation with me and I didn't even know they were talking. Or when you're at a restaurant and the waiter or waitress thinks you're just being rude and ignoring them haha. This is awesome, reading everyone's stories!

Jaeli 4 years ago

Hi, I was born with a deaf ear too, but it's my left ear that's deaf. It's hard for me to deal with a deaf ear because I always try to listen to people, but i dont like always turning around just so i can hear someone talk. it annoys me. and my family learned that i was deaf when i was two years old. Just like your phone story, I was talking on the phone with my uncle, but my mom placed the phone on my left ear, which is my bad one. I kept saying "hello? Hello?" hoping for someone to talk to me, then when i turned the phone to my right ear, i was able to hear my uncle's voice.

what i hate the most about being born with a deaf ear is that whenever i want to listen to music, i cant listen to it with my headphones because then someone would say something to me, so i have to take them of just so i can listen. I also loose balance. its no fun at all, and i always get embarrased, and i also hate being close to the teacher just so i could listen.

being born with a deaf ear is no fun at all...

Justin 4 years ago

This is such an awesome thing to read. I am 19 and I was born deaf in my right ear as well but I have never met anyone who (to my knowledge at least) was deaf in one ear as well. All this time I thought I was different and everything from "normal" hearing people but after reading everyone's stories and comments on here I think we partial/deaf people have our own normal community :) It is quite fascinating actually that even though I'm sure a lot of people figured out how to compensate for their hearing on their own, we all compensate so similarly it really is quite amazing. For example it seems like almost all of us sleep on our good ear for a good nights rest but if we feel uncomfortable or sense that we may need to keep an ear out (no pun intended :P) while we sleep then we sleep on our deaf ear so that we can be alert if something should happen. Also I can relate to the driving as well. If there is company in the car I can almost never have the window down when I drive because the wind and sound from outside drown everyone out :( I do believe being deaf in one ear is a blessing though. I would like to know how many people when they don't want to listen to someone anymore just plug their good ear or if sitting down rest their good ear on your palm to hush the noise haha. I have been guilty of doing this a few times in class or if there is a baby in the room crying. As for social life it never really affected me too much. My speech is pretty normal with the sometimes mixups of words or sometimes I choke on a word if I say it to fast but other than that socially life has been fine. There has only been a few times where very observant people notice that I always walk on the right side of everyone and that when people talk they sometimes notice how I will slightly turn my head to the right so that my left ear catches the sound better. Sometimes I wish I could wake up and suddenly have both my ears for hearing and know how different things may or may not sound. But I think I will keep my gift. I believe it has actually improved my other senses as well. At first I thought it was just a myth but my sense of smell is phenomenal, 20/20 vision, and hearing in my left ear is astounding as I have been told before by some doctors and audiologists, some have even said hearing in my left ear is just as good and even better than those who can hear out of both ears. So over the years I have learned to embrace it rather than see it as a curse (even though having to ask people to repeat themselves sometimes gets frustrating) Thank you Diane for this post it was awesome to be able to see that I am not the only one dealing with this

Tracy 4 years ago

I was born deaf in my right ear. I was 5 years old at my kindergarten screening when this was discovered. The issue was never discussed in my family until high school. A teacher did a project on me (that was difficult) requiring interviews from my family and friends about how they handle the situations. Everyone has to be on the left side of me. I hate driving for the obvious reasons. My mother told me that she when she found out she knew it was going to stop me from reaching my goal. I am about to find this out in a matter of 4 days.

I am in the final stages of joining the Coast Guard. I feel like the hearing screening is going to knock me out of contention. I have been active my whole life. I ran track and cross country in high school and even went on to be a college cheerleader.

If things don't work out next Tuesday for me, it's good to know that I am not the only one with this condition. It also helps me realize that I am made to do something else. Wish me luck.

Mike 4 years ago

I've been deaf in my right ear since I was three My old docter accidentally ripped out my eardrums and my estsion tubes won't grow so they can't be grafted. I've always wanted to join Marines I don't no if I can. I know the felling about the classroom thing I'm only 13 but so far it has sucked hopefully some day they can get fixed

scott 4 years ago

I am very glad you wrote this, and very happy seeing all these responses.I was born deaf in my left ear in 1964,and until i read this i thought i was the only one on the planet. It's such a relief to know I'm not alone.

Ellen 4 years ago

Hello Diane and everyone else,

I have normal hearing, but one of my sons is completely deaf in his right ear from birth. I am always looking for good information about what this feels like for him in an effort to smooth his path through life. So thank you Diane and everyone else for all your interesting comments. My son is only eight, so he doesn't yet have the adult perspective you have on this -- it's very helpful to me. For example I always thought it odd that he always sleeps on his hearing ear. Interesting to hear that all of you seem to do that. He does sleep very soundly!

One thing I can throw out, Blackberry headphones are very good for unilateral deafness -- I tried everywhere to find mono headphones for Hal with no luck but the Blackberry headphones are great. Same jack as everything else -- iPods, airplane setback tv's, games consoles, etc.

I think the main impact it has on Hal is that school is extremely tiring for him -- he is working so hard to hear everything that he is exhausted by the middle of the week. All he wants to do is go to his room, shut the door, and be left in peace with his legos. Luckily he doesn't care about sports and goes to a lovely school where he has had no teasing or anything. It sounds like a lot of you had a pretty rough time of it as kids.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences -- really interesting stuff.

Amber, 12 years old 4 years ago

Hi I'm amber. I can honestly relate to you as I am deaf in my right ear since birth. I have accepted it but I do wish I had both ears as I am fed up of saying "sorry I didn't hear you" like all the time. People must think I'm stupid or stubborn.-sad face lol- I was given a hearing aid that took the sound from the right of me and took it to my good ear. So basicly I could hear everything, but only from on side. In the end I stopped wearing it. It's to much fuss, I've just accepted my semi deafness and worked round le began to notice my hearing aid and I got really upset about it... Remember I was only eleven or twelve. There was one time at school when someone went oh I didn't realize you wear a hearing aid. Bless her, she didn't know it would upset me. So everyone was in an uproar. Pulling my hair back to look at it. I spent th entire lesson outside crying, I'm not kidding. People would come up to me and say what's that silver thing in your ear? Id feel so bad. I felt imperfect, I was down in the dumps for sure. My mum is fifty percent deaf in both ears, she must have passed it down to me. But I try to keep positive and I'm lucky I'm not fully deaf. Oh that must be horrible. Cringe

Chloe 4 years ago

I'm deaf in my left ear and I fill in the blanks too... (waitress: What kind of dressing would you like with your salad? Me: yes...) It is frustrating... I want to join the military but I'm to scared to find out if they would allow someone whose half deaf to join....

Krystar orbinski 4 years ago

Hi! I have been deaf in my leaf ear since birth , i was told i was born without the nerve . I have that with amoung a million other health issues :/ , I was wondering if you or anyone else ever experiences vertigo with it , dizziness headaches, bad balance etc Let me know please! and put ear in the subject line really want to know please! :)Thanks

fixit2010 4 years ago

Im a 39 year old guy from UK.

About 4 years ago, I started having quite bad dizzy episodes every few months at first, then more frequently. Over all on and off for 2 years. They made me vomit 12-15 times a day and moving about made me ill. The vertigo or spinning tired my eye muscles and gave my a nystigmus which tired my eyes even more which gave me double vision. Nobody knew why or how to stop it. I was sent to Vestibular rehab to do some exercises, though I stuck with it, I knew there was another reason. I had my ears tested and I had lost my hearing of upper frequencies in my right ear. This nightmare went on for 2 years. Suddenly it stopped. I thought this could be the calm before the storm. Then I noticed something else. My right ear felt blocked, noise was muffled, my tinnitus that I had was louder. I saw my GP who palmed it off as a cold and gave me some ear drops. What did I know? After 3 weeks there was no improvement and I had my ears tested again, this time it was conclusive, I had lost most of the lower frequencies too as well as mid and upper. But I could feel vibrations from my drum and internal body noises. Other tests showed no physical damage to the ear. I was told it was likely a form of menieres disease that had destroyed the hair cells in my cochlear. I was devastated. I was offered a hearing aid, I accepted reluctantly as i know how people can be treated by "normal" people. I remembered I was a "normal" person once and now i am on the other side. How did I used to feel around deaf people? I was now 38 and had accepted my condition. I had read up and believed and still believe that stem cell research may very well help me and others in as little as 15 years. Still it is quite a wait. I started to perceiver with the hearing aid and it has its uses. Then last week I downloaded and this is not a plug for it, but I downloaded the app called white noise for my iphone. I love the sound of rain and thunder. As it played out of the bottom of my phone I had this urge to put it to my ear. My deaf ear and I could hear it. OK it was not perfect and I had to hold it in my ear. (No I wasn't waring the aid at the time) I found I could actually hear. I started streaming all sorts from youtube to the iphone and I could hear. How remarkable. In the 4 years I have suffered, that has been the most encouraging test.

I just wanted to add, I know how hard it is for people with all kinds of hearing and ear disorders, but never give up hope.

R.H. 4 years ago

Hi Diane and everyone,

I`m deaf in my left ear all my life - 41 years up to now. I must have been about four years old when I first mentioned it to my parents and I share most of your experiences.

Since I can`t remember any time with dolby sorround sound, I never missed that certain ability, although I often asked myself what's it like to wake up one wonderful spring morning with a complete hearing (The horror! It would take me months to fall fast asleep again!).

But with the years I noticed I`ve developed one social quality that I can not but ascribe to the fact of my semi-deafness: I`ve learned to be an excellent listener. That`s sometimes hard work (depending on the situation) but it gave me a real sense of communication. By that I mean acoustics as well as semantics, subtext and even semiotics. I`m far from self-praise and in erveryday life that`s not as academical as it may sound. It`s a very effective crutch and furthermore it gives your dialogue partner the feeling of genuine interest and respectfulness. And the one most astonishing aspect is that some of them deserves it...

Emily 4 years ago

Yes! I'm deaf in my leaf ear, and I can SO relate! (I actually have 2 friends who are also deaf in one ear) Other situations - the never-able-to-play-Marco-Polo problem, the too-many-people-too-many-words problem, um... yeah.

I'm actually a violinist, despite my hearing loss. Doesn't bother me much - couple situations, but I can deal with it.

I'm the opposite way about driving - I LOVE driving, because I can hear. Except that I'm not very good yet (still have my permit).

It's interesting to compare me and my friend Sarah, who is also deaf in her left ear. I'm outgoing and talkative, she's shy and quite. I'm not afraid to talk about my hearing (now... more on that later), while she tries to avoid it. I don't read lips at all, while she depends quite a bit on reading lips.

For a while, I hated my hearing loss - I had a friend who liked to come up to me and whisper to me... and she had a tendency to whisper in my deaf ear. So I would remind her, and she would switch sides. Then she would YELL in my good ear. She didn't understand that I could hear fine in that ear. I hated it, and it made me not like her or my hearing.

As I got older, people started appreciating the fact that I'm a musician despite my deafness. I realized that most the world isn't like that friend.

Now... well, let's just say that I've got a good dose of Deaf Pride. I started learning American Sign Language, and I've started to step inside the other world I've never gone to. I love it.

So, now I'm stuck between those worlds. You know, that's OK. A song I like has a line that goes - "You can take it or leave it; this is me, this is who I am".

Kelly Heikkila 4 years ago

Hi, I'm Kelly! It's been really cool to read your article, very interesting actually. I was surprised on how many embarrassing experiences you've had being deaf in one ear. You see, I'm deaf in my left ear. I've been so since birth. I don't even remember how my parents found out I was deaf because I was only 2, but they tell me the story so that's how I know. Apparently an airplane passed by over our house, I heard it, and scanned the sky looking for it. (You know, because people deaf in only one ear cannot locate sound). My dad found this rather odd, and he mentioned to my mom, "Laurie, I think Kelly's deaf." Well I got tested when I was young, and when I was older. I am almost completely deaf in my left ear. I was born in 1993, so perhaps I didn't experience so much embarrassing moments because I grew up in a different era. Also, apparently not all the teachers read my IEP, because I often found myself sitting several rows behind everyone else. I also have congenital nygstagmus, my femurs roll in and I didn't walk until age 2 (but surprisingly I have experienced no balance issues. Sortof. I don't fall as much, but sometimes I almost trip over myself, but I think that's because of my femurs). My mother was adopted, so for the longest time we had no medical history on that side. Which made everything harder while trying to figure out all my problems. Reccently, my mother found her birth father who happens to be 100% italian! Apparently deaf left ears run in the female side of his family, and an aunt of his had some kind of similar eye problem. (Nygstagmus, although a very old disease, has only been researched within the past 50 years). Also, what is strange, is that glasses people discovered that my left ear is much lower in position as compared to my right ear. Perhaps the off placement of the ears helps me balance because i'm deaf...? idk. Anyway, it's pretty cool to hear about somebody who is also deaf in one ear. I have met other people who are deaf in their left ears, but not in their right. So it's really cool to meet you! Also, it's interesting what aidulac says about genetics and ears. Because my deaf left ear DOES come from my mother's side! Anyway....HAPPY SUMMER!

Btw, there should be some kind of convention for people who are deaf in one ear! That would be cool!

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 4 years ago Author

Hahaha your cute Matthew, I'm glad you were smiling when you said that.

Matthew 4 years ago

I live in the UK and am also deaf in my right ear. Driving is not the same problem though as were drive on the correct side :)

Emily 4 years ago

I've been deaf in my left ear since birth but we didn't find out until I was 4, I am now 16 and doing fine, my hearing doesn't effect. 90% of the time I forget I'm even dead, I also love the fact that I have such peaceful night sleeps! However it does effect me, I mis hear people and have to always have my right ear facing whoever im talking to even the tv I find my head always tilting so my right ear is facing it. I'm worried about learning to drive this year and not hearing people in the car.. It can get very frustrating sometimes and I always wonder what it would be like to hear in both ears! But at least we all still have one.. This has been really interesting to read of the stories and relate to them :)

Isaac 4 years ago

Hello from Costa Rica!

I suffer from deafness in my left ear. I felt pretty identified when I read your article, I think its cool to see that I'm not the only one having the very same issues, I haven't yet fell on a bus or on the streets but I can't walk straight, when people do not know about my ear they start telling me: "Are you drunk?" or sometimes they get mad cuz as I can't walk straight I sometimes push them gently (not on purpose!).

I have found something that I like about being deaf and it is that when I go to sleep I lean on my left side so I can block most sounds thus letting me sleep a lot better.

I do hate being deaf I gotta admit, if I could change something it would defenitely be it. I hate when I have to remind people to sit or to walk by my left side cuz I can't hear anything if they don't. Sometimes I even walk by their right side just to avoid them the annoyance, but it's pretty painful really.

Each time I have to go on a bus with someone I do get pretty angry or preocupied about it, sometimes I have to sit where the sun shines cuz if I don't then I won't be listening to anything the other person says.

Most of my closed ones remember about it and they do ask me "what was your good ear?" which makes me pretty comfortable.

I have only 23 years and I haven't really been interested in this issue till now, I think I'll be looking for things I can do to make me feel better about it.

Thank you very much!

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Emel Tasdemir 4 years ago

I just need to ask, out of curiosity how helpful are cross hearing aids?!, I have one hearing aid, its okay but after a while I get use to the range and I begin shouting when I talk...Would an audiologist even suggest cross hearing aids even if I have very good hearing in my left ear?

Piotr Mocarski 4 years ago

wow i know how you feel my life is almost like it but iam deaf in my left ear and 50% hearing loss in my right

Mike 4 years ago

Wow found this by accident while googling for something, I was born with no hearing in my right ear. It's amazing how much I have in common. Especially the part about hating to drive with someone in the car.

Stephanie 4 years ago

Hi Jackie,

I really sympathize with your plight in social situations! I don't remember if I have mentioned it before on any of my posts, but several years ago I went to see a movie with a guy (who I really didn't care for - seriously, just met him three days prior but he worked where I volunteered, and I was bored and at the mall and not in my home country). He sat on my right side. He tried to talk to me, and, because I had trouble hearing him, I turned my good ear towards him. Which he perceived as an invitation, and kissed me. And I didn't have quick enough reflexes (and was too shy) to stop it and say I wasn't interested in him.

At school, I never really socialized in large parties or groups - thankfully, my friends didn't do that. By the time I got around to telling my friends about my hearing, which I did when I 'felt' like it, really, I was comfortable enough with them to do so. But in meeting new people, especially if you really want to make friends and connections, I think the best strategy is to just tell them...not upfront, but just maybe the first time you move to their right side, or ask them to repeat what they said..."Sorry, can you repeat that, I don't hear out of my right ear." "Sorry, but I may not hear you if you speak on that side of me, tap me on the shoulder if you need to get my attention."

I don't feel its anything to be ashamed of, and am becoming more comfortable, at age 25, to be upfront about my hearing when I feel I need to be.

I don't care to use my cross- hearing aids, btw. When I used them at work a few months ago (grocery store cashier), the speaker on my right ear projects backwards. The people speaking behind me are at a different register! I need it to project sideways so that I can hear my customers, who are to my right side.

Who said she learned 6 languages and can play music by ear?! Love! Wish I could be fluent in 6 languages...and I need to get back into music.

Tanya 4 years ago

Hey Everybody! I too am deaf on my left ear. It happened late - I was in my thirties. In my case a vaccine (Hepatitis A/Tetanus/diptheria) ruined my perfect hearing on my left ear. I am still trying to cope with it. It's difficult. It gets me down. But I guess it's a question of time and I'm sure that life can be great with hearing in just one ear :-) Take care.

Nancy 4 years ago

What should i do for this deaf

jackie 4 years ago

Hi there,

i have was diagnosed with ssd when I was 7 and I have got on with it like most people seem to have and played down the negatives. However, I would really like to some sort of strategy for social situations...I realise that my social mobility is severley impaired in any social situation. It is difficult to hear the person speaking and inevitably I move myself round to the best hearing position and look the person in the face as they are speaking...and of course this intense listening gets misread by the talker for intense interest in what they are saying...I often feel trapped in this sort of situation because I want to flit about meet people and have a bit of banter...but because I cannot hear the periferal conversations or even look away without appearing rude or giving a lengthy explanation...I end up becoming exhausted and disheartened and end up going home on that note. I'm also aware that I am probably percieved by others through this behaviour. It is only recently that it has actually registered how tiring this all is and inhibiting...But I think there has to be a sratedgy to deal with it. I suspect it might mean being less polite and a different social impression...Any ideas!?

Misunderstood Girl 4 years ago

Hi I am in high school at the moment and I am just like you. I am deaf in my right ear. I am glad that my hearing impairment (??) isn't some sort of weird condition that is extremely rare :). I find that being deaf in one ear doesn't affect my balance so I guess I am a bit lucky that my half deafness doesn't affect it. I find that there is an upside to being half deaf. I roll onto my right side I can block out most of the noise at night. And also at Primary school, we watched a movie about a girl that was blind, deaf and dumb; and afterwards my classmates were trying to see what it was like. But it failed because they put a finger in each of their ears and reach out. But I stuck a finger in my working ear and closed my eyes and I became blind, deaf and dumb. In Primary school it was frustrating trying to convince people I was hearing impaired, because they insisted to be hearing impaired you had to have a hearing aid; which is really close-minded. My Primary school only took action about my impairment when I was halfway through year 6! Where I live, that meant one and a half years till I left the place. And only because my mum practically ordered the principal to look through the medical files. And the principal was so surprised that my name was under a list of names that was only three long of people that needed special consideration from HEARING IMPAIRMENT! How could he miss it? It was too late when they took action though. My oral grades were terrible, because of my vocal cord problem. They don’t quite join together you see, so air escapes, cause my voice to sound whispery. I went through constant bullying about it. The boys mocking me and always mimicking me. And the girls acting like “female dogs” to me. Anyway back to being deaf in one ear. I can empathise with you. Because I am exactly the same. I hope our lives keep giving us lemons so we can keep making lemonade.

Dave Robinson 4 years ago

Your story is so sad, I think I am going through the same thing. My father is almost 70 years old and now I have to repeat everything I say to him. I read through this guide I knew I had to get him to a ENT specialist.

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 4 years ago Author

Josiah, I wish I could help. It could any number of things going on with that ear. I think it would best for you to go see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor to get evaluated. They would be better equiped to help you. You may have an infection or water behind you eardrum. Or almost anything. Go see a doctor to get a true evaluation. Sorry I couldn't help you better.

Josiah 4 years ago

I think i'm partially deaf in my right ear but i don't really know. I can barely hear out of it, and it sucks. I had it cleaned out for wax and i still cant hear, but i don't know what it is am i going deaf in my right ear, is it an infection? I'm 15 and it started popping and stuff a week ago, in the morning it felt clogged then it would pop and i could hear. then it stopped popping and i can barely hear. please help!

Alicia 4 years ago

Hi, I'm glad I found this website. I suspects that I can't hear from my right ear since a very young age. I told my parents but they won't believe me. And now my workplace offer a hearing test screening. I am scared of what they would told me. Your writings calmed me. Thank you.

Mich 4 years ago

This is the first time that I do any research for forums regarding deafness in one ear. I am 62 years old and have been totally deaf in my right ear since very early childhood. No one even knew. No one cared to know either. So I just went about life as if it didn't matter and just adapted to any and all situations as I went along. Later in life I finally came to realize the differences between myself and normal hearing people. Wow I then realized all that I had put up with without even realizing that I was somewhat ''going through a lot'' all those years. The worse time for me came when as a singer I was recording a song for the first time. Well I could not wear headphones (voice on left and music on right lol) I had to say why without even thinking for a minute that I was appearing ''handicap'' to all the techs there lol...For me it was just my way of life. When I don't feel completely relaxed and secured such as hotel rooms etc.., I try to avoid sleeping on my good ear to not block any sound that would jeopardize my safety. Apart from some of the little inconveniences it can bring, my life is just like everyone else. I never felt disabled nor felt that I didn't fit in the norm. We go through life with the vehicle we are stuck with lol. It gets me around just fine :)

ps..if teachers at school had known though, maybe they wouldn't have been so hard on me...

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 4 years ago Author

Hi, Hello, Don't be afraid to ask him. Just tell him you noticed he seemed like he might have some difficulty hearing out of one of his ears and see what he says. He may just be the type of guy who doesn't bring it up unless someone notices. If you want to, tell him you found this hubpage with lots of great stories from different people who are deaf in one ear. Maybe he'll want to check it out. If he says no nothing is wrong, then let it go, just say ok I guess I was wrong. It's no big deal really. Hope that this is helpful this is just what I would do, or wouldn't mind if someone asked me. But others might have better ideas.

hello 4 years ago

i know this guy and i think he might be deaf in one ear, but he doesn't talk about it and i dont want to bring it do i know?

Pris 4 years ago

My name is pris west

Yes I am deaf rud moods alone

Quzte alone it whsper,none. I am deafdaughter.but how sad I had any moneys I am very poor because i tireds lots of works I hate do needs help oh f@uk I feel I don't do this dame shit. Because I wish go to out dream like go to somewhere shop,buy new movies and out eat dinner, drunk diet pepsi. But I feel do bore all days I am studys with parents I wish get me out of here I want go with him and me I am so sickness shit with old parent. Pris west realname call is prescilla helen west I am deafdaughter. I am short,I can't drive because I was born deaf can't hear it sad birth oct 21 1986. I live indianapolis 46228. My number is 2335704

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Higgy-French 4 years ago

Hi, I was born deaf in my left ear. It is a condition running in the family, coming from my father's side of the family and only transmitted to women. We are 3 women over 9 generations with the same condition. Strangely enough, no one knows exactly what it is. I came across your post and thought it was very interesting. I always wondered what it would be like to ear from both ears, actually know where sounds are coming from and being able to watch a movie at the theater without missing half of what is actually going on because of surround sounds. There also are a few good things about it, like sleeping on "the good side". I am 23 years old.

Don't you sometimes feel like you are speaking louder than you should?

I think the thing that bothers me the most is trying to position myself so that I can ear as much as possible around me at all times. Or bein in the passenger seat in a car.

I am not sure if this has anything to do with it, but I have this ability to learn music by ear, and languages. I speak 6 languages that I learned by listening to people talking. I am an extremely good listener.



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Nicholas Abbott 4 years ago

Hello every one...

First off, i wanted to say WOW. I spent a long time reading all of these posts that I just stumbled on. I’m so glad to see that I’m not alone in this world with “one ear”. I live in Maine in USA, if any one is local…. Let me know ? haha

I will share my story.

I was told that my deafness was caused by German measles at birth. I have no hearing in my left ear and have partial hearing in my right with a hearing aid. As I was growing up through elementary to high school years, i was the most shy/quiet one . As others have said, they felt more introverted and that’s how exactly I feel. I think this is a common trait among individuals who have a hearing loss. There’s nothing wrong with that…. Is it? Sometime I wonder, who I would be….. if I was extravert. Truth is, I don’t tell people that I’m deaf. I let them find out themselves and I do my best to not let it become a big deal. I just carry on like nothing happened and sometime I can notice people would feel awkward. I find that sometime it’s hard for people to understand how a deaf person like me carry on a full on conversation. I tend to avoid large environment, big gatherings, events and any big speeches. Often you will find me busy being productive doing something else that is more enjoyable to me. It could be a hobby or anything that does not require much listening. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like conversing. I do actually. It just has to be in the right setting, depending on the loudness of background noise. Oh also the identification and location of sounds are difficult for me as well. But if it’s in your own home where you have a full on awareness of the environment, locating things would not be as difficult.

The work force was something I had to learn myself. During high school years, I managed to get by with fast food restraunts , Hannaford, blueberry raking, construction, welding, animal grooming, and I did try working in an office. The office job was an nightmare. My position as a data entry, it required a lot of phone calls and interactions with the people within the department. My boss found out about my hearing loss and was disappointed. He changed my job position to something more “productive”, working with maps and geographical information collecting. That was fun! Working in fast food restraunts can be horrifying! My worst experience was a rush hour after the big game at the high school football field. I was working in the back on the grill, imagine all of the electronics noise, food test alarm clock, cooking timer clock, phones, managers, microwave, bun heater, deep friers…. All of that noise…. I couldn’t hear a damn thing the person on my good side saying anything.

What about dating wise? Is this a tough area for others? It is very tough for me. I’m getting some of the looks but no bites. I am blessed to have a great body and a cute face. I guess that can even out with the deafness haha! Anyway, I am having a hard time to find myself a woman here. Often they don’t give me a chance and it seems they only care about the asshole or bad boys type. Oh speaking of bad boy type.... they don’t see this but this is how it is. I live in northern maine, have a house, lifted Toyota 4runner, atv’s, a dirt bike, a snowmobile, two dogs, and finally two safes full of inventories of firearms and ammo. Now what does that have to say about a young 24 year old?

I want to add something that I did not catch on any of these posts. I wonder, does anyone smoke soft drugs like herbal? Well I do, but I hate tobacco products and don’t support it. Under the right dose of weed…. Often I find my social experience is improved and the interactions with other people seem to be improved. However this does not last long depending on the strain / high. If I smoke too much, it doesn’t help that way. My family and close friends are aware of my habit and have noticed differences on some days. Some days when I don’t smoke, I am more quiet and I don’t catch on full sentences of what people are saying. I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to explain.

I’m about to complete my degree requirements for Bachelor’s degree in Political Science not sure how many credits left I have to take. I’d like to consider myself a successful person and I’m sure others do too. It feels good and positive knowing that with hard work, we can get anywhere in life. I, like others, have attempted to join the military. I was rejected due to my hearing loss. My family has a strong history with the united states history and it goes way back before our founding fathers signed the papers to Brittan. I remember during my childhood time, one of my best friend and I did join ROTC and Young marines. We were just barely old enough to join and we were still playing with army toys / trucks and outside fake war games. In both programs, my friend, kevin and I moved up through the ranks and we both had our own units. At high school graduation, we both went to the marine corps office to sign up. He was able to go but I wasn’t. He refused to sign up if I couldn’t, so we tried every other branch with no luck. I told him to join the marines and carry it on. So he did and he’s still serving in Iraq since 2006.

Anyway, I have never let it stop me from enjoying my life and socializing in public social settings that has a reasonable background noise level. I’m just like others who forget about it at times until it gets in the way again. Sometime I wonder about getting cochlea implant but at this point at my age, I think I have coped with it pretty well so far. Just need to figure something out about the dating world haha.

4 years ago

hey guys.... good to read about other people's experiences.... i actually thought i was the only one with this problem. lolz....

my right ear is *silent*... no incoming, you can say....

i believe i was born with this coz as far as i can remember i never could hear from this ear.

my mum told me i used to complain when i was a small kid that my right ear would hurt and then when we went to India, the doctors checked me up and said that this is a defect from birth....

i remember they put me in a glass room and hooked me up with headphones and played sounds one by one in ear ear and asked me to raise my hand whenever i heard a sound.

now at 22yrs, i don't have many problems with this *defect* as you can call it.

i never have problems while driving a car coz our cars are right hand drive here and i can converse with my fellow passengers no problem.

i just have to pick up calls with my left ear and while walking, i always have to walk with people on my left.

all my friends wonder why i do this.... i never really told them. dunno what they will say when i tell em....

so, life goes on, ear or no ear :-p

Karim 4 years ago

Hi Stephanie

I stumbled across this by pure accident as I too am deaf in my right ear!! I am in full time employment but like you and many other people growing up with one ear is both hugely frustrating but can be funny at the same time.

To be honest, I dont remember anything about my childhood where my deafness really played a part.

Except that I am left footed when it comes to playing football (you guys call it soccer) and I write with my right hand.

So you can imagine if i am playing on the left hand side of the football pitch and I cant hear anything to my right! So I gave up playing football at a relatively early age.

People have often told my friends that I am rude because when we are out and they are talking to me i never hear them. But if they are on my right side how am I supposed to hear them? So my friends have to point my deafness out.

Also, when out partying chatting up the ladies (haha) all girls seem to go for the right side automatically so i say speak into my left ear and then two mins later they are back at my right side! Perhaps they were looking for an angle to kiss me! hehe.

But in all seriousness, I am glad I found this blog as I often find myself alone in what i am going through.

The thing is, I only pay attention to my deafness if someone brings it up. I lead a normal healthy life, I do regular things and I dont let it affect me.

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 4 years ago Author

Hey Stephanie glad to see you again. I used to think of myself as normal non disabled, but as time goes by I have been rethinking that somewhat. I have found it more difficult lately to hear somethings, I can't compensate as good as I used to. I used to be able to figure things out even when I missed part of the conversation, but lately I can't do it as well. I had my hearing checked just to make sure my good ear is okay and it was fine 100%. But for some reason I just can't cope as good as I used to I think maybe its age. I am now 41years of age. So I don't know. But I do get more paranoid lately afraid of not hearing something important. Like being alone at night in the house I feel like I could miss something that could jeapardize my safety. So I guess I do feel a little disabled as of late. I feel a little less in control more so than I used to. Anyway that's my feelings, maybe you will get some more response from others as well.

Stephanie 4 years ago

Hey guys, I forgot to add a video link:

An organization in Canada, called NEADS (National Education Something Disabled Students) has a lot of videos and publications about experiencing university/college and the workplace, and one of the presenters has 80% hearing loss in one ear (perfect hearing in the other). I still can't fathom that, firstly, she considers herself Hard of Hearing when I figure it's more of an annoyance, and that she's presenting as a person with a disability when I can hardly identify myself as one. And, as I said...she's not even as "hard of hearing" than many of us!

Here's her presentation:

Stephanie 4 years ago

Hey Everyone Again,

I really do enjoy coming back to this hub and seeing all the new comments and new people who have found it! Diana, this was a terrific idea!

Also, I remember someone talking about MONO (I think?) and Surround Sound...yeah, to those cool technologies I say: Whatever. In other words, I don't get their cool factor at all, probably because they probably do something really really neat that only people with two hearing ears would be able to enjoy.

When I was younger, by the way, I remember listening to my Disney cassettes on a Walkman (yeah, those old things) and I always wondered why my headphones were broken: See, when listening to the opening song in Beauty and the Beast, I noticed that part of the music, and Belle were at a normal volume, and the singing chorus were soft and muffled. But when I turned the headphone around so I could check out the other earpiece, I had the opposite problem! Belle was muffled, and the chorus singers were loud! Does this ring a bell to any of you?! Hahaha. I think we have to buy certain headphones that don't split up the sound into to different signals...even if the ones that split the sound signals are "cooler" or somehow gives a more "layered" sound.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment because I am finding more, and more often, that people with unilateral hearing "loss," like ourselves, sometimes seek disability services (i.e. in school and university) and it is just so strange for me to even think of that for myself. Is that weird?

Do you ever think about your unilateral hearing as a disability? Do you consider yourself disabled? Why or why not?

I want to put the question out there because it is a question I have been asking myself, many times, over the past two years and I have yet to resolve it.

Looking forward to your comments!

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Robin, to answer your question. All the time. I am always trying to see where sound comes from. I once got up from the couch to look for the phone that was ringing and realized afterwards that the phone was actually lying right beside me on my right side. I completely thought it was somewhere else in the room not right beside me. It was embarrasing cause my dad was in the room and he was completely entertained at me searching for a ringing phone he knew full well was right beside me. LOL He was amused more than me.

Robin 5 years ago

I am practically deaf in my left ear, to the point where I can't really hear anything. If you are on my left side, you mine as well be talking you yourself because I won't hear a thing. Like you, it is a blessing and a curse. Whenever I go to sleep it's like I am sleeping in a sound proof room and it is always so quite because I sleep with my good ear down. On the other hand, very scary because I couldn't hear anyone if they were breaking into my house. My roommate was once stuck in our bathroom about 30 feet away screaming at the top of her lungs to wake me up. It took her about ten minutes of yelling before I finally heard her and woke up. So really, it depends on what situation you are in and what you need your hearing for.

But one of the main reasons why I wanted to post on here is because I noticed that I can not really tell where sounds are coming from. I can hear the noise, but I couldn't tell you where it originated from or where it is. For example, I lose my phone sometimes, just like anyone else. But, when I go to call it to hear it ring, I can't for the life of me tell exactly where it is. I can hear it, but I have to turn around in circles like and idiot trying to let my good ear tell where it is the loudest and try to follow that signal.

Have you ever noticed anything like this?

Fighter 5 years ago

Hi all im deaf on my right side since birth.. Now 25 n my left ear is acting up due too teeth grinding tmj and infection.. So peeps look after ur jaw .. Wish there was a cure out there.. Things u cant do cause of my condition really does take its toll.. I really like talking to people and for others but not hearing them kills it

Pam 5 years ago

Omgosh I am onl 21 & I am also deaf in my right ear. You just described my whole life almost to.a T. Its so great having someone else understand what its like to go.through on a daily basics.:)

Emel Tasdemir profile image

Emel Tasdemir 5 years ago

I never thought I had terrible hearing... I knew that I had some issues but I always thought I wasn't paying any attention.

I had huge issues with my balance I fell down everywhere and I often had a lot of bruises and scrapes and bloody arms and knees I got in so much trouble and my parents would always tell me to look where I'd walk. We had no idea it had anything to do with my ears.

In my high school years my friends would cringe while I spoke I was always told that I was the outgoing loud girl throughout high school..and I always felt I wasn't really yelling or shouting.

After I got married the first few years, I didn't really think of it much by asking people to repeat themselves especially since my Husband's side of the family is quite large and very noisy.

Last year just before Christmas I got quite frustrated with having to repeat myself and having to tell people I wasn't yelling or screaming at them and it frustrated the hell out of me when they'd all say "yes you are, you're so loud!".

Eventually it was my mother who said "maybe you should get your ears checked" so I did, at first during the hearing test as they tested my right ear first and it was the first time I began to panic she kept telling me that it must be an issue with the wasn't the system it was my first time in my life at 31 years old that I was being shown how deaf I was in my right ear. We tested the left ear and retested my right ear, and I knew in the pit of my stomach something wasn't quite right so I began pressing that button every second and chance I got but it was useless because right after the free hearing test I was told to bring someone along with me for the second test I didn't I went alone in fact at the time I thought it was a huge scheme for the company to make money that it was a joke oh how wrong was I.

So I ended up finding out exactly how profoundly deaf I really am in my right ear and that I was in fact born with the condition. I also found out that I have 80 percent of hearing in my left ear left to preserve I guess...

But later when I felt okay not so cheesed off that it should have known or be told about it sooner but what's done is done I now wear a hearing aid and everyone around me thinks that I have no issues with it...but I'm really not use to it yet!..

But when I think back one event of my childhood sticks out like a sore thumb when I was 11 years old my family and I were out on a Sunday afternoon and we were all hungry and in front of KFC dad had sent my brother and i back in the car while he was having a cigarette and talking to my cousin we were miles from home his initial instructions were that my brother and I get mum to drive through KFC so that we can all eat some lunch I hadn't heard a thing dad actually said I had to rely on my brother but he said he wasn't listening and thought I I ended up telling mum we were going to go on a picnic, we drove home grabbed food for the picnic only to later find my cousin and my very upset and angry father outside of KFC wondering what happened to my mother, brother and I....that I guess is the only time that I remember having an idea that maybe there was something wrong with my hearing after all.

Jacob Kozar 5 years ago

I fell off of a slide when i was 3 years old fractured the right side of my skull resulting in me being half deaf in my right ear i went through the same audio tests as desribed in this post same funny thing i loved pressing buttons at 4 as well haha. it has resulted in a ringing in my right ear that is constant for hours randomly sometime multiple times a day. these ringings have started about 4 months ago im currently 18 and understanding i am more then likely going to have to live with the ringingor end up fully deaf with in the next 10 years. its unfortunate but i have learned to embrace it. its sets me apart from the rest of my friends so im unique. your post is great thank you for your insight.

linkjp 5 years ago


Have your talk to your hearing doctor about cross hearing aids? I'm deaf on my right side as well and audiologist suggested cross hearing aids. Its barley visible and it picks up sound on my right side and transmit it to the left hearing aid. It's crazy how much I've been missing out on.

buckshotmustang profile image

buckshotmustang 5 years ago from Heritage Ranch

harry, i am stone deaf in my left ear my right ear is about 50 % good i have dyslexia as well , i also went to the house ear clinic in LA i tried a baha sample hearing band they let you try it for free for two weeks, i heard in steroe with this device, dual exhaust was way cool , it aloughs you to hear from the deaf side, i was going to try it but i am not a candidate for it do to my good ear is not so good.i have a bicross digital aid set 3700 bucks i paid , they make my tinitus real bad and pick up to much noise, i really dont like aids. its a mofo not hearing good! anyway just sharing some info , back to the bbq.

Harry Walmsley profile image

Harry Walmsley 5 years ago

Hi Brie,

So you are deaf in your left ear, and severely dyslexic will snap, so am I. I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was 12 years old in 1968. I have been reinvestigating my dyslexia and my hearing problems over the last couple of years. I have been posting on this site and the "being dyslexic" ( website to improve my writing as well as to gather information on these subjects.

I have not come across anybody else who is both deaf in one ear and dyslexic. Separating the two problems out is not as simple as you would think. A lot of dyslexic people, for example, have difficulty hearing where there is a lot of background noise. There is a relatively new condition known as "Auditory Processing Disorder" were people have good hearing in both ears but still have problems "hearing" what is being said to them especially in a noisy room.

There does not seem to be a direct connection to being deaf in one ear (or Single Sided Deafness/SSD; Unilateral Hearing Loss /UHL) and dyslexia. There are no other people on this hub page who are dyslexic and on the "Being Dyslexic" website there are only a few people who have hearing issues. But as you say "who knows". There is no shortage of theories about the dyslexia and its causes.

I feel uncomfortable with the idea of having surgery to try and cure being deaf in one ear. I do not think the doctors have enough skill and knowledge yet. Especially as my good ear works so well. So what if I have to move my position from time to time. I'm used to it by now! "Borg" implants (BAHA or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) seem a bit extreme to me and I do not see how they can solve the auditory processing issues you would still have in a noisy environment.

Obviously I do not give a hoot about your spelling, what you say is far more important than the odd misplaced letter and coma . I'm using speech to text software to write this post. Indeed an important reason for why I'm writing this post is to practice with this technology. Left to my own devices I haven't a clue how you spell technology and would probably right it several different ways. The computer has changed everything. It is only about when you were born that I purchased my first word processor with a spellchecker. Magic! Who knows what the future will be in another 20 years? I am also first fortunate in not being ADD as it was not invented in the 1960s. I do not intend to find out whether or not I have that now. If you are deaf in one ear you cannot use two ears to process Sound, so by default you have Auditory Processing Disorder, APD! I wonder how many letters I could collect if I put my mind to it? I think getting totally "way off topic" can only add more interesting things to this hub page.


Brie 5 years ago

Hi, Im 19 and deaf in my left ear. doctors claim I have been my whole life. I say I could hear at one time. When I was six I remember answering the phone to my left ear and hearing nothing so i switched sides i could hear just fine. I told my mom and of course she freaked out. so we went to countless doctors including the shae ear clinic. it is supposed to be one of the best like world wide known or whatever. we did several cat scans and found nothing. all my parents remember are the doctors saying she is missing some sort of nerve. anyway yea im not gonna sit here and say its easy to grow up with just one good ear, but it is totally possible. I also was diagnosed with dyslexia in 5th grade. they said when it came to spelling/reading comprehension i was off the charts dyslexic. and im sure you can tell my my spelling in the is comment. haha. anyway i think being deaf in my leaf ear does have a lot to do with the fact i cant sound out words and pronounce words. so who knows about all that. but i will say to those of young children with only one good ear... dont freak out, it is totally normal these days and workable. i have been on a waiting list since i was six for one of those colhear implants however you spell that, but i wouldn't want it. why would i take it away from someone who cant hear at all when i csn hear a whole ear more then them ha. I honestly cant say i miss it or hate it cause i was so young and adapted to it to well i judt dont know any different. I will say i was a dancer in highschool and yea it was hard to always hear the beat and the speed/tone of the music but its just like someone with a left foot, you can be tought to work with, not you problems or inperfections, but i like to say your uniqueness. It makes you different and makes you a little more interesting then others. and its fun to play tricks on people. like when you keep saying huh? or what? and they say are you deaf!? and your like well yea i bet you feel bad now haha. ok so i totally got way off topic, there goes my ADD. HAHA. anyway please dont worry about your young ones parents, they will be just fine:) just let them know that there different, and thats cool!

Sarah 5 years ago

I have a 19 year old son that is deaf in his right ear. Has since birth. We found out when he was being tested in school and it was brought to our attention. It made sense looking back. He did the switch sides when I handed him the phone to his right ear. We got out old family videos and observed one time when my Aunt was calling his name. She was on the right of him and he heard his name, he just kept looking around all over the place trying to figure out what direction the person was calling him from. I remember coming home from the first appointment and my son asking his younger brother, "which ear do you hear out of?" It broke my heart. He thought that it was normal. It was all he ever knew. Bless his heart. I remember sitting in the doctors office asking the doctor, how, why? He said most likely it happened in utero and there was nothing I could have done to keep it from happening. He asked me if I had been sick while pregnant. I was. As a matter of fact I was very sick with strep throat. I also had an older son that I had nursed back to health from a very bad infection that the doctors never figured out what it was. So many things cross my mind. Could I have done something different? He had am MRI and it showed that there were no scare tissue of any kind. So they ruled out untreated ear infections and such. I remember the doctor calling it a "dead ear". I was always scared of him riding a bike. To this day he deals with dizziness. He loves music. Loud music so I am having to get on him constantly about his earphones. He is regularly tested and he still manages to have above normal hearing in his left ear. Thank God!! I ask him if he could change things, would he and every time he answers without hesitation NO!! Its all he has ever known. For the first time, he has experienced his deafness holding him back from something he really wanted to do. He tried to join the military after he graduated. Every branch turned him down.

Abi Rose 5 years ago

Yeah, i found out (maybe) eleven years ago that i was deaf in my left ear, completely. Like you said about the phone and only using it in that one ear, i do exactly the same but obviously to my right ear and when people hand my the phone to my left ear it annoys me as they insist i use that ear? Why? Strange stuff but what got my mum to check this out at the doctors was because every time i was being spoken to i would tilt my head and remove the hair covering my good ear and tuck it behind my ear, results came back, deaf in my left ear. Like you said, also, is the good and bad points of being deaf in one ear is going to sleep is hard when there is a destructive noise around keeping you awake, just turn over and block it out, absolute bliss. Bad point, asking for a second count, when you don't hear what people have previously said, it is a huge frustration of mine as i have the patience of a five year old waiting to open presents at the birthday party, you just end up giving in and saying either yes/no/never mind. I do feel sorry for anybody else like this but if you've been born deaf in one ear, you know nothing different that being in mono sound other than stereo right? Thing is, im only seventeen yet i think there is something major wrong with that ear, i can feel the vibrations of sound i.e. headphones etc, but it makes me feel so unbelievably dizzy, but not just that, i am also very sensitive to loud noises any side, although im deaf in that ear, down make sense at all, and at last earache is a problem of mine, anything can trigger this, loud noise, sore throat, even swallowing something hot and or spicy, but the throat and ears share the same nerves or something ... Just annoying!!

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 5 years ago Author


I understand completely. The phone rang the other day, being a cordless phone someone did not hang it up in its cradle so I had to go looking for it listening to the rings hoping to home in on where it was. I found it, it was lying right beside me on the couch I was sitting on before I got up to go look for it. Ughh. LOL

Merry Christmas Harry and everyone so nice to here from u.

Gill Family 5 years ago


We found out that our 4 year old daughter is deaf in her right ear. No one knew (not even her pre-school teacher) that she had hearing loss until we took her to an audiology doctor. We are feeling very lost and have a lot of questions and didn't know where to go to.

1) Can our child live normally without a hearing aid?

2) How will other kid treat her when she is wearing the hearing aid?

3) What are the negatives of wearing a hearing aid?

Thank you.

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

My little boy has a significant hearing loss in both ears, and it is amazing how often people "forget" that he sometimes can't hear them (he wears powerful hearing aids)! Fortunately he wears a personal FM system so being "front and center" isn't quite as important - and the modern teaching style of having younger children in "groups" really makes listening difficult because there is no "front row." The teacher moves around as she talks - a listening nightmare!

Great article - voted up!

Harry Walmsley profile image

Harry Walmsley 5 years ago

A whistling noise drag me into consciousness from a deep sleep. It was 2:30 am in the morning. I lay in my bed for a few moments, reluctant to leave the warmth and comfort of my duvet but the whistling could not be ignored. Noise was loudest in the landing and it seemed to be coming from the smoke detector. As there was no smoke or fire, I assumed that the battery or something in the detector must be faulty. I went downstairs to the garage and carried the stepladder upstairs to the landing. I had only changed the batteries to this smoke alarm once but if I wished not to wake the rest of the household, I would need to solve this problem.

I pressed the test button on the smoke detector but the whining continued. I then disconnected the smoke alarm from its power cable; that didn't work. I needed a star screwdriver from the garage to remove the batteries from the smoke alarm. After removing the batteries I was perplexed to find that I had not silenced the device. Looking down from the ladder I spied an alarm clock sitting on the handrail at the top of the stairs. I pressed the snooze button on the clock and at last silenced the annoying noise.

Of course anybody with two working ears, would have solved the mystery in seconds.

Happy Christmas


Wyatt 5 years ago

My name is Wyatt, and I was born deaf in my left ear. I still hear everyone the same as anyone with both ears, but if someone calls me and I'm not looking at them, I have to look around because I don't know were the sound is coming from. I don't have trouble with selective hearing and balance.

Jeremy 5 years ago

I was born deaf in my left ear and it is really interesting to see all these comments which I can really relate to. Found out early in life when I was having trouble with normal communication, hearing conversation. School was frustrating because I had to sit close to the front to hear the teacher. As i hated school I migrated to the back of class which likely compounded my dislike of school because I was progressively becoming more disconnected. Always having to stand to peoples left to hear correctly this became a massive problem socially. In any space with a dominant sound all other sounds like conversation would be muffled and unclear. I would always be telling people I was deaf and could not hear them without preparing myself. This became frustrating because I would always have to explain myself and apologise. Often called arrogant and selfish in my ways. I guess I have just adjusted to it over time but it has affected my social life to some degree. On top of all that i was diagnosed with Hodgekins lymphoma in 1997 and due to a chemotherapy drug I now have tinnatus in my good ear which is permanent. I would love to get my hearing back as that would be amazing to have this experience.

Sharon 5 years ago

I have been very interested in the comments that have been given in this blog about unilateral deafness from birth. My daughter made me aware of this site in the hopes that I would try to find a cure for it. I was born in 1962 and have been deaf in my left ear since birth. There are no known causes as to why this occurred such as high fever, etc. I was a 10 month delivery for my mother (instead of 9 month) and maybe that had something to do with it. The doctors aren't sure. Phones were not a big thing back in the 60's for young kids so I never used phone on left side. I did normal hearing testing in school but passed since I thought I had to press all the buttons the other kids were pressing for testing. My deafness was not noticed until I was 11. My grandmother handed me the phone and I held it up to my left ear and heard absolutely nothing. My right ear has never had a problem and, of course, I use it for phones, etc. I dealt with this hearing loss even though it was frustrating for directional sound; not hearing somebody when they were trying to whisper something in my left ear; etc. At age 18 I underwent extensive hearing testing and it was found that outer and middle ear bones were fine - it was the inner ear fibers. The doctor jokingly said it was like a tornado had gone through my inner ear and flattened my fibers which caused my deafness. There wasn't really anything available in 1980 for this problem. At age 23 I was tested with a "radio type device" that was placed over my ears. Supposedly it would help my directional sound for left ear - I was able to hear things because the device ran signals from one ear to other for directional purposes only. If I was sitting next to someone and they tried to talk to me on my left side, I could hear them because my right ear was actually doing the listening and relaying it to me. I probably am not explaining it very well but I didn't use this device because it was very large and expensive. I have not looked into anything else since then. I worked for years as a medical transcriptionist and it was sort of funny since I had to use ear phones in order to transcribe a doctor's notes. My frustration has gotten worse over the years since it is very difficult to be in social situations with background noise and not to be able to hear anything well unless I am right next to person. I also compensate by "ad-libbing" things that people say - this proves very embarrassing if I have misinterpreted what was said. I now work in a teaching environment as an instructional aide and find it very difficult to hear students clearly at times unless I am close by (for example, if student in back of class says something in regular tone).

I am now 49 years old and am thinking about looking into things that would correct my hearing loss. As I said earlier, my left ear deafness has become very frustrating over the years so that is why I am now thinking about it. Any suggestions? To find humor in the situation, I laughingly tell my family and friends that when I sleep and don't want to hear anything, I just turn over and sleep on right ear!

Keli 5 years ago

I just want to thank u for sharing your story. I have been deaf in my right ear since birth and have had many of the same experiences that u have had. I'm 34 and have been making adjustments in my everyday life for as long as I can remember. I don't think many people realize the tole having unilateral hearing loss has on a person because they think it can be replicated by covering their ears etc. It's simply NOT the same.... ( they STILL can hear better than I can) driving cn cause anxiety especially when trying to figure out where an emergency vehicle is coming from. Having to read lips or turn my head around like the exorcist just to hear what a person is saying. People calling my name in a crowd and me looking all over gods kingdom to find out who is calling me. Sigh....yes I know all about it. Ironically, I work in an O.R. And everyone's mouths are covered. I have learned to anticipate a surgeons needs better than anyone because I have to guess what he is saying.... I am the lead surgical technologist because I am good at what I do. I believe my hearing impairment has helped me to be the best by having to find another avenue to get things done...( I know the surgery and the surgeons needs before he does)... I also have a heightened intuition and sensory capability that most people do not understand... I am extremely musically inclined as I have played 6 instruments in high school and caan play music by ear... And I am now getting my masers degree in Medical Biotechnology.... I am saying these things so that the younger people who feel that their disability is limiting know that they are still capable of great things even though they might have to make adjustments in their everyday life... It sucks, but u will be greater for it.

Marie 5 years ago

My husband is deaf in his right ear following acoustic neuroma surgery he had about 25 years ago when he was 32. His auditory nerve was severed to remove the tumor. It was a big adjustment for both of us. He didn't have perfect hearing in his left ear, but managed pretty well by making the usual compensations. Sadly, 3 years later he developed cancer and required a bone marrow transplant. The chemotherapy significantly damaged his remaining hearing, and he now has lost over 50% of the hearing in his "good ear". This hearing loss has taken a toll emotionally and has affected his relationships and his career. He's never been comfortable telling people upfront about his condition, as he feels it's a stigma. He tries to "fake" it when he’s engaging with people, which I think is a mistake because people don’t know to make compensations such as speaking up,standing on his good side, or not talking to him if he’s not making eye contact. Faking it can result in people not thinking he’s sharp or thinking he’s aloof. When we are in social situations he uses me as his guide to help him pick up on cues so he can respond appropriately. Over the years we have developed a synchronicity that works ok for us. Because he is deaf in his right ear, I always position myself on his left side. The habit is so ingrained in me, that no matter who I’m with I always have to be on the left side – it’s weird! I can’t remember the last time my husband and I have ever been able to talk to each other in the dark – like when we are in a theater. I also can’t recall the last time I’ve been able to call out to him if he’s in another room to get his attention – I always have to find him. It’s virtually impossible to talk in the car when he’s driving because his deaf ear is facing me. The good news is that hearing aid technology has improved greatly. “Cross” aids are available that offer directional hearing, yet are relatively small and unobtrusive. The hearing aid in your deaf ear receives the sound and transfers it to your hearing ear - pretty slick. Back-in-the-day these devices were large and connected by a wire that ran along the back of your neck. Now they are totally wireless. Although I'm not the one with the disability, hearing loss can be hard on those you live with. I encourage all of you to use the available technology to help you hear - even if you feel self conscious about it. If you don’t help yourself hear as well as possible, communicating can become too difficult and can result in people engaging you less and less.

knbailey 5 years ago

Wow, it is really interesting to hear from other people who have had similar experiences to mine. I am completely deaf in my left ear, presumably since birth, and my family didn't find out until I was in kindergarden and they had obligatory sensory testing. They say they didn't have any reason to suspect anything before that. I learned to talk in complete sentences very early and did show any communication problems. For the next couple of years I underwent a good deal of regular hearing tests that culminated in a cat scan that determined that my hearing loss was inoperable and unable to be helped by hearing devices. The testing stopped after that. I remember always being embarrassed about it, and not telling people about it unless it was absolutely necessary like teachers and close friends. The hearing imparement isn't really that noticeable to me except in situations where there is a lot of background noise, or where directional hearing is necessary. In cases like that hearing takes a lot more effort and a good deal of concentration. I am told I get a very intense look on my face in those instances and I have come to realize that I sometimes rely on a good deal of lip and expression reading as well as making intuitive guesses based on context when trying to hear with a lot of background noise. I think I cock my head a lot too. I am 27 now, and in these economic times find myself working in noisy retail environments where my hearing is more of an issue than it has been previously in my life. I think it affects my psychology more than anything else though. I am still trying to figure out how best to deal with it. I too was terrified of driving, and refused to get my driver's license until I was 23 and my dad put his foot down about it. On the upside I think my imparment has helped to make me a very creative, articulate, and artistic person, as well as well read. I am a quieter person, but I have done well at school and sports, and have done a great many things to be proud of. I do often wonder what it would be like to hear in stereo though.

ricardo gutierrez 5 years ago

It's to know that I'm not alone being deaf in one ear. It's not the right but it is my left ear. I struggle with a lot of the same scenarios. I was born deaf as well and I feel better knowing that I'm not alone. I always thought it was an anomoly!

sami 5 years ago

hey guys:) i was reading all these wonderful comments and it brought a tear to my eye because i have the same problem,i cant hear in my left ear from birth! im 13 years old and people dont understand and get frustrated with me! im also very shy and didnt know if this had anything to do with it? i remember when i was about 5 i was playing chinese whispers with my friends and someone whispered in my left ear,and obviously i coudnt understand and in the end the message was completly different to what they had started with:)i always have to walk on the left side of my friends and in school sometimes i find it hard to hear teachers! when i am sleeping i cant sleep on my left ear because i cant get to sleep! my mom and dad dont even know why i was born that way! i find myself asking people to repeat themselves but they just get fed up and say,"oh never mind!" and i feel sad! anyway i guess its not the biggest deal,i sometimes forget about it i get on with life! thanks so much to everyone xxx

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hello all so happy to see everyone commenting and love reading all the stories. We are all connected.

Dionne, I don't really know why you son hold hsis finger in his good ear. However I might suspect that it does block out some of the sound and it might make him feel better. Sometimes sound gets rather annoying and almost too much to cope with at times. Maybe because it is kinda like overload in one ear. I do at times hold my hand over my ear when its just plain noisey. My husband says he catches me doing it sometimes, and wonders why i do it. We ride in a big truck which is pretty noisy so i do cover my ear to block some of the noise.

I don't know if this is why your son does this but i would not be surprised if it is. It gets pretty agrivating sometimes. There is a saying that I think about sometimes especially when I have to deal with alot of distracting noises. lol

"Silence is Golden."

So maybe trying to cut down on the noise at times for your son might make him start to not cover or plug his ear so much. I really don't know thats just a thought.

Again thanks to all. Diane

tasho ruffin 5 years ago

wow,i feel a little better. My mother told me that i ran into the stove and hit my left ear while playing with my sister at around 3or4 yrs old.I started to notice my hearing lost when people started to call me arrogant and did not know of my situation.Although i'am not completly deaf in my left ear i fill everyone's pain. i'am truly blessed to have a good ear.Maybe one day someone will discover a cure. i'am 41yrs old now and surviving. I incourage everyone to keep their head up.

dionne 5 years ago

Any suggestions why my 2 year old who is deaf in his left ear holds his finger in his right ear (good ear). He holds it there all tge time but this must block out all sound so I don't undrstand why he does it. Thank you.

Cam 5 years ago

Hi this is a huge coincident because i was born deaf in my right ear and when I found out I was 4 at the time and picked up the phone and put the phone up to my right ear and after like a minute my mom took the phone from me and my grandmaw which was at the phone at the time asked my mom why I wasn't responding to her and I said I didn't hear her so after a little bit of wondering why my parents took me to the doctors to find out that I was born without a cochelea sorry for my spelling I don't know how to spell it but I found this interesting because I have never heard of anyone with he same condition as me I'm 15 right now and not really having a problem with my hearing

tjharmon 5 years ago

hi all! i was reading this and i to am deaf in my right ear. i was wondering, have any of you have any ear infections in the ear you are deaf in? my deaf ear hurts really bad and i havent had an ear infection in ears so i dont know what to think about it???

Alex 5 years ago

Hello All,

I have been deaf in my right ear since birth, I am 52. My Mom had Rubella when she was carrying me. Back then ot was called a "birth defect". It was first discovered in school around first grade when they tested the entire class. I didn't hear anything at all out of my right ear and never raised my right hand. I didn't think anything was wrong, until the whole class went back upstairs to the class room and they kept me behind. My Mom told me that when I was a pre-schooler, she would call my name from the kitchen (the next room) and I would not answer - but she just thought I was engrossed in the cartoons on TV or "in my own little world" as kids often are. I'm naturally left-handed so talking on the telephone never gave it away.

It has been curse for me most of my life. Shortly after the discovery, Mom took me to the "School For The Deaf" on 23rd street in NYC for further tests during the Blizzard of 1966. I remember going into the school and seeing a whole class of completely deaf children around my age walk by me, and I thought wow they have it even worse than I do.

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, was tough - kids on my block were outwardly cruel. Because I was deaf on the right side, I developed a slight speech impediment of talking out if the left side of my mouth. I was laughed at for getting words wrong, answering incorrectly or not hearing someone at all, scorned, mocked, and played jokes on. Some kids would talk about me right in front of me knowing I could not hear a word they were saying.

As an adult, I don't like having to explain myself to every person that ever crosses my path. Most people cannot detect it. If they do, then I explain. Not many really understand it, and they think I am either stupid or ignorant, and think I am ignoring them when I simply cannot hear them. It's very hard being part of both worlds.

The driving thing is the same for me as Diane's experience. I felt like I was reading my own diary for a few paragraphs. I cannot hear any passengers at all in a car, even sometimes if they are speaking up. People in the back seat? forget it. I just nod my head, and say yeah, yeah because I can't be bothered. I have discovered that many "normal" people think less of me once they discover this flaw. I absolutely hate that because of my deafness, I have missed out on a lot of important things people have said, jokes, poignant things, instructions from a boss, etc. If I have to ask everyone to repeat themselves, I'd be doing that all day long. For some people it is an annoyance to be asked to repeat themselves. I don't like to be an annoyance to others so most times I don't do it, and let whatever words I lost disappear into the wind. I feel a little depressed when that happens, and feel like everyone else is enjoying life more with both ears.

In spite of my deafness in one ear, I have been a drummer all my life, and have a great love for music. I became a professional NightClub Disc Jockey and have won several awards, beating out all of the competition that have 2 good ears. Even though I have never experienced stereo - I'd probably cry my eyes out if I heard it - I have managed in parts of my life not to let it thwart me. Oh yeah, and I'm great at reading lips : )

I have auditory nerve damage, so unless there is some miracle cure for deafness at some point, hearing aids, surgery, etc. won't help.

To my deaf in one ear brethren on this page I say to you: You are not alone - and many "normal" hearing people just don't understand, and will never understand what we go through. Thanks for letting me tell part of my story.


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buckshotmustang 5 years ago from Heritage Ranch

hello i am 42 i waited until i was 36 to get my first hearing insturments, bi cross made by sonic, works good tv and conversation, they pick up wind and back ground noise they have setings for it but they dont allways eliminate it. i am still geting use to them after six years. over all the cross system helps,i paid 3500 dollars for a digital set , you can try them out for 90 days, full refund or you can try a different style for another 90 days i think most aid compaines offer the same deal . non didital cross system is a lot cheaper maybe 900 dollars and up. well worth it. my left ear is totaly deaf my right ear only hears low tones. so hearing for me is tough with out the bi cross system also no wires.

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salgal61 5 years ago

I am a soon to be 50 year old female. I have been deaf in my right ear since birth. I can certainly to relate to the stories here on this page.

At the beginning of this week, I got a hearing aid system. I've only had it for 3 days but think it is really changing things for me. I actually have been able to walk on the left of people! I have not had the chance to use it in a crowded restaurant but I have seen an improvement with driving and hearing my passengers, in meetings and everyday activities.

It is a wireless system so there are no wires going from ear to ear. The right side (my bad side) is a microphone unit which transmits sound from that side to my left ear so I hear everything on with my left ear. I can still not tell direction. It comes with a remote control so that I can turn the volume and clarity up and down when I am in different situations. Hoping that this might open a door for others.

Erica 5 years ago

Hi Diane,

like you I'm completely deaf in my right ear from birth (19 years ago). My older sister was born completely deaf from birth and my father is deaf in his left ear so it's a pretty sucky family trait. I always was and still a clumsy child and often ended up twisting my ankles. Overall my deafness did not cause any problems until middle school when I was pushed into a bigger environment. Hearing people from moderate distances was the biggest issue. I had people call my name at least 5 times and I didn't hear them in the slightest. I also discovered that I couldn't hear or distinguish lower ranged notes from the cello or anything else for that matter. So when the some of the boys started to drop their voices, they sounded more like hard to hear whispers.

As I continued through school, I desperately needed to tell people that I could not hear them. But I hated to do that. I always felt that they judged or mocked and some did. Though more than most people were kind and considerate about that matter.

I think I would contribute my deafness to a decently confident attitude. I learned early on to just not let others' opinions bother me and even more so affect me.

Other than the miscommunication, I fear 2 things that could happen in the future. One being that I will one day lose all of my hearing, even though that will most likely not happen. The second being, if it would affect my future children. But thankfully I have a very loving and understanding SO that so very kind about my deafness and doesn't have it bother him and will stand with me through anything.

bianca 5 years ago

Hi ALL!!! i almost teared up reading this article and the comments. make me feel that im not alone. i am 24 years old and im deaf on my right ear. i just went to my doctor's today and found out that my right ear is deaf since birth, i couldn't believe what she said though i know i never remember in my life that i could hear on my right ear. i grew up feeling insecure and not confident to myself, i just realize its probably because im not sure if i hear people right or not. i remember one of my friend have this surround sound headsets and she wants me to check it out and when i put it on i didnt really recognizes the difference between the ordinary headset to surround sound one. that would save me on buying those =)) it was so frustrating sometimes but im happy im still blessed of my one good ear. i wonder what its like to hear both ears. im definitely will take good care of my left ear =) thanks all!

Raj 5 years ago

i have also the same problem n i can't hear from my right ear but i feel depressed by this problem

Liz 5 years ago

Very glad to have found this site! I have no hearing in my left ear, discovered at age four. I have experienced the same things that so many of you have mentioned, and have learend to cope adequately. But my SSD has definitely affected my outlook on life. So many times, as I child, I would look up from my schooldesk and see other kids staring down at me, their faces saying "what's wrong with this idiot?", and only then would I realize that they had been talking to me and I didnt' even know they were there. Needless to say, I did not develop into a party animal, and am rather shy and a bit insecure--though not pathologically so. What annoys me these days (I'm now in my 50s) is that my family and friends know about my deafness, but still get annoyed with me when I say I can't hear them. Oh well. But here is a story that I think you can all appreciate: a few years ago, I got a new next door neighbor. As we got to know each other, this woman (in her early 70s) told me how difficult it had been for her to make new friends in the area, because she had just developed a total hearing loss in one ear after a year-long infection, and it was a huge and exhausting struggle for her to hear people at the social gatherings that she and her husband were invited to. I had never met another person who had exactly the same problem I did--and we really bonded over this and have become good friends. But as luck would have it, we are both deaf in the same ear! Because I have coped with this problem all my life and it is a new challenge for my friend, I have decided to position myself on her hearing side when we are together. But this means she is on my deaf side. I have to turn my head at a painful angle to try to catch most of what she is saying. As with big parties, noisy airports, etc., it gets physically exhausting to be with her because I get tension in my craned neck. But we are also grateful to have each other, and we try to keep our sense of humor about it.

Cory 5 years ago

This was great to read! I'm completely deaf in my left ear. It sure does make sleeping easier though... I had trauma to my eardrum and then my hearing just went away at the age of 20... Huzzah. Just learning to adapt until someone makes some new discovery in SNHL.

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Vanadis 5 years ago from Barcelona

Hi Diane, thanks for the great article, I too was born totally deaf in my right ear. It's amazing to read all the comments and see how many others have the same condition! You would think there would be more help and awareness about it.

I never considered myself handicapped but at times there are problems.. but I think it has it's advantages too! For example I have super sensitive hearing in my left ear, and can hear pitches that people with both working ears often cannot. I can lay on my 'good ear' at night, and it's nice to sleep well even when there are loud noises, something that happens regularly here in Spain! I've always been good at music and playing by ear, I have no idea if SSD has anything to with this or not? I can relate to the crowded noisy room problems, the reactions from people and how they can be less understanding than if you were for example totally deaf. Being called to across the street is always awkward. But I also count my blessings and appreciate the hearing I have.

I think the most important thing that has helped me deal with deafness in one ear is attitude. Being positive and seeing the funny side, as well as openly explaining my condition where necessary has always helped, although I don't like to make an issue out of it and only mention it if I have to.

Anyway, I'm in the process of writing a hub about this subject myself, and researching other peoples experiences lead me here, so it's good to see I am not alone :) I think more comprehensive information and experiences like in this article are needed, especially if you read the Wikipedia page on unilateral hearing loss..honestly, that page describes us as completely disabled halfwits! After reading it I seriously felt like something was wrong with me, then I realized much of it is about mindset and attitude..I've got by fine so far! So I felt I should contribute towards setting the record straight on what SSD is really like, at least from my perspective.

Thanks again for a good read, I'll be following your articles in the future.

Alice 5 years ago

Hi, I've found this site while doing some research about my hearing issue. I've been deaf in my left ear since birth (virus or something at very young age, the doctor says) and it hasn't been an issue until I started college, about 5 years ago. Believe it or not, younger people seemed more tolerant or comprehensive about my problem, now, whenever I tell someone about my issue, they pity me OR they didn't think it was serious and they made fun of me (talking me on my deaf side and so on). I have a VERY strong personality, and I'm pretty capable of taking care of myself, but the attitude of some people kind of discourages me.

I've never really considered the posibility of surgery, I've been living like this for 22 years, I think I'll manage.

Thank you everyone for your posts, they have helped me alot!

(Bad english, not my first language, sorry :))



Jamie 5 years ago

Hello people. It's me again. I'm here to ask about mono and surround sounds. Why do some say that they wanted to be abkle to hear surround sounds? I am deaf in my right ear but I do not know that a surround sound is. Im only 16 maybe I have not yet explored and experienced a lot yet.

I really thank you guys for being with me. We are all the same, It's encouraging to find people who would truly understrand my situation. I cannot share my deafness problems to anyone because they don't understand.

I trying to live my life like a normal person. When I think about it, I am having self pity. But when I think about The Lord, I am happy because I know that He has blessed me in other things evern though I am deaf in an ear. God still gave my wisdom. And i am grateful for salvation, because it is the most important thing.

I onced watched a movie. A girl said, dying is the worst thing that could happen to us, but if we are saved and dying means nothing to us, we wont have to be afraid if dying because we weill go to heaven, where there will be no more pain, sin, sickness. If we dont have to worry about dying, then why would we be worry about anything else? :D

i am so happy that I found this website, I wish someday we will be able to see each other.

Moshilpha Charanga 5 years ago

Hi Diane and all..

I'm 24 and deaf in my right ear from birth. I do feel the vibration but can't recognized the sound. I experience a mix feeling when I read the stories of my type of fellows who write in this hub. So thanks to Diane in particular and thanks to all,,,

Tomas 5 years ago

Hello fellow semi-deafies! It's been a joy to read this site, I recognize almost all the stories told. I'm 26 years old, and I've been deaf in my right ear since birth. It's a weird handicap to have, because (to me) it edges on the verge of an annoyance and a disability.

Lately I've been thinking about how it's affected my life in general, and I think I may have become more reluctant to engage in social activities where a lot of people are involved. When I'm at a party I get tired very quickly. I'm either constantly at guard because I don't want to miss anything, or I give in and retract myself from conversations entirely. Either way, I'm not at ease.

I had an appointment to test the BAHA system last week, and it was quite an experience. I went for a walk through the hospital with the system on, and for the first time in my life I could hear sounds coming from all directions. I won't lie, when my mother (who was with me) started to talk on my right side and I could actually hear her without too much trouble, I teared up a bit. I only tested it for about 30 minutes, but quickly convinced myself that it was perfect for me, and asked to be put in line for the surgery that will make it permanent.

Now, though, I'm starting to have doubts. I don't know if I want a screw stuck in my head permanently. I'm not sure whether or not I'll put the actual device on all the time, because it draws attention. This is kind of ridiculous, since the main benefit of the BAHA is that you're able to differentiate sounds better when in conversation with a lot of people. It's just that having a hearing aid accentuates the deaf ear. It's as if it elevates being deaf in one ear from annoyance to disability by making it visible to the outside world.

So yeah, I really don't know anymore. I don't have a definite date yet for the surgery, so I still have some time to decide. I'll keep you posted!

Completely unrelated: has anyone used this kind of single ear stereo earplug yet? I'd love to try it, but I think it's probably really expensive:

Alison Mandzik 5 years ago

Hi All,

I'm 28 years old and I have really enjoyed reading all the stories and life experiences from everyone. I too am dead in my right ear. I went for my first official hearing test by an audiologist this past weekend since my initial discovery of my deafness when I was a child.

Like others, the Doctor was surprised about how severe and profound the deafness was in my right ear. He suggests it happened either while my mother was pregnant with me or from a virus when I was very young. I had always thought it was from chronic ear infections.

After revealing I love to go to heavy metal concerts, the concerned doctor gave me a pair of musicians ear plugs to use. The brand is ETY-Plugs and they are supposed to be much better than normal ear plugs bc they just reduce the decibel level and not block out the sounds completely.

The doctor also has recommended the Phonak Cros hearing aid system. It is specially designed for unilateral hearing and will help with my localization of sounds.

I am interested to try this, however, the price is quiet expensive. It retails for $4300! Can anyone tell me if they have used this system or have received help from their insurance company for hearing aids?

Much love,


Chelsea 5 years ago

Hello. I read page 1 and 2 and am glad to see you are ok. I could relate to sooo much of what you said that I just had to laugh. :D I wasn't born deaf in one ear, however when I was very little I had meningitis which took my hearing out of my left ear. I am now 18 years old and I have learned to just adjust and live with it as best as I can as well. I agree that usually it's not on your mind but it does get annoying at times. Especially when you misheard what someone else said and respond the wrong way... well how I cope with it is knowing that Jesus Christ loves us and understands what we are going through. We may not know why it happened but God has a reason and purpose for everything and everyone and we have to trust Him. Because of Him I've been able to deal with the fact that I'm deaf in one ear and other people's negativity toward this fact. You know, when people get frustrated or tease you etc... during high school one girl didn't even believe me after she got frustrated when I didn't hear clearly what she said. I admit it falls on my mind from time to time but I continue to find that peace when I turn it over to the Lord knowing He has the power to heal and that He loves and understands us. Just thought I'd share this.. these pages you did have helped and I'm praying for you and your family as well as others in general and with this same problem. :) God Bless.

Itzhel 5 years ago

Hi,I've also been death since birth in my right ear. I'm sixteen years old and I've learned to adapt quickly. Sometimes it's hard to her what people are saying when they're on my right side. I sometimes think they're saying something when they're really not but I laugh it off :) it's really annoying when I'm trying to look for the phone but I can't exactly know where the noise is coming from. I don't like asking people to repeat themselves but I have to do it anyways or when I don't want to explain why my response will be like "I don't know" and they'll sometimes be confused. Anyways,thanks for putting this hub page up!it's nice to read all the comments of people who have hearing losses in one ear :)I can relate to many of your experiences and I found it really useful to read about them.

Alecks Gates profile image

Alecks Gates 5 years ago

Hey everyone,

I'm 20 years old and have been partially deaf in my left ear since birth. It's been forever since I've had a hearing test, but so far I've been able to cope just fine, especially since it's how I've always lived. I believe my problem is just a deformation of the ear canal . . . and I've had had a Myringotomy/tubes etc.

As far as coping goes, I never had any problems in school or anything and took it upon myself to sit closer to the front (although I didn't always have to, depending on the teacher). Most people are surprised when they find out I'm partially deaf! The biggest problems I have are when people are sitting directly to my left and hearing in larger crowds etc. usually it's just a matter of turning my head to hear better, though. Thankfully, I'm also right handed, perhaps only because that's my better ear?

What annoys me the most is when I'm listening to something on headphones and something plays on only one side, which is just bad design in my opinion. It's mostly worst when, say, someone is speaking on the left side, since listening to sounds is much easier than interpreting words. Anyway, if you work in audio please put all conversations on MONO so the sounds goes in both left and right channels! It should be a common courtesy! It is not a *cool* effect to put it on both sides if I can't hear one side! Then again, the problem pretty much goes away for me with regular speakers since the left-sided sounds are just much softer than the right-sided ones.

I think the disability has given me a better appreciation of sound in general, though. When watching movies, playing games, etc I always notice sound quality much more than video quality. Surround sound still works for me, especially since (on the right side) there is still the right, side, and rear sound effects. I also seem to take a greater than average interest in music, as well -- especially instrumental music.

Anyway, as for the reason for me finding this post, I called an Air Fore recruiter a few months ago and within minutes I told her about my ear, and she immediately told me I couldn't join. That got me down for quite a while, but I'm thinking of contacting the Army and the Navy now . . . .

Cheers to everyone!


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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi everyone just saying it is amazing getting to "hear" from all of you thanks for communicating here with others. Wow Harry you make total sense, and I hadn't thought of it quite the way you have explained it, thank you.

Whats so frustrating for me at times is my family especially my husband forget that I have trouble hearing even just normal conversations at times. And I do show my frustrations which he interprets as being overdramatic and not logical. He also gets annoyed at me because I think he believes I lean on this excuse to often. He just doesn't realize. I am so happy and take some comfort in knowing there are others who totally understand. Thanks so much to you all for participating and I welcome all your comments. God bless you all. I look forward to hearing from you.

If you just found us and would like to leave a comment please do, we would like for you to join in.

Terri 5 years ago

I just turned 60 and have been totally deaf in my right ear since birth. I alway remember it being a problem for me. I had to sit in the front row in school throughout my childhood. I too think I still missed out on hearing thing. I hate going out to dinner with friends as I have to position myself on someone's right (I make sure my husband is on my left so he can shield me from other folks sitting on my right side. Music is another thing.. I wonder what it would be like hearing it with both ears. However, I am grateful for the hearing I do have. I'm glad I found this posting too!

Wendy 5 years ago

I am so glad that I found this!! All this time, I felt like I was the only one going through it. Its great to know I'm not the only one. I'm 23 years old and I'm deaf in my right ear all my life. I've always had to stand or sit on the right of someone just to hear what they're saying. My friends make fun of me for being deaf in one ear and I would just laugh with them even though it hurts me. Its not easy but I just deal with it. I have most of the same problems like everyone here that posted.

I work at a retail store and sometimes I can't hear what people are saying. They would have to repeat themselves and it makes them think I'm weird or rude. My assistant

manager would ask me questions but I could not hear a thing or some words she asked. I feel like she speaks very softly and there's background music playing too. I haven't told her about my hearing yet. I'm planning to soon if it keeps happening.

I have incidents when I would not hear my cell phone ringing at all until someone tells me that "your phone is ringing" or "someones calling or text you". My cell phone would be in my purse and I can't even hear it. I have incidents when people talk and I can't hear the whole sentence or question they have said or asked. I would mistaken it for a different word when its something totally different from what I thought I heard. Then I would feel really stupid and would laugh it off.

All my life, I didn't have that much trouble with my hearing. I guess I really adapted to it.

I find it odd that I'm deaf in my right ear, I have a lazy right eye, and I'm not right handed. Everything on my left side is okay. I can hear in my left ear, see very clearly in my left eye, and I'm left handed. I feel unbalanced. :P


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Harry Walmsley 5 years ago

Hi Diane, Stephanie and all,

You will have seen this romantic movie scene. The couple is at a ball, or a disco or some very trendy party (the ending of "When Harry Met Sally" for example). The party is in full swing but our romantic couple still managed to have an intimate conversation. I've also always thought of these scenes as pure fantasy, up there with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. How could anybody, even with stereo hearing, have an intimate conversation in a roomful of party people? Using a hearing aid would only further add to the confusion. A hearing aid would amplify all the party noise which would mean that using a hearing aid, in this circumstance, will make your understanding of any conversation more difficult.

However, after a little search on the Internet I can see that I was wrong. I suffered from the common misconception that you hear with your ears when in fact your ears collect the sound and you hear with your brain. Stereo people hear the conversation with both ears. Each ear collects the sound, turns it into an electrical signal and sends it by different neural pathways to various parts of the brain to be processed into meaningful speech. Since the signals from each ear are slightly different, due to the ears being placed apart on your head, the brain can further process the electrical signals. The most obvious example is knowing what direction a sound is coming from.

The brain can take the two signals travelled longer separate neural pathways and overlay them in such a way that stereo people can tune out noise or conversations which they are not interested in and "hear" the conversation which is important to them despite all the party noise. Of course most people take this ability as a given. They cannot imagine hearing in any other manner as they have never experienced it.

When you lose hearing in one ear, you lose the neural connections from that ear to the brain. A crossover hearing aid or BAHA transfer sound from your deaf side into your good ear. The signal to your brain travels along the same neural pathway as your good ear. The brain has only one signal to work with and therefore it cannot do the same amount of work as with two good signals. This is why Stephanie experiment with the cross over hearing aid was unsatisfactory. A crossover hearing aid will amplify all the noise, including the conversation you're interested in, coming from your deaf side. As the signal is sent down the same neural pathway as you receive your normal hearing from your brain can do very little of the auditory processing. Indeed there is a condition known as "Auditory Processing Disorder". If you have "Auditory Processing Disorder" your ears will convert sound into an electrical signal but your brain has difficulty in making sense of the sound.

While we have people trying to sell us hearing aids which are little to no use is another story but really you're still better, if your deaf in one ear, turning your head so that your supersensitive ear can send best possible quality of signal to your incredible brain.


Stephanie 5 years ago

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to update you on my story...I went to get a hearing aid today! (A Cros Hearing aid - it is essentially a microphone behind my deaf ear, and it wirelessly sends sounds to a receiver on my good ear). My family is kind of encouraging me to try it, at least, for a little while to see if it helps or if I like it.

To be honest, the first few hours were annoying! Firstly, I'm not used to having things in my ears, so the hearing aids itched in my ears. Secondly, I noticed I was hearing a lot more 'background noises,' which all blended together in some sort of mishmash for my good ear to hear. The background noises really bugged my work (I am a cashier in a grocery store), I felt like the place had suddenly became almost TOO loud or too noisy for me, and felt uncomfortable for me. Lastly, I actually felt, at times, that people sounded QUIETER than they should have been. I am guessing this could be because there is a small thingy in my good ear to send sounds through, and it has a few holes to let natural sounds through (you don't want to block the good ear from hearing normally!), but the ear canal is still obstructed. The other guess is that, now I am hearing more background noises (noises from the bad side, sent for my good side to hear), so (the background noises) compete with the person that is talking to me.

Anyway, as you can see, I am very apprehensive about this trial. I feel so much better, so much more natural, now that I took them out for the night.

Stephanie 5 years ago

Hi Carol Ann, I don't know much about your situation (i.e. did you always have a deaf ear), but I want to reassure you that there is a LOT you can do. Don't sell yourself short. At the same time, strive to do what you ENJOY, and are comfortable with. I agree with what Diane says. Also, I don't think you will have trouble getting a driving license...people with hearing problems are able to get licenses.

I think it also depends on what your parents have taught you when you grew up. My parents essentially ignored my hearing issue. All they did was tell my elementary school teachers about it in the beginning of the school year, so my teachers could place me in the best area of the classroom for hearing and concentration - the front of the class.

It sounds like your parents don't seem to understand where you're coming from, when it comes to your own life experiences. It's hard to find someone to talk to...people who don't have our hearing really don't know what our daily experiences are like. It's good you found the hub!

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi Carol Ann, To tell the truth there are not many things you can't do if you set your mind to it. The best advice I can give is to try not to let it hold you back. Go to events and parties if you like. If you have to tell people about you hearing loss so they will realize they may need to repeat themselves or speak up when needed. If there is something you particularly want to do in life go ahead and go for it. When it comes to learning to drive really pay attention, don't play the radio and let things distract you till you know you have it down. But really Carol Ann mostly things will turn out fine. Being deaf in one ear can make us feel a little left out or like we've missed something at times but it's really not that bad and we all have compensated for it very well and I know you will too. Just be diligent in whatever it is you want to do. One thing my father used to say still stays with me. If you set your mind to it, you can do anything. This was particularly helpful to me in school. Not a straight A student. But he said if you want an A bad enough you can get it. You just have to work for it. And he was right, paying attention not letting myself get distracted made a world of difference. I hope I helped in some small way. Don't be afraid to visit again and leave a comment anytime. Take care, Diane

Carol Ann 5 years ago

Hi! I'm deaf in my right year. I am 13 years old. Thank you. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in thhis world. Due to my deafness I had to mature quicker and faster to adapt quickly to my surroundings. because of my age I can not drive. But in 3 years i can. Is there any advice anyone can give me? I'm 13 in need help! I'm scared that I'm not going to able to do certain things in my life. I can't talk to my parents because they don't understand! And they never will. Please help.

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Well Stephanie, I didn't realize you were considering OT as a profession, you didn't say what particular field be it pediatrics, sports medicine, psychiatric, geriatric, or etc... There are so many to consider. However, I worked mostly with the adult and geriatric population in a rehabilitation setting, in the hospital. Mostly I had patients who were compromised either by sickness or injury. But my philosophy was that I would assess their limitations, assess their needs and what level of independence they expected to gain. Every case was different. Some only wanted to be able to get around in their home after hip surgery, while others may have needed to be able to get back to work after a work injury. I came up with a plan of care that worked with each individual patient. And the patient had a great deal of say in how that plan of care was put together. I saw it as my job to give them their options, teaching is a great part of OT. Teaching patients, the great techniques and methods that can be utilized to increase independence. It was up to the patients to take what I present them with for treatment and see if it worked for them, if it didn't we would try and be creative, figure out what worked for them. Thats what drew me to OT to begin with it wasn't a cut and dry kind of therapy, it was a creative process that the patient and I could work on together. lol Listen to me go on about OT.

On another note. That wondering about research made me wonder myself. Of course I'm not that proficient at the scientific method and all that but I am curious to how our group handles things the same, differently, and how so many things parallel in our lifes. Hmmm can you see the gear in my head turning. I'll let you know what transpires. lol

Stephanie 5 years ago

Hi Diane, I didn't know you were an OT! I'm really not interested in being a lifeguard anyway, but it occurred to me that it is very different when your are in a big group of people, with noise and such, and are responsible for the entire group, as opposed to when you work one-on-one or in a more confined setting.

I'm interested in becoming an OT but I wonder if my values would interfere with the mandates of OT. As an example, we don't hear out of one ear, but a lot of us don't have hearing aids here (so it sounds). We've essentially refused treatment! A lot of the adjustments we have made in life have not even been taught to us by some expert therapist, but we have independently learned those techniques. I'm sure I'm grasping at straws here, but what if other people are encouraged to learn their own techniques, as opposed to being given a treatment schedule organized by a therapist? (I think my disability professor has warped my mind into mistrusting the entire medical model of disability, including OT!! Crazy!).

Anyway, I'm more recently wondering how much research there is about our group, and there isn't much out there. Apparently though, they call our situation "unilateral deafness," "single-sided deafness," and "monoaural hearing."

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi Stephanie, you know I don't know about the lifeguard thing, You should look into it though, if that's what you want to do. I know some jobs require a certain amout of hearing by distance, like for instance can you hear a forced whisper from five feet away not matter what side they or on. Thats what the commercial transportation industry requires. They want drivers to be able to hear emergency vehicles and stuff like that.

Lifeguarding might have similar requirements, It's worth looking into. I worked as an occupational therapist for years and have had people pass out on me, one even had a stroke with me there, you'd be surprised how perceptive you have to be when you know people are counting on you. Any way let us know what you find out it be interested to know. Good luck.

Stephanie 5 years ago

Thanks for your thoughts, Dianne.

So here's the jist of the story. The prof was trying to explain to another student a simple psychology concept that, when an external event happens in our surroundings, everyone may experience it, but they will react to it differently. She made the example of there being a startling noise outside of the classroom, and made up how Student X, Y, and Z (each being specific people in the class) would react to the same noise. She used me as a Student Z example, and said "Stephanie may not have heard it!"

I think I turned red. And no, I didn't tell my prof about my hearing. Nobody in class seemed to take any notice to it, the only one who looked at me was the girl who I disclosed my hearing issue to a few days prior.

I went up to the prof afterwards and confirmed that I, indeed, did not tell her that I was deaf in one ear, and by coincidence, possibly, she used me for her example in the way she did. It could possibly be unconscious, due to how she sees me interact in class. Sometimes when I take 'intense' notes on my computer it looks like I essentially tune out what's going on around me...I think I actually do tune everything out for a minute or so at a time.

Anyway, I thought it was a bit funny. And also, a few days ago, the same girl (who I told about my hearing) tried to get my attention before class started, and she may have called out for me 4 or 5 times before I actually noticed that she was calling for me...she was sitting a few seats away on my bad side...I's a common issue with us!

I was thinking a few days ago...I don't know if this would be true or not, because I haven't looked into it: Would we be able to be lifeguards, or would that be a liability risk? I have never looked into being a lifeguard so I don't know if they ask upon hiring if you have any disabilities that may interfere with you performing your job duties. I have had one experience (as a cashier), when I felt quite embarrassed, as someone had fainted while in line at my register and it wasn't easy for another customer to get my attention in order to tell me. (I wasn't looking in the customer's direction when he fainted, and I obviously did not hear the man fall). I would feel AWFUL (and would probably lose my job) if I was obligated by a job to ensure someone's safety and wasn't able to properly respond to an emergency because I didn't hear (the call for help, a cry, the sound of a loud bang, etc). Thoughts?

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hello Stephanie, great to see you back. Well I've looked into the crossover hearing aids too. I feel like you could do whatever you choose honestly, we are more on the ball more aware of our surroundings already just because we have trained ourselves to be so knowing that we might miss something. I personally would like to get some to see for myself if they will work for me, I read a article once that crossover hearing aids are useful in allowing the wearer to be able to know where sound comes from more easily. Which might be helpful especially in certain jobs. The article said it takes some time for this to happen because you brain has to work out where the new sound is coming from but in time you will be fully aware of sound coming from the side of the deaf ear. Of course I don't have them yet and not sure if I will but thought I would at least say that. Hope you get some better answers here. Oh and lets hear the funny story, always up for anything funny. lol Anyway good luck in your decision.

Stephanie 5 years ago

Hi again guys,

And Hi Jamie, welcome. I wish you luck with school and all...I know that high school is tough and even tougher when it comes to having a social life. Don't let your hearing get you down...I think we all got it for a reason...because G-d chose us, knowing we would be able to rise to whatever challenge he bestows on us. A LOT of people have one-ear hearing, like us, but because it's not as obvious a problem, we never hear about it. (The KISS lead guy, Paul Stanley is deaf in one ear, as is Jane Lynch of Glee). I know you haven't told anyone about your hearing, but in remembering my teenage years (which weren't so long ago) I wanted to impart some wisdom about that. JOBS. If you are interested in a job like lifeguarding, swimming instructor, camp counselor, any job that requires being on guard being responsible for people's safety, TELL whoever you are working for what your condition is, and who you are working with. Our hearing may not affect us for the most part in our jobs, but when we are responsible for safety we can't take the liability chance.

So I had a question to bring to you guys...I went to a hearing aid place to 'check up' and make sure my good ear is still good, and they were telling me about the 'cross' hearing aid (essentially a receiver goes on the bad ear, and the 'speaker' goes on the good ear). I've been ruminating as to whether I should get it...I mean, I know that hearing in one ear has disadvantages, and there are situations where having two-sided hearing is useful. But I also feel like I'm perfectly ok with my hearing. I'm used to it. It's part of me. I don't feel like I'm 'broken' and need to be 'fixed' by a hearing aid. But at the same time, considering the type of career I want, I worry that the hearing problem will affect my performance and ability to be 'on the ball' in the case of emergencies or what not. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? I'm really struggling, my parents are encouraging me to get the aids but I feel my parents have raised me to not even recognize my hearing 'problem' as a problem itself, I've graduated high school, am now in college, doing well in classes...I feel I am competent, why do I need to be fixed?

Oh, and I have a funny story about a class I took recently.

Chris 5 years ago

I am 20 years old and have been deaf in my left ear all my life. Although I have been in sports all my life and have competed state wide and nationally in many sports, being deaf in one ear has huge disadvantages in the sports world. I personally see it as a life long challenge that I am forever entangled in and have enjoyed the humility that comes along with it.

Goodluck to the rest of you....never use your hadicap as an excuss for yourself in life, remember that all the normal people have a life that is only half as hard as they think it is.

email me if you'd like, I don't know anyone else besides my brother that is half deaf

Sue 5 years ago

It is great to read these comments! I am deaf in my right ear since birth, I guess...really not sure. My mother first realized something was wrong when I answered the wall phone in the kitchen and kept hanging up because noone was there. She took me to a doctor who couldn't find anything wrong. I think I was 3 or 4 years old. It wasn't until grade school that my teacher called my mother and asked about my hearing...back to a different doctor and was diagnosed with a dead nerve. I used to get so embarrassed in school when the teacher always made me pick my seat front and to the right of class. It is funny how you adapt and I've become pretty good at reading lips but still find it difficult to sit in a restaurant and carry on a conversation with the person on my right. I always pick my seat first and family and friends know where to sit me. I would love to be able to listen to stereo or surround sound. Maybe someday....hopefully..

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lctodd1947 5 years ago from USA

I can relate you all you have said. I have deafness in my right ear also; some in my left too..started when I was 24 after I had a bad case of allergies/sinus. My right ear stated making a noise and has never stopped. I can hear a little from my right ear, but do not understand words. In fact, I do not understand some words even with my hearing aid (in my left ear) if the speaker does not talk from the gut (for lack of a better word) a down deep sound and with clarity. My hearing aid is in my left ear (what we call my good ear). In fact, if I do not wear the aid at home (which I do not most of the time)I cannot hear the TV when everyone else does. I use the closed caption to save everyone else from the loud noise.

It has at some times been a struggle, but I finished a successful career in mortgage lending (30 years)rose to management/Senior VP, Operations, Underwriter etc. It wasn't always easy and sometimes my feelings were hurt and I had to rely on my knowledge and hope I had heard everything important in meeting but always tried to put myself in a position to get most of it. The Lord blessed me and I strived to ignore I had a disability and just kept on climbing.

Some times we wonder why...and some times we never know. The noise bugs me at night more than day but I have learned to think about other things and try to keep my mind busy. It has worked.

Corrine 5 years ago you know if BAHA would work for someone who doesn't have a fully developed cochlea in their ear? I was told I am deaf in one ear because the cochlea did not fully form. Just curious. I enjoy everyone's posts here. ty

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi Tanya glad you stopped by sorry to hear you have an ear infection. Hope the antibiotics clear it up for you with no long term effects to your good ear. I know those ear infections can really be a pain, and worrisome to boot since we all rely on just one ear as it is. So take care of it, and let us know if it gets better for you.

Tanya 5 years ago

Hi everyone, I am deaf in my left ear since birth (I'm 38yrs) and now after a week of feeling like my good right ear is blocked (I thought it was a build up of wax as I usually get that) I went to the doctor and she said no I have a middle ear infection in my good ear! Just my luck!!! Anyway here's hoping the antibiotics clear it up but there maybe the possiblity of the infection affecting my hearing in my good ear. I'll just have to see what happens I guess. Take care all.

Denise 5 years ago

Hi, I just came across this hub and wanted to suggest you all check out the BAHA (bone-anchored hearing implant) on the Cochlear website. I've been SSD since birth (now in my 40's) with all the usual accompanying difficulties. I live a very busy life with 3 small children -- lots of situations that make hearing difficult -- playgrounds and parks with large groups of families. My ENT urged me to do the free trial of the BAHA with a local audiologist. I was reluctant since I didn't want a surgery, but I decided I owed it to myself to do the trial using a headband. That trial changed my life. 6 months later, I have had the surgery and can hear on my right side for the first time ever! I spent the first half of my life deaf on one side, but the second half will be spent hearing everything I can. The surgery was like having a tooth drilled -- not a big deal. Now, I find myself jumping into conversations and situations that I would have withdrawn from in the past. It really is great! Oh, and my insurance paid for the entire procedure -- they just began covering the BAHA this year. So, if you wondering what you're missing out on, I recommend trying out the BAHA. It's kinda cool to hear the differences between SSD and normal hearing. You only need one functioning auditory nerve for it to work....

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Jamie so glad you found us. I was sixteen once, many years ago and believe me I know exactly how you feel. If it is any help at all. We all make it through and this is only a minor glitch in the grand scheme of things. If I could pass on any words of wisdom from someone who has been there, I'd say don't let it slow you down, grab life by horns and don't let go. Participate in all activities that interest you and don't pass any of it up just because you are afraid you may not be able to follow the conversation, or hear what is needed. I used to be very shy and I have regretted not making myself do more. So what if we dance a little, to tell you the truth I'm glad I know this dance so well because God knows I'm sure can't do any other dances. lol. Anyway Bless you for stopping by and leaving a comment, stop by anytime and let us know if anything pops up we love hearing from other people about their own experiences.

Jamie 5 years ago

Hello im jamie, 16 years old. I have the same problem with you. I actually cried when I read what everyone wrote here. I found out I was deaf in my right ear when I went to school in kindergarten, when kids usually love to whisper. When they whisper to my right ear, i cant hear anything. I have this trouble until now, because I am shy to tell people that I cant hear them because im deaf on my right ear. And i also have the same troubles like you, like sitting or standing at the very right side sothat nobody will position on my right side. And i sorta like "dance" too when trying to move and hear right hahaha!! Sometimes I cry at night before I sleep thinking why I am one of the few people that only have one hearing ear. But when I think and pray hard, I am contented and happy because God gave me blessings, and provided me with one ear, because some people are deaf on both ears. Now, i am relieved that there are many people like me. Only my closest family knows about my deafness.

Stephanie 5 years ago

Hi Yadira, it's nice to hear from you too!

I am also getting interested in sign language now (I'm in my mid-20s), and if I have time I will take an introductory course during my next university year. Meanwhile, I have gotten really interested in the works of Marlee Matlin (Oscar-Winning actress of "Children of a Silent G-d"), who, for the most part, portrays herself in the Hollywood industry as Deaf and uses sign language in her acting roles (as well, obviously, when being interviewed as herself). She did a criminal drama in the early 1990s called "Reasonable Doubts," (some of its episodes are on Y-tube), and I have learned quite a few signs from it!

Anyway, it's really funny that you did the 'dance' even when you were conversing with your Deaf friend, as I assume I would do the same, just because 'it didn't feel right' otherwise.

It occurred to me just now, during a friendly dinner at my parent's house, just how we 'deaf in one ear' people work the same way. The partner of a family friend of mine is also deaf, and I believe in the same ear that I am deaf in. We sat on opposite sides and ends of the table, but both at the end of the table with our hearing ear facing towards the rest of the group. It's interesting that, though we both know we share this hearing trait, we have never made it a topic of conversation between ourselves.

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Yadira, so glad to see you found us. I'm so glad we found each other. "My People". So True. And one things for sure we all know the dance.Thanks so much for your encouragement to share our impairments when needed, because it does help in so many situations. I wish I had learned sign language early on knowing what I know now, since my career was in the health care field I am sure it would have opened more doors to have that skill as well. So glad to hear from everyone, please continue to visit and all comments are welcome, your feedback it so much appreciated. And we learn so much from each other.

Yadira  5 years ago

So glad to have found this hub! As I said to my boyfriend after I found it… I found my people! I was born deaf in my left ear but it wasn’t discovered until I started school at around 5 years old (I am now 38). I was in regular ed throughout school and made my own adjustments. I noticed a lot of people here made it a point to sit in the front of class but I always preferred to sit in the last row all the way to the left so as to avoid anyone to my left or behind me. Slightly paranoid? Haha Well comes with the territory.

So I grew up with an interest in sign language, although I didn’t need it, and learned it for fun in my 20s. It led to new job opps and to meeting a lot of wonderful people, which consisted of deaf people, hard of hearing (both ears), and sign language interpreters. In deaf circles, I would introduce myself as being deaf in one ear, which didn’t really make me a part of the Deaf world (as I was not culturally Deaf) but being hearing-impaired didn’t actually make me part of the hearing world either. And although most people don’t know from interacting with me that I am deaf in one ear (although I tell everyone to avoid all the same pitfalls mentioned earlier in these posts), I know it, and that’s why I am so happy to have found my people! A funny story about the “hearing dance”: I was walking with a Deaf friend to lunch and she was signing without voicing and she went to the deaf side and I immediately “danced” to her other side and she asked me why I did that and I reminded her that I can’t hear from that side and she said but I’m SIGNING and I said, “Yeah, but it just doesn’t feel right.”

My bf is very patient and sometimes has to repeat what waiters say or tell me where my phone is when it’s ringing or wake up to feed the kitties when I don’t hear them (because I’m sleeping on my good ear…tee hee). In one instance, he even came to my defense in a parking situation where another driver thought I had parked too close to them (their fault) and as I was walking away the other driver sarcastically yelled out, “nice parking job!” My bf was going to wait in the car but followed us into the shop and defended me (although I was clueless as to why). He later filled me in and said it had bothered him that I didn’t hear the guy and didn’t have a chance to defend myself. He’s very sweet! ?

So one of the things that stood out in the previous posts has been how a lot of people don’t share that they are deaf in one ear but there are so many of us out there, including many celebrities. In fact, I recently saw that Paul Stanley from KISS is deaf in one ear and it brought me here. So I would suggest share it… and you never know what good things it will lead you to!

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi all, I too am now in a position where the job is sometimes loud and I have to compensate alot for it, I try to be attentive to the situation and very observant. I do worry at times that my hearing in my good ear will be compromised but I do my best to protect it as much as possible. As far as learning sigh language it is not a bad idea I have contemplated do the same thing many times but have not found the time to do it. From past experience working in a nursing home setting patients are commonly hard of hearing and none of them know sign language. So as far as aging and losing your hearing I presume we will just be in the same boat as everyone else. Perhaps we will even have a leg up since most of us have developed the ability to at least pass as reading lips a little. Anyway good luck to everyone and thanks so much for all your comments. I look forward to hearing more from you all.

Vhaine 5 years ago

Hi, I am 21 years old now and I'm deaf in my right ear since birth, I've seen that you find hard to keep your balance when you was a child, but in my case I've been playing different sports and not having hard time in my balancing. Now, my concern is, will there be a possibility that I will be totally deaf in the future? I'm so concerned and just now, I want to assure myself by deciding to study sign language for future use just in case :)

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marshell 5 years ago

Hello all,

I was born 100% deaf in my right ear and my parents didnt find out until I was 6ish. I dont rememeber what the issue is but it is nerve related from what I remember. I have learned to live with it but its annoying to say the least. As far as social issues go I have never had a problem, I am a social person and my wife says that I am loud and always the center of attention. Now the more I think about it, it seems that maybe I do this so I can control the tone of the conversation and the people I am talking to so my "handicap" isn't as noticeable. I can tell you I have a fear of losing my hearing in my "good ear" and not being able to enjoy music and hear my kids laugh.I have thought about hearing aids and my wife keeps demanding that I get one but I refuse to accept that I need one for some strange reason that I can't put to words. I am 30 by the way.

I am glad I found this little forum

habs fan 5 years ago

hi my names devin iam 20 years old and completly deaf in my left ear. yes being diffrent sucks for shure but what you gunna do? i never really told people about my ear and when i did tell people when i was a younger kid i remember the feed back was never ushally positive, and haveing a short fuse i never really liked takeing crap from anyone so for the most part it is only family that knows about it. As i was growing up i barley even thought about it untill the past few years, i guse this is because i never let it stop me from doing stuff that i wanted to do. i have been playing hockey my hole life, iam very into art and i listin to more music then an avarage person with both ears dose. Now of course it makes alot of stuff harder and iam noticeing this more as as i grow older but thares really nuthing you can do but tuff it out and not take shit from people. I work a construction job (is thare anyone else from this blog that works a labor job with hearing loss if so i would like to hear what you have to say) working a labour job some times can be a bitt tuffer because of heavy machineary and hazourds around you well you work but i fined its ok because thare are alot of hand signles and like diffrent eye contact routines to guide people so this works out for me, plus i love being out side and getting a good work out so it is a pretty good route to go for a half deaf guy i think lol. The last thing i have to say is you really got to pertect the littil bit of hearing that you have left weather this means wearing goofy ear pertectuion or whatever just do it dont take for granted that you can even hear at all and just count your blessing because i cant even imagine being 100% deaf i dont even think i would want to be around if that was the case so next time your sitting around feeling sory for your slef just think about the poor lad who cant hear a dam thing!

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buckshotmustang 5 years ago from Heritage Ranch

i was born deaf in one ear in 1969, iam 41 years old now and realize what time it is and my place in the hearing world.i ride a horse twice a week and it helps my ballance so dose a treadlill.i like the site because i can relate to most of everyones posts.keep a good atitude and let your friends know how you hear and it helps, coworkers too. have a good day, mark

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

HI, to all new commenters. It's so nice to see you all and I enjoy reading your stories as well. Thank you so much for you great feedback about this page. Everyone please feel free to add anything you like. All experiences are important and it is so great to see how others manage throught life. Love all the support. Bless you all.

KC Up North 5 years ago

Your webpage is great ~ We have led very similar lives ~ it's really nice to know so many are out there with this same "challenge". I too am deaf in my right ear, lost hearing when I was a toddler (1972-1973), from one of those severe fevers.

I remember those funny tuning forks my ear doctor used while we were finding out I was deaf, spent a lot of time in his office. It hurt when he'd make it "ring."

My least favorite part is also driving with passengers. It really didn't bother me all that much until I became a Mom. Now it is like torture when my daughter talks in the back seat. It's the only time in my life I've considered talking to someone about surgery.

And Oh my goodness, you just can't "train" your loved ones to walk on the left eh? My Mom and Husband still don't remember. DH still talks to me on my right side after 21 years.

The only other time it really bothers me is at gatherings (especially in a restaurant) where there are a lot of people. If I strategically "point" myself at everyone, it's not too bad. But I loathe having to explain why I do it.

One of the things I really like is when I hear noises while going to bed, I can lie on my left side and not hear them at all. When I was little, I'd do that if I heard something that frightened me.

Your sense of humor about it really makes me smile. Thank you for sharing!

Gasheri 5 years ago

Hi Diane

My left is deaf. I have read your post and all the responses with both a smile and tears finding out that there are others like me who have to read lips, assume what others are saying and have to choose which side they want to sit or walk. Im over 40 and Im just learning to deal with it. The most sad thing in my situation s Im not even sure that my mom knows about it as we've never talked about it. I tried it as a child then one day I overheard her and my older sis saying that its a presence. I was 9 years old, I became withdrawn and I have never discussed it with her or even any member of my close family. My friends are learning about it now after my sweet boyfriend encouraged me to talk about it. It does not bother me so much these days.

Corrine 5 years ago

I have been profoundly deaf in my left ear all my life and never really considered it much of a hinderance but mainly due to the fact that I grew up with a brother who was completely deaf. I read the comment above from Tanya and trust me, we who are deaf in one ear do live in the hearing world, there is a huge difference.

I came to realize many years ago that I read lips more than I know and I also too try to situate myself on the proper side of the person I'm talking to so I can hear them. I find if I just explain why I need to sit there or stand here they seem to understand. Plenty of ppl have made fun of it and me over the years and teachers yelled at me because they thought I was ignoring them, but once again, I don't think of it in a totally negative light. At night I can flip over to one side and block out my husband's snoring for example :), so there is an upside to everything I believe.

I even work in the radio biz as a dj and have done so for over 20 years (I always joke that I should only have to pay for half of my headphones) so please don't look @ it as a hinderance -for those who might- and go forward knowing it could be worse. My brother will never know what it's like to hear music, or baby noises or the sound of the sea. I personally think God makes no mistakes so try to see the positive.

It sounds like most do here, just my two cents. thanks

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

Hi Tanya, your right you don't have to "fix" anything if you don't feel it is necessary. It is up to you. I never thought about fixing anything till I got older just because I started noticing more and more that I have some trouble hearing in many situations.

Also I am like you music sometimes hurts my ears, depending on the pitch and tones. Good luck and thanks for your comments, I appreciate them all.

Tanya 5 years ago

Hi everyone, I am totally deaf in my left ear, since birth. I feel as though I am not in the deaf world but I am not in the hearing world either. Is seeing an audiologist worth it? Wouldn't audiologists just try to convince you to look at getting a hearing aid just to get your money? After living with half hearing for 38 years I have learnt to cope with my hearing loss - but then again I am now finding it more difficult to hear conversations as I have grown older. Sometimes I feel that people think that people who have an impairment should get it "fixed" - that there's something wrong with you. What is wrong with being hard of hearing? It's who I am. If I want to see if something can be of use to my hearing isn't that up to me?

Some songs just hurt my ears. Some music/songs are so irritating to my hearing (and its not because I don't like the song) that I have to turn it down very low, or switch to another song. It maybe to do with the high-low pitches in either the singer or the background music.

Scott C 5 years ago

I certainly have had many of the same experiences as the others here have. I was involved in a bicycle accident when I was 12 and lost the hearing in my left ear. I am now 49. My interest in posting my comments is my recent experience in getting my first hearing aid. I purchased one that fits completely in the canal, which is powerful enough to conduct the sound through the bone. I didn't really want the titanium post. At first, the mold was not correct, as a poor fit makes the feedback a problem. The moistness around the hearing aid facilitates the singing sound. The audiologist had me move my mouth and jaw around while the wax was drying. Once this was done, the other main issue is getting the correct balance of volume. Most hearing aids are initially setup to have a maximum volume that will not harm the ear. This, of course, doesn't matter since I am 100% deaf in the ear. It took another trip back to the audiologist to get the maximum out of the hearing aid. Even so, the volume will never be equal to the good ear.

In the short time I have had the hearing aid(5 months), I certainly know it helps. I find I can tell if someone is talking on my bad side, and I can turn to listen. Only if the background noise is low can I listen to someone without turning my head. If the background noise is moderate, I can look straight at someone and hear with reasonable success. Before, I found myself turning my good ear slightly to pick up everything. In loud environments, nothing helps. Now, in meetings at work, I no longer worry about where to sit. But in restaurants, the hearing aid is just not strong enough to overcome the background noises.

Charlene 5 years ago

Hi, this was very, very interesting reading everyones symtoms. Some are funny because, When I was little I never and I mean NEVER noticed or realized that I was deaf in my right ear. I thought my hearing was normal and that everyone was like me.(smile)I never notice I was deaf in my right ear because I could hear EVERYONE as a child. Later I realized that I belonged to a very loud and outspoken family. My mother was not mean, it's just her voice, my sister's, my brother and my father voices carried in any room in the house. We all speak with excitement in our voices when we're on subject's we love. We played the TV loud, we listen to music loud. We had to to drown out all these loud talking people in the house. Then I went to first grade in 1975. Everyone sounded so soft spoken to me. I thought I was a cave man because I said "Huh?!" everytime someone said something to me softly. I meet my first bestfriend and then it happen. We where in class, the teacher was showing us a film about animals and told everyone to be quiet. I sat next to my friend with my right ear to her. She leaned over slowing, cupped my right ear and started whispering in it. I did not hear a thing. Not one word. I could only feel her breath behind the words as she blow down my ear. She stopped whispering and looked at me and asked me "Can you hear anything am saying to you." I said "No! but I can hear you now." I had lived to be six years old and never, never noticed that I was deaf in my right ear. Later in my early twentys a doctor told me that my hearing in my left ear had become so sensitive that even when people where on my right side talked to me, that my left ear would pick it up. He said that I had become acustomed to listening to everything with one ear. He put me in a sound proof booth and said listen to to beep press it when you hear something. I didn't hear anything from the right ear. He said let's try this. Put the head phones to the deaf ear but just hold it out side the ear. I heard every beep. He asked me was I a musician I said yes! Am a panio player and I play drums, and I sing. But I play panio by ear and by notes. He gave me this sound wave answer and said by being deaf in my right ear had it pros and cons in so many words. For one it trained me to be a very careful listner, even when am in a very loud and crowded room like a club or band hall. I can hear everyone and everything separatley and not all together. Oh, it was other things he said as well, but he helped me by saying that as long as your life is not hindered by it don't worry about it. It's true, I don't know why playing music by ear came so easy. I don't know why I need to hear loud noises to fall asleep and when it's quiet I wake up or that I can hear someone talking across a room but can't if their standing whispering next to me. And how I can understand my deaf friend Todd when he choose to speak and others will ask "what did he say", cause he sounds different, and they can hear from both ears?hmmm All I know is my brain made up for the lose in my right ear and I never realized I had lost my hearing until someone asked me. Am I the only one this has happened to.

jemimah 5 years ago

Thanks so much for your reply! I have done some research also and seems there is a bit of a love/hate relationship with them for most people. My audiologist told me that one of her patients is now using one and absolutely loves it so who knows!

For me the cost is $1400 australian but I am not sure what brand this is. It is just what my audiologist quoted me. I am able to trial them for 30days and if i do not like it i can get my money back in full.

I will be trying it out but have to get a scan first and a referal to ent specialist.

I will keep you posted also.

Ones that fit to the back of your glasses sound cool!

I am a bit frustrated that it costs so much, as I was able to get ANY hearing aid of any kind free so long as it was before I was 21. Now im 28 so thats out the window, but I too was told by my new audiologist that technology has come a HUGE way since then so I would have wanted to try these new ones anyways.

Fingers crossed.

kind regards

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Diane Inside 5 years ago Author

First of all let me thank everyone for their comments they are so interesting. Second Jeremiah I researched on the internet to find cross over hearing aids and found a couple of different brands, I was really interested in the ones that attach to the end on your glasses behind the ear. I recently went into an audible hearing aid shop to inquire about them. The attendant there said she did not get much call for them, and that in the past the technology wasn't there but it has been awhile since she has looked into them again. She suggested that I get another hearing test completed for my one good ear because many times people with deafness in one ear may also have some level of hearing loss in the one good ear that they are not aware of. She said if so they do have cross over hearing aids that insert into the ear of the good ear and a small mic for the other side but it would cost about $3000 us dollars. I have not had the chance to get tested yet but am planning to in the near future. I will keep you posted to the results. The price is pretty steep for me so I don't know just yet how I will swing it but it is definately something I am considering. Again thanks everyone for the comments and best wishes.

jemimah 5 years ago

I think it so interesting that so many of us didnt tell people about our deafness or even google it until we were so much older.

I am now 28 and was born completely deaf in my left ear. From recent hearing tests I am told that I also somewhat struggle in my right ear as it overcompensates so much for my left that it is so tired.

I too didnt find out until I was 5 years old when my babysitter was whispering things into my ear during church. I remeber my mum sitting me up on the bench and whispering into my ear and crying. bless her!

I have also found that it didnt seem so hard when I was younger, but now that I am older I struggle so much more.

I have been told in the past that hearing aids etc would be of no use to me, but just yesterday i went to a diff audiologist to get my right ear checked to make sure all ok as i do every few years. I was told that maybe a cross hearing aid would be beneficial and am wondering if anyone else on here, or you yourself diane have tried this? how did you find it?

I struggled very much through school and university but mostly I found it so hard being at parties and restaurants are the worst!! esp with people you are just meeting and you cant hear a thing. I always felt arkward telling someone i just met that i cant hear them because im deaf.

I guess maybe i struggle with my hearing loss more than others because lately i would say it is more than just a inconvenience. I actually feel it affcts a lot about my life and i feel exhausted from it at times.

Penny  5 years ago

I am deaf in my right ear too. It can be a right pain sometimes, but most of the time its not too bad. At school I used to find sitting in the far right back corner of the room helpful, as all the sound would be either to the left or in front of me. However, teachers seemed to think that putting me at the front would be easier. It wasn't. A couple of my "friends" when I was at school (probably year 8 - so 12 or 13 years old) knew I was deaf in one ear and used to whisper things to each other, then deliberately whisper it in my right ear, then refuse to repeat it into the left one. Kids are mean, but I soon ditched them for mocking me.

I always have to position myself on the right hand side of people, otherwise I miss everything that is going on. If there's a group of us going to the cinema or the theatre, I always make sure to get to the far right on the end, otherwise I worry that people on my right will talk to me, I wont hear them and they will think that I am ignoring them. Its usually not too bad because I usually manage to sneakily get to this position without people noticing. the same goes for walking with someone down the street.

At work I sit on a mezzanine with my back to the rest of the office and usually have a noisy tape deck on my left, which is a bit awkward. People have offered me a cup of tea before and I have not heard them. I am definitely noticing it more as an adult, as although it bothered me sometimes as a kid, as an adult I tend to worry more that people just think i'm being rude.

I always associate my lack of balance with my lack of hearing. I can't ice skate, I trip over a lot, I can't walk in high heels and i'm wobbly on my pedal bike. My boyfriend thinks its just an excuse and that i'm just not confident enough when ice skating etc. I'm confident when doing other things though - I have abseiled down tall buildings, jumped in very fast river rapids, love rollercoasters and so on. So it's not that i'm scared, it just seems however much I try I just wobble.

Surround sound is wasted on me too.

As for the selective hearing thing, I don't have that, but my boyfriend does, lol. He sleeps through alarms, ignores me when I ask him something and he's playing xbox or watching TV or playing with his iphone.

All in all, having hearing in one ear only has been a bit of a pain, but I have learned to adapt to it. The main thing that annoys me about it is worrying that people think I am just being rude or anti-social, as when I do find myself on the left of people, I become subdued as its difficult to take part in a conversation that you can't here. it would be great to have a sign constantly above my head that says "Deaf in left one ear. Speak up and on my right side. Thanks," I think that would look a bit strange though. Even a fake hearing aid would make people realise i'm not rude, just deaf.

Krista 5 years ago


I am completely deaf in my left ear. I got into a car accident when I was 4 and it was discovered shortly after that I could not hear. I am fine most of the time, but lately there are times when I just wonder what it would be like to hear out of both ears. I would LOVE to hear fully - it seems like it would be so cool! And it would be great to not worry about where I sit, or have to read lips in crowded rooms, ask my students to repeat themselves often and most of all, have to admit I am deaf when there is no other choice in a social situation. For example, I was hosting a guest speaker in my class the other day and he whispered something in my left ear in front of the whole class and I had to ask him to repeat in my right ear. It was awkward. Sometimes I act as if I hear people, but I never like smiling and nodding when I am not sure what was said!

Overall, I feel blessed with good health and if this is my cross to bear regarding health, it is not so bad. But again, it would be great if there came a cure before I would be so great to hear 100%, that would be a true gift!

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

sorry I meant surname. lol

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hey John, Never heard that one before. lol Whats funny is my fathers side of the family is of Irish decent. Got the Irish Sir name and all. But I am deaf in my right ear. lol Anyway that is kinda interesting in any respect huh. I guess it is worth at least checking into. Anyway thanks for the comment glad to hear from you.

John Burton 6 years ago

I have been deaf in my left ear for as long as I can remember. The loss is near total, yet my balance has always been extraordinary. I even taught snowboarding for a while...

I too have often been accused of selective hearing.

In places with a lot of background noise, such as bars, it is extremely difficult to hear.

Finally, on this, just last week I had a conversation with a new acquaintance, during which i told him that i am deaf in that ear. Well he immediately asked if I am Irish. I replied that I am partly of Irish descent, to which he said that he has noticed such a one-eared deafness in a lot of people of Irish descent, and that it's always in the left ear. I was blown away! Has anyone else heard of that? Thank you very much for your trouble.

Kay 6 years ago

Wow!! All these years that I have struggled and been embarrassed at times because of my left ear, I never knew so many people in the world were going through the same struggles as I was.

I have been deaf in my left ear all of my life. I never remember ever being able to hear from that ear. I am 56 years old and back then they didn't find those kind of things in newborns like they do now.

I actually don't remember my exact age when my family discovered this but I would guess I was probably around 7 or 8 years old, and my big sister is really the one who recognized it. I had been telling her that when she would whisper something to me in my left ear I couldn't hear what she was saying, so she started testing me, first with my right and then my left, and she knew I wasn't pretending when I told her I couldn't hear a thing. I think at first my mama and daddy thought I was pretending, but after awhile they took me to an ear doctor who ran a series of tests and confirmed that I was totally deaf in my left ear. He told them it had probably happened while my mom was carrying me and said something about a layer of tissue that is supposed to shed that covers the eardrum or something, and mine never did during the last few months of development. He also confirmed that my hearing in my right ear was exceptional and it compensated for my left ear. Even today, this knowledge blows me away to think what an awesome God we have. Because although He saw fit to allow my left ear to basicly be useless, He blessed me abundantly with my right!

Anyway, through the years, I have learned and my family knows, that this is just a part of me, my makeup. Yes, it has been awkward, and very embarrassing at times. I go through all the things that you all have talked about. I do have a tendancy to talk loud but I don't realize I am doing it. I hate to be in noisy restaurants, and I always pick my spot to sit at so my family can be to the right of me and I can hear them. If they start to sit down, I will start to say something, and sometimes my daughter will speak up and say,"let mama sit there so she can hear us good!" haha. They are pretty much understanding. At the movies my husband always sits on my right side so he can whisper and I can hear him.

I know that this has caused me to be somewhat introverted, and I know I lack self confidence. I can relate to the ones that have the phone issue to deal with while trying to write something down and I get frustrated, but then I think, "hey, aren't you glad you can lay on your right ear and block out all the noise?" I have so much to be thankful for. I look around me everyday, and just thank God for all my many blessings! One of the first things I wanted to know when my two children were born(35 and 27 was if they could hear out of both ears! What a relief to have the doctor tell me their ears were perfect! Then my two grandchildren came along and I was relieved again to know they were perfect as well. Now I have another grandchild on the way and I pray for perfect hearing and healthy in every way! I am also thankful for stumbling upon this website. It is good to read that I am not the only one that deals with these issues, and even though they may soud petty to some people, if it is happening to you, it's not. Other people that deal with the same issues can understand. Sorry this is so lengthy. Thanks for listening!

Tina 6 years ago

Hello Diane,

thanks for putting this page up..i am from philippines and i am 100% deaf in one ear...while reading your story its really same to mine..I am 26 years old now and i had 3 kids..i feel your frustrations Diane and others here...i am 100% deaf in one ear since i was mom told they found out i am deaf after i was hospitalized bcoz of german measles and cause me ear infections to my ear..Its really affects my social activities :( some people judge me and discriminate me..i hated people talking about me:( so what i do i ignore them and avoid them.. i only talked to my family and close friends i do read their lips if i cant hear them or ask them to repeat it.....i lost self confidence to talk other people now..but now i am aware with it..i had to accept the fact that i am deaf in one reading some stories here its make me cry and inspired me.I have to be positive!

Louise 6 years ago

Hi all,

Far out what a life!! Its been a pain at times but at other times I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be healthy and there are people far worse than me out there. I cannot state how much over my entire life being deaf in one ear has bashed my self-confidence. I go through moments where it affects me. At the moment, I've just started my teaching career. I don't want to tell my collegues at work as I don't want to be judged. so often in my life I feel people have bothered not to talk to me as they know I'm deaf in one ear. I'm sick of being judged and discriminated and I don't want to be judged which is why I remain quite. Gosh, they don't need to know everthing about me!!! On the other hand if my school is an inclusive school towards children then they should model and reflect that value and show that even if you have a problem you can get somewhere in life. Becoming a school teacher was not my chosen career. All my life I wanted to be in the police but alas, the old bung ear got in the way again.

I have never let it stop me enjoying my life and socialising in bars or other social settings. In fact like some of you, I forget about it at times until it gets in the way yet again. I get obsessed over it at times but then I'm just letting it become a problem. Like you all, I have learnt ways to deal and live with it and its all second nature. I guess I concentrate more in a social setting if I'm not on the right side of the person but then again I would try and not put myself in that situation as its just a natural response to do.

I have thought about the bone hearing option and would like to look into it this year. If it can't be done then so be it, some people are worse off than me.

I just remind myself, it doesn't affect my teaching, I have wonderful friends and family and it only gets in the way of my life if I let it. I'm in charge here, not my bung ear and nobody needs to know unless I tell them and if they are a descent kind person, they will see past this and not be rude, awkward and discriminative about it,


Gloria 6 years ago

It is very comforting to realise that after all you are not alone. For me its not just the deafness in my right hear, I also have a leg length discrepancy both due to meningitis as a baby. I am 22yrs and I still struggle every day, don't like to be labelled disabled I wish people could make life easier for us, why do they have to shout the minute you ask then to repeat or say "never mind" as I do mind, why do I have feel like I am the one with the problem as i remember how teachers used to treat me differently or why my classmate would look at me twice at me at the sight of my recorder. I just wish people will realise that half deaf exist as well and willing to learn more as right now I feel that life is so hard and society isn't helping the situation. MORE AWARENESS IS REALLY NEEDED.

Amy 6 years ago

Hi everyone,

It's comforting to read that I am not the only one who is deaf in one ear, not that I would wish that on anyone. I hate to refer to it as a disability, but more of an incovenience.

I have experience with cross over hearing aids. I had to wear them during my school years. That was torture. No one would listen when I would tell them that hearing was more dificult with them in, due to the background noise they would pick up. Plus, the fact that all of the kids would stare at me when I put them in. I definitely developed a class clown personality. I figured if I was busy talking, I didn't have to be listening.

I wish my family would stop asking me to locate things by sound. Answering "over here" does not help!

And just as other people have written, I hate driving with someone in the car.

But in the end, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

Kathy 6 years ago

Hi Tanya, thanks for your response!

Don't let being deaf in one ear hold you back from driving!!!! I live in Australia as well (Canberra) and have been driving since I was old enough to get my licence!

The trick is to ensure when you're learning, to make sure your instructor is aware you're deaf in one ear and to speak clearly to you and use hand actions as well as talking to you if indicating to you to turn. The other tip while learning is to have no music playing, and no one else in the car other than yourself and whoever you are learning with.

After time it becomes second nature!

Yes I still have trouble hearing my passengers, but if I miss things I just tell them to talk up! So you didn't hear them say take the next left - there will be another one further along! And I still have my music playing!

Just saying, don't let being deaf in your left ear stop you from getting the freedom being able to drive does bring you! Once you can drive, you wonder how you have managed to cope all that time you couldn't!

So in this instance, I'm siding with your brother!! :)

Hi Michelle,

Ah the 'loud' phone calls! Many a time at work I've been caught out by my friends/colleagues for thinking I'm talking relatively quietly only to find out when I hang up, that no, no I wasn't!

One of my friends recently got a middle ear infection and had swelling around one of her ears so she couldn't hear properly. After wishing her a speedy recovery, I couldn't help but say to her 'Welcome to my partially deaf world!' :)

I don't view it as a disability - just an inconvenience from time to time, and a useful tool at others!

Hope everyone has a great 2011 - don't let being deaf in one ear stop you from anything! (except maybe playing chinese whispers....) :)

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

I just love reading all your comments,it is so interesting to "hear" the experiences of others who are deaf in one ear. I too am very interested in experiences with earing aids from those who want to share so please feel free to share your experiences if you would like.

And Thank you everyone for your participation in our conversations, It really is a great feeling to know others understand and have the same frustrations, as well as dances that I do. Everyone take care and please continue to join in, Love hearing from all of you.

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

I just love reading all your comments,it is so interesting to "hear" the experiences of others who are deaf in one ear. I too am very interested in experiences with earing aids from those who want to share so please feel free to share your experiences if you would like.

And Thank you everyone for your participation in our conversations, It really is a great feeling to know others understand and have the same frustrations, as well as dances that I do. Everyone take care and please continue to join in, Love hearing from all of you.

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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Stephanie, Tony and all,

I have enjoyed all your posts and am curious how long this thread will run? I have been doing some investigation into hearing aids for people who are deaf in one ear. There are various devices which consist of a microphone on your good side connected to, by one means or another, to your good ear. The most bizarre of these is known as a bone anchored hearing aid or BAHA. This uses the natural conductivity of your skull to transfer sound from your deaf side to your good ear. The first downside is that in order to fit the receiver to your skull you requires an operation! A hole is drilled into your skull and a titanium bolt is screwed in. This link ( ) link to the blog by Hugh Letheren who has undergone this operation.

The crossover hearing aid does not involve an operation but does not seem to work as well as a bone mounted hearing aid.

Both devices have another major problem in that they don't work in noisy environments. In a quiet room I have no problem hearing what has been said. One advantage to having two good ears, which we do not appreciate as we have never experienced it and people to be good ears take absolutely for granted, is that with two different auditory signals the human brain has an inbuilt noise reduction system which means that an individual with stereo hearing can filter out erroneous noise and focus in on a conversation which they are interested in despite the background noise.

Taking everything into consideration I think I prefer to keep dancing! As I read it, hearing aids for people with single sided hearing are probably a waste of time and money. I still would be very interested to hear from anybody who is using any of these hearing aids and had a positive experience.

As it has been said before, on this post, being deaf in one ear gives you a greater appreciation of what hearing you have and how lucky you are to have it.

Best wishes to you all


Stephanie 6 years ago

Hi Tony!

" I generally sit next to the same aquaintance at meetings, dinners, as he is helpful protective of the fact I am dead." - I sure you aren't! (I can be quite a grammar nut, surely spelled something wrong here!)

What have you done with previous employers when it came to your hearing? Did you tell them, or not? Since I am young, I am still dealing with entering the working world and don't yet know how to navigate it. My boss over the summer told me I should let others (employers and coworkers) know in future job positions. She had to 'guess' that I had a hearing problem, as she and coworkers did not know until she confronted me. I had been surprised as I told HR in my interview for the job, about my hearing. It clearly did not go beyond the application paperwork.

There are options for hearing aids - I think there is a sort that works like a radio - sound will go into the earpiece of the deaf ear, and transmit to a speaker in (or behind or near) the working ear. But I do agree that it would be 'overwhelming' to learn to use (I imagine it would be like trying to have a conversation with the person next to you, while listening to a conversation on your phone headset at the same time.) I haven't seen or tried out the technology, so I don't really know what it's like, but am not particularly yearning to either.

Tony C 6 years ago

Hi folks

This is the first time I have ever researched what it is like to be deaf in one ear. I can totally relate to the majority of stories told.

I am 53 years old. Deaf in right ear as a result of a serious accident when I was a kid (7). We only discovered I was deaf (in one ear) due to the purchase of a stero headphones where you can control volumes in both sides of the ears. My dad listened first and delighted with his purchase handed the head phones to me. I said they did not work on one side. My dad then listened again and said they did work. You got the story by now.

I have had a very succesful business career..however there is a lot I am missing out on..whispers, gossip, softer talking. I generally sit next to the same aquaintance at meetings, dinners, as he is helpful protective of the fact I am dead. He creates a barrier or filter from others. I hate large gatherings at business meetings (often I wish I could just go off to a bar or to my room). I have made it fairly open that I have a hearing issue and people respect that. I sit on the right side of people at meetings, I am a runner and everyone needs to be on my left.

Funny: I am a serious runner ( ultramarathoner) and just recently started listening to ipod music when I run. So when I got the earphones I cut the one side off (as I do not need the hassle of trying to secure two ear buds into my ear. During a long training run one day with a group of runners one person aksed me why I onlu use one earphone. I told her that I was a very responsible runner and that while I listen to music with one ear and keep my other ear open so I can listen to the traffic. The next weekend 3 of the group appeared with one sided earphones. They cut the one side off. Then I told them the truth!!. LOL

I do battle with my hearing though. Just today one of my newer bosses said during a performance review that I need to take more of the limelight when I am in large conference settings. Truth is I am concentrating so hard on what people are saying thet I do not have an immediate response to the flow of conversation. Also, during meetings especially a soft spoken person I will still address them before they are finished talking. Effectively, talking over them..of course I apologise. So know I need to decide if I tell my boss. This I will likely do soon. I hope this sharing of my story is of interest of others. I certainly enjoyed the description of dancing around others. I too wanted to join the military but was unfit for duty. Hate it if a tank rode over you son!. Cannot hear people in my own car. Cannot hear the person right next to me in a noisy room. Had someone tell me " I spoke to you are..are you deaf or something!. I have a very understanding wife who helps me at social settings. Like everyone else I sleep well.

My auditory nerve is severed so no earpiece will help. I checked into getting a earphone put into my deaf ear with connections to the left auditory nerve...this is really expensive and the physician felt would overwhelm me considering I have not had any hearing on one ear for 40 years.

Stephanie 6 years ago

Hi kimiec, and welcome to the hub! While I am not a mom, I do understand that you are concerned for your son's performance in high school. As a teenager, I think your son may be becoming more 'independent' (or at least, he thinks he is). I know that, in high school, I no longer wanted my parents to intervene with my education. I started to make my own decisions about placement in class and whether to tell teachers about the hearing when I was in high school... I would suggest that you encourage your son to make his own decisions, but also remind him of the benefits of sitting close up in class, and of telling the teacher of his hearing.

I have never considered my hearing as a disability, but rather an inconvenience at times. In university classes, I always sit in the front rows and do not feel the need to tell professors of my hearing.

My boyfriend often tells me that I am speaking too loudly and to use my indoor voice. Glad it isn't just me. As for going to bars, I still feel uncomfortable when I can't follow conversations, but I realize I'll miss out on more if I don't socialize with friends.

Jess Livermont 6 years ago

I will be turning 21 this month. And to be honest with you it was not until this month that i realized how terrible my idea of having a nice and fresh-off-the-tap (and now legal) beer with some friends is... I have been deaf in my right ear since i was 4 years old when some hot shot skating backwards at a skating rink did not see me (go figure) and used my head as a good landing area for himself. I no memories of what stereo or surround sound is like so i consider it to be basicly since birth in a sense, I would love to hear anyone try to explain surround sound or stereo to a 4 year old who has just found out he will not be hearing them... Needless to say i had no idea at the time the type of impact that event would have on me, continues to have on me, and i feel will continue to have on me for possibly even the rest of life. Its very hard to find accurate information for such specific cases, and from what i have heard the quality in the signal would be so different than the natural audio signals in my good ear that i do not make a good candidate for CI, or much of anything it seems like. I defianetly feel like its become so second nature to me to cope with it that it has not been until the past couple years (since i graduated from HS) that i ever truely realized what it has made me. I have allways heard partial sentences and find myself constantly putting conversations together based on peices. I have never liked environmets where there are many people, and have found it only gets worse as you get older. I Cannot go to social functions any more with out horrible anxiety and i kno its because as soon as there is more than one conversation i am lost and embarresed at asking "what" fifty times. Of course i dont tell any one this, i just end being a wallflower which i hate. No one really realizes that yes when i talk to some one personally i have thought very carefully how we will be orientated towards another, buts more like the decisision you make when putting your right shoe on your right foot, i dont really think about it unless i stop and, well think about it. Any way its late and i dont normally type this much, but i felt compelled to share a little if even for my own sake

Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Michelle and Aileen, I'm glad you stopped by, I am in the process of starting another post especially since this one is getting alot of attention, so be sure to check it out. I will leave a link to it at the bottom of this page before or after the comment section.

Aileen 6 years ago

Hey, I'm 15 and I've been deaf in my right ear since I was young we don't know how it happened but I found out when I was about five the same way as you did on the phone. I find it hard sometimes the sence where sound is coming from like when my phone rings it takes me ages to find it. Also in school when were doing tape work I find it hard to pick up on all the words so I tend to do really bad. There is also the upside to having one deaf ear like if you don't want to kistin to someone you can just cover your ear. Or when going to sleep it's nice cause you never hear any noises.when I actually stop and think about it I wouldn't change it even though I do get alot of slagging because of it it made me who i am today and I would want to change that for the world. It makes me different from all my friends which sometimes isn't all that bad ! It doesn't effect me completely but it still does a wee bit. I'm just glade my other ears good x

Michelle 6 years ago

Kathy, I had to smile when I read your post about your "inside voice", my husband is constantly telling me to talk softer. Also, when I am on the phone apparently I talk very loud and anyone on the receiving end has to hold the phone away from their ear. Being 43 it's too late for me to change my ways. I love checking back with this post every week or two and reading about the new people. Diane thanks for starting this.

Tanya 6 years ago

Hi to Kathy,

Like you I also am deaf in my left ear and the thought of trying new technology to help hear in my deaf ear is scary, I mean living with it for so many years you learn to cope. I really identified with your comments (except for the lisp - poor thing!).

I don't drive mainly because the steering wheel is on the right side of the car (I'm in Australia) so I can't hear the passenger or the instructor on the left of me (my deaf ear). My brother keeps harping on to me about learning to drive but if I tell him its because of my lack of hearing he will think thats just silly and a bad excuse (maybe it is).

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ilovehubs 6 years ago from North America

Hi Diane Inside,

I am really very touched by your story and the other hubber's similar situations. I therefore Goggled and found these links about Cross over hearing aids. I hope the technology will be helpful to reduce the problem to a certain extent.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Kimiec, lovely to see you here,honestly for me my grades improved once in high school. Teachers in high school tended to give us more responsibility, like writing assignments on the board, giving us a synopsis, etc and it was our job to take the initiative to study what was expected so it helped me trememdously. I imagine your boy is a typical teenage boy and like sitting in the back, and maybe doesn't care as much as he should. Thats just a thought though that may not be it at all. As far as singing I can't carry a tune in a bucket. But then again neither can any of my family so I don't attribute that to my hearing problem. Thanks so much for your comments and hope your son is able to maneuver through school better. I'm sure he will.

Tanya and Kathy, so glad you came by, don't apologize in the least feel free to share any feelings you may have and any insights you feel may be useful or even entertaining that is what this page is for. So happy you both decided to see us here.

Kathy 6 years ago

Hi Diane - firstly, great posts!

I'm 27 now, and deaf in my left ear since birth. Growing up with it, I've feel that most days I manage to work with my lack of hearing.

If anything, in a weird way, I get fun out of it!! - I still love suggesting to my friends even now that we should play Chinese Whispers - always interesting when it gets to me if the person is talking to my deaf ear! :o) .

I also, like others, do the 'hearing dance!' the one where I'll be walking with friends then all of a sudden I disappear from their right side, behind them, then reappear on their left. It's second nature to me but I still find it amusing seeing them do a 360 trying to work out where I went! And when it comes to locating noise like a phone ringing? Ugh, don’t get me started!

Downside yes, don't get to experience surround sound - hearing the car in the movie travelling from one speaker into another, or yes, when out with friends, trying to ensure that I seat myself in a position in which to be able to hear people in - usually at the end of the table which is tough, as I'd liked to be in the centre at times but if/when that happens I end up missing out on half a tables worth of conversations. And going out for drinks with friends at clubs - with all the background noise, I usually spend the time watching/observing others, picking up the odd word or deciphering their lips.

It was only today though, that when chatting with dad we discussed his more recent lack of patience/tolerance for loud noises. He has asked me several times in the past few weeks to lower my voice, or 'no need to shout'. I tried speaking softer and said "is this better?" and he said, yes, that was at a normal level now. The difference for me hearing it was phenomenal. It felt so empty/quiet, not me. I know I am louder than most normal levels of people talking and it hasn't really fazed me, but just hearing the difference in trying to lower my "indoor voice" was just weird. I don't feel comfortable with it, and feel like I couldn't inject any emotion or life into what I say at that level of noise otherwise it immediately goes back to my version of normal. Weird feeling. Guess it would have to be a re-learned habit.

As a result of my partial deafness, I had a lisp when I was younger and went to a speech therapist when I was 7 or 8 years old. That seemed to work well with my "th's" , "sh's" and "s's" sounds. Cruellest part? The teachers name was Mrs Hyslop!!! That's just cruel to make a kid with a lisp say that name!

I remember having selective hearing as well - used it to my advantage (and still do at times when handy)! "I'm sorry, did you tell me to clean my room? I didn't hear you!".

My understanding of my hearing is that the hammer and the stirrup? don't connect? Therefore a hearing aid wouldn't be of any use. Had my hearing last tested maybe 7 years ago as I used to play the drums (probably not best for my good ear!) but no difference to my hearing has occurred.

I now play bass in a band and am regularly gigging around town. As weird as it is, I have a good ear for identifying notes being played - right or wrong by others. It gets on the nerves of the others in the band as the partially deaf person corrects them when they play something wrong, but occasionally I don't hear my own errors as I can’t seem to hear my own playing every now and then. That said, when we play, I have to be on a certain side of the drummer to enable me to hear my amp, and have to have all other noise from the band either coming at me from my left (my amp on the right) or infront of me. I struggle if I get much of anyone else in my right ear.

My apologies for this going on so long. I haven't ever written this down before. It's an interesting outlet to share this with people who understand. That's probably the toughest thing with the partial hearing. Having other people not understand how we often only get the first few or last few words of a sentence and piece it all together from a few random words we catch, or how we teach ourselves to adapt to the world. How often my friends and family forget I'm deaf, but it's something I'm aware of from morning to night.

I've discussed with my dad about the possibilities of new technology which might enable me to have sound travelled across to my good ear, but the thought of full hearing actually scares me a bit. I've got 27 years of a mono life of hearing. The thought of hearing in stereo is a bit daunting. I remember one car trip as a kid with my younger sister. She was listening to my Walkman in one ear and listening to the car radio with the other. I've always wondered what that would sound like.

Some days I contemplate going and seeing a hearing specialist, now that I'm older, to fully explain to me why I can't hear in my left ear. But a part of me doesn't want to as I feel I'm settled in my life of being partially deaf and am scared of any possibilities of "normal" hearing. The fear of the unknown!

Again sorry for the length, another thing I would like to blame my hearing on! I talk loud and I talk lots! :o)

Thanks for making your post to begin with, is comforting to know of others with similar hearing!

That's it from me (for now!):o)


Tanya 6 years ago

Hi Kimiec,

My name is Tanya and like your son I also am deaf in my left ear since birth. Since discovering my hearing problem when I was at school I also had to make sure I sat near the front of the class and near the window to make sure I could hear the teacher. Not all my teachers knew about my SSD so I just adapted myself that I had to sit where I had to hear the teacher! I agree that crossing the street I have to be extra careful.

I also have no musical ability whatsoever! I also sing out of tune ( so I restrict my singing to the shower) maybe it is because of SSD.

Take care

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kimiec 6 years ago

I came across your page today, I laughed and I cried as I read the comments. I don't have SSD but my first born son has SSD. He was identified with it when he was 5 while tested by school, he is now 15. We were told he was totally deaf in the left ear but nothing to worry about because his right ear was super sharp. At that time we decided not to treat his SSD as a disability but simply a inconvenience as there were much worst things that can happen to kids. We reminded him to look both ways when crossing streets and how to select a "right" seat for himself in the classroom. He attended a private school for 10 years, it was easy as teachers were attentive and responsive to his SSD. He started public high school 3 months ago and I'm starting to see his grades suffer. Being a teenager he no longer wishes for me to tell the teachers about his left ear. Honestly I don't know where he's sitting in the classrooms or if he even hears everything. He's basically a normal kid, happy and outgoing. I'm now worried that he may not get the good grades that he needs to get into good universities.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to deal with this. Is SSD considered a disability? Have we done him an injustice by not treating his SSD as a disability?

On a lighter side, both my husband and I are from musical families. My son however can not carry a tune...he sings horribly. Does it have to do wit his SSD? We've even paid for private singing lesson...didn't work at all.


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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hello Dan, I agree there are other worse problems, so glad you stopped by to give us a little bit of your story. Thank you so much for your comments and your time. Merry Christmas.

Dan 6 years ago

Hi, I have been deaf in my left ear possibly since birth. I am 52 years old and back when I was young they did not test hearing until you started school and that was when it was discovered that I was deaf. So I am not sure when I was actually became deaf. I have had the testing where you push buttons and one time the guy put white noise in my good hear then did the testing in my bad ear. He said that possibly if I was next to a jet I could hear it but even that was doubtful. When I notice it the most is when I am with a crowd or at parties where there are lots of people. I tend to become with drawn. But mostly it is not a problem. The biggist thing I had to over come is my Dad told me not to tell anyone so for a long time I did not. You can imagine what kind of problems that created. I have learned to tell people soon after meeting them of my hearing problems and have not had any negative issues with this. I do wish I could hear out of both ears but I cannot so life goes on. There ar other worse problems a person could endure.


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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hello Harry, glad to see you again, your input is always appreciated. Thanks for giving us your prospective, it is always helpful to see how others cope with the same impediment. Great to see you.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

I have always enjoyed skiing, the exhilaration, clear mountain air and above all that “quiet”. As a holiday it has many attributes which suit my hearing impairment. I particularly enjoy a leisurely conversations I can have with my ski companions on the chairlifts. Of course I need to manipulate my position on the chairlifts so that I have my skiing companions on my right. I generally manage this by hanging back or arriving first at the base of the chair lift so I am sitting on the left-hand side of the chair. Even then I do not manage this bit of manoeuvring, drifting through the air on a chairlift is so quiet that it does not matter so much if a ski companion is on my deaf side.

For the past few years my ski holidays have been with my children and arranged through their Primary School. The children have always used ski helmets but these appendages have been optional for the adults. This year during our pre-skis chat with the teachers at the Primary School it was suggested that the adults should wear ski helmets. Wearing a helmet will further impair my hearing which will mean I will not enjoy skiing as much as before. The greatest danger you are presented with when skiing is from the lunatics who tried to ski at speeds beyond their skill. To my mind you need all your senses working at maximum to detect these idiots in order to take evasive manoeuvres.

You will understand this dilemma, to conform with the stereo hearing majority or continue to wear your favourite novelty hat when skiing? As a matter of course on the ski holidays I tell anybody that does not know me that I am deaf in one ear. Since I have been skiing for nearly 40 years without any trouble I intend to continue wearing a silly hat!


PS Yes, I know I am a lucky so in so to be able to go skiing at all!

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Michelle, I always tell people I am deaf in my right ear, it keeps them from wondering why I am ignoring them or why they may have to repeat themselves. I have never had a bad response. People have always seemed to be understanding and accomadating. Thank you so much for your comment and for stopping by.

Bob, I am so glad you came by to give us your story, it is very inspiring and you are right. We all can do anything we set out to do if we don't allow this minor problem to get in our way. I appreciate your input.

Bob  6 years ago

I am really delighed to read all the comments in relation to deafness in one ear. Before I start I must point out that this is not a moan! I am happy with my lot and tried not to let this impediment effect me. I first found out that I was deaf in my left year when I was about eleven. As is most often the case my mother noted that I nearly always turned my head to the right when spoken to. I got it checked out and it was was confirmed that I was totally deaf in my left ear due to a childhood illness. The good news was that my 'good ear' was 10%above average to compensate. I was dissappointed in that I was very active and had designs on joining the Army or the Police. I persevered and managed to distract the Doctor sufficiently in the Medical for the Police that he failed to carry out the hearing test!(there is a God!)I was accepted into the Police and went on to be trained as an advanced motorcyclist and car driver. In my spare time I qualified as a sub aqua diver and enjoyed some great dives.During this time I met my wife who totally understood my difficulties and to this day sits on my right side! After a period of lecturing in the Police Training College I went on to be promoted up the line to management level.I have three children who I am glad to say have no problems with their hearing.(doesn't stop them teasing their Dad!) I suppose I have developed coping mechanisms in dealing with the problem e.g. sitting on the left, sit beside a wall for the refected vibration, avoid conversations in a loud environment and pick the seating arrangements on the bus/cinema etc.One added advantage is that my lovely wife has been known to snore on occasion. I merely turn on my good ear and sleep like a baby! I am fifty now and I suppose the main reason that I am writing this is to assure people that such an impediment will only courtail your life as much as you allow it to. So, get out there and enjoy everything life has to offer and more!

Michelle 6 years ago

Hello everyone, I wrote a few months ago and I am amazed at the response on this website. I wanted to see if anyone else has my problem - my hearing loss is in my right ear and since it's been like this forever I have adapted; when people go to hug me I always try and get them to go to my left ear in case they say something to me and it's very awkward. Also, I was slow dancing with my Uncle about 10 years ago and when we were done he said I should let the man lead - well that means that I would have to have my partner next to my right ear. It's funny how I don't notice things like that until people comment on it. I still don't tell anyone about my ear - I feel I am both introverted in some ways and extroverted in others. I have no problem going to concerts or bars. Again, people must think I am aloof when I don't respond. For those of you who tell others about your loss - how do they respond?

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Your right Lori it isn't worth it but, "When life hands you lemons......" or something like that. lol I am now trying to get accustomed to sleeping in a big rig which poses challenges, but I'll get used to it. I suppose a person can get used to anything if need be. Good luck and thanks again for stopping by.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Your right Lori it isn't worth it but, "When life hands you lemons......" or something like that. lol I am now trying to get accustomed to sleeping in a big rig which poses challenges, but I'll get used to it. I suppose a person can get used to anything if need be. Good luck and thanks again for stopping by.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Your right Lori it isn't worth it but, "When life hands you lemons......" or something like that. lol I am now trying to get accustomed to sleeping in a big rig which poses challenges, but I'll get used to it. I suppose a person can get used to anything if need be. Good luck and thanks again for stopping by.

Lori 6 years ago

I do like that I can sleep on my good ear and drown out the background noise. I have to have total quiet when I sleep, even a ticking clock annoys me. It's the only benefit I can think of though. Giving up stereo sound isn't worth having a built in ear plug. :)

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi lori, glad you stopped by, I don't seem to get wax build up in my ears too much, but I could see how that can be a problem. Isn't it such an inconvenience at times. But I can drown out the noise at night when trying to sleep by putting my good ear in the pillow, so I guess thats a plus, I believe now that if my hearing was restored in my right ear I would find it hard to sleep for a while. Again glad you came by, and happy holidays to all.

Tanya 6 years ago

Hi Diane,

Lori I have the same problem when it comes to the phone as I am deaf in my left ear and am right handed so taking notes I have to hold the phone with my left hand and try writing with my right hand and then the usual happens and the paper slips and what ever I am writing ends up looking like a spider walked over the page!

I also find especially after washing my hair I get a build up of wax in my good right ear so I woke up last Friday with my good right ear blocked with wax and so my hearing wasn't so great (and its still blocked now) and I sometimes have to go the doctor to have my good right ear syringed out to remove the wax.

I am also now finding that I have to turn my mp3 player up louder to be able to listen to it. So I'm thinking I may need to have my hearing checked. Oh well!

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Lori, I couldn't help but chuckle you sound just like me, almost identicle. Except I am right handed, but everything else is the same. Feel free to visit again, I feel your frustration.

Lori 6 years ago

I am really glad I found this hub. Finally, people that understand what being partially deaf is like. I am totally deaf in my right ear. My Sister discovered it when I was a baby. She said she would whisper in my left ear and I would react and giggle. And when she would whisper in my right ear I had no reaction. I guess this would be a good hearing test for babies.

My Mother says I was born that way, but I have to wonder. Until I had my tonsils out, I used to get a lot of ear infections.

It's interesting to read through all of the posts and see all of the things we have in common. Not being able to locate sound has become the most annoying thing for me. I get up and look for a ringing phone that is sitting right next to me.

It's also frustrating at my jobs. One of them is at a greenhouse. I try to let all of my coworkers know about my hearing before they discover it on their own. I'm the

"plant lady" there and I answer a lot of questions. The biggest problem is when someone there calls my name. With all of the hanging baskets and tall plants and vines, it's really hard for me to find them. I can't tell where they are due to my hearing, and I can't find them visually because of all of the plants! I feel really stupid as I first look in the opposite direction of where they are, and second as I stand there scanning the greenhouse, while they keep calling my name. It always ends up with them laughing at me. I wish they knew how frustrating it was for me, maybe it wouldn't seem so funny. You would think by now I would have trained myself to look in the opposite direction first, but it just doesn't work that way.

The other job is for a mail order business. Answering the phone, and taking phone orders are the issues there. As long as the person speaks clearly and loud enough on the phone I'm O.k., but I have found that lately we have to do the old B-as in Boy, C-as in cat, thing just to be sure I'm getting all the info. I'm sure that it's as frustrating for customers as it is for me. The added issue here, as another person pointed out, is the background noise of the other workers, and the radio. Back ground noise is the worst. Plus I'm left handed so I have to do the phone in my right hand, holding it to my left ear, while I take orders with my left hand. I think maybe my hearing is why I prefer to work alone on my jobs. At the greenhouse I do that a lot, thank goodness. It gives me a mental break. It's a lot of work not being able to hear very well.

Like so many of you mentioned, I am what I would call a bit of an introvert. I can handle social situations, but I would rather not. It's too much work to be a part of the conversation. You have to position yourself correctly, pay special attention to people on the deaf side that might be talking to you as you ignore them, and my favorite party "trick", play the word substitution game. Some will ask me from the wrong side, do I want a beer? And I will hear, do you want a deer, or a jeer, or maybe a tear, until I find the word that fits the best. Sometimes I'm right, sometimes I'm hilariously wrong. This leads to me explaining that I am deaf in one ear, and their response is usually the same. Hah, your deaf in one ear and can't hear out of the other! UGH!

As far as restaurants and bars go, I can't stand them. Especially if we are out with a large group. I have been telling people at the beginning of a meal that I can't hear them, and probably wont be talking, so don't be offended. Not much fun, even for an introvert.

Again, I'm so happy to have found a little community that can understand the things that I live with on a daily basis. For the most part, I get along O.k., but it's nice to have people to talk to about it that can relate.

Happy Holidays Everyone! May your days be filled with cheer! (beer?,deer? or what ever else you might want to substitute with!


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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Stephanie,

You raise an interesting question. I avoid large crowds, loud parties and noisy bars, because of my hearing difficulties thus exhibiting all the characteristics of an introvert. My reasons for avoiding these places are quite logical and I would maintain that this has nothing to do with my real personality. I have surprised people when I sing, admittedly after a few drinks, some old folk songs. (Part of my Scotch Irish culture.) A singsong is an occasion when I can socialise with other people without worrying about my hearing.

I have not studied any psychology, as a dyslexic I would have difficulty spelling any of the complicated words used in this discipline. I googled the "five factors of personality", click on the first website he came across which had a personality test and examined the 45 questions. Of the 45 questions only 14 were unaffected by me being either deaf in one ear or dyslexic. I have to note here that I have difficulties sometimes knowing where on handicap ends and the other one begins. This makes answering such a questionnaire impossible for me. I would question the value of such questionnaires.

People with specific problems will have similar personality match if you apply your man made "Five Factors of Personality" tests to them. I doubt if this is really an accurate reflection of their personalities. I'm sure a study on a specific group of people personalities, with similar impairment, would be interesting in your field of Personal Psychology.

Thanks to you, Diane and all the other people who post comments on this site. I will continue to read them with interest.


Stephanie 6 years ago

Hi Matt,

I don't know why you are inquiring into our personalities: Are you taking psychology courses? I am currently taking a university course on Personality psychology, so this question is interesting for me. Let me know what you find.

I consider myself an introverted person (I think I'm passed my childhood/teenage phase of being shy.) I do not like large crowds or parties, or bars. I like having conversations with a few people, and if I am in a conversation, I tend to enjoy listening rather than speaking.

It seems as though a lot of us mention that we do not like large crowds. Do most of us consider ourselves introverted, or extroverted? I'd like to know if there are one-eared persons who enjoy large crowds or who are extroverts.

It would also be interesting to conduct a study on the five factors of personality (extraversion/introversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, openness to experience) as they pertain to a specific group of people, to see if people's personalities match.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Joy what a beautiful comment, how hard it must have been living in Lebanon during that time and so very scary, I agree with you, we should be grateful every day for what we do have, and I think it is what most of do. Thank you so much for visiting and for your comment.

Joy 6 years ago

Hello everybody, i'm 26 years old, and i discovered the deafness in my right ear since i was 8 years old on the phone,same as you Diane.when My aunt used to call and i answered with my right ear i would hang up the phone and think nobody's answering me and than my aunt would call again my mum and tell her how disrespecting I've been to's funny and frustrating at the same time. when i first told my parents they thought i just wanted to grab their attention, but than when i insisted they took me to the doctor and were surprised since no one in the family had any hearing problems and we started to remember what could be the reason, maybe the war ,the sound of bombing since i lived in Lebanon and once a bomb came inside the room we were hiding in, and the sound was enormous.Or it could be because a centipede bit me in the right ear when i was 6 months old...the doctor couldn't define the right reason. Nevertheless,i thought whichever was the reason i have to learn how to live with it.I enjoyed reading what each one of yous had to say,since i experience almost the same thing daily but as most of you said,i got used to it in a way or another and it has become a lifestyle.i mean Hey! at least we make people dance! Although sometimes i wish i can hear in both ears, other times i thank God i don't :)Last but not least i would like to take the opportunity to thank God for everything he gave me, if he decided to give me the grace of hearing in one hear or deprive me from this whole sense,i'll always be grateful that he gave me and all of us his biggest grace ever,his salvation through Christ. i wanted to share with you that my faith in him has helped me a lot during my life and is still helping me, to accept things i cannot change, live a life of thanks and praise, forgive the ones who make fun of my case and press on... Thanks

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Thanks Toronto condos, I believe being deaf in one ear has its issues thats for sure. But in the grand scheme of things, I guess I'd call it more of an inconvenience, with some obtacles to overcome.Thank you so much for your comments.

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Toronto condos 6 years ago

Inspiring story. People usually believe being deaf in one ear is not such a big issue, but I can see there are many obstacle healthy people do not understand

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Tanya, I understand everything your saying. Fortunately I am deaf in my right ear so at least I can still write with my right hand during phone conversations. I can imagine that is difficult. I also feel left out at times in social situations especially when it is loud. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

Tanya 6 years ago

Hi, I am 37 years old and totally deaf in my left ear and have been since birth. Nobody picked it up until I started school at 6 years of age. For me, being in a noisy crowded restaurant I can't hear the conversation going on with others so I feel left out of the conversation. I also work in a fairly noisy work place (factory situation) where I have to answer phones etc and most of the time I can't hear the phone ringing and being right-handed I have to hold the phone with my left hand and try and write a note with my right hand - it can get tricky sometimes! Being in a group environment causes me to feel shy and alone and I always have to walk on the left beside someone so that I can hear with my good right ear. I just hope my good right ear doesn't fail on me too.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hello Matt, for me the effects socially, I was very shy and felt like I didn't get all the information, I always was afraid I missed something, which probably made me more withdrawn because I didn't want to appear ignorant.

Then of course this ties into the emotional aspect because I felt disconnected, and like I was different than the other kids.

Now however as an adult, I am not as shy and but I do stay away from social gatherings if I feel like they will be overstimulating. For instance I never liked to go to bars or concerts where it was very loud, because for the most part it was near impossible to know what anybody was saying to me.

But emotionally toward my loved ones I feel no different that anyone else I suspect. I am curious to what common personality traits you are referring to and would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

Matt F 6 years ago


just came across this website.

I went deaf in my left ear at 18 months old. I got sick with german measles and went into a coma, came out deaf with all the associated problems.

I am particularly interested in the effect(if any) that this has on social/emotional development. i have met other adults who have been deaf in one ear for all if not most of their lives and there appears to be common personality traits.

i would welcome your thoughts.


Shannon 6 years ago

I'm 14 and I am deaf in my left ear. I don't think it bothered me as much as a kid, but lately I have to ask my friends to repeat themselves a lot. Apparently I have very good hearing in my right ear, but it's not good enough to hear on the other side. I get so frustrated when someone whispers into my left ear and then I have to awkwardly turn my head. It sucks when I'm sick too. But other than that it's okay and it's nice when I want to sleep in quiet. (:

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Beth, I'm glad your friends son is doing well, I think many if not most kids will do really well, especially if they, have people who support them and help them understand. At the time I wrote this article I had limited insurance, the insurance I have now covers doctors visits. I live in Kentucky, but thanks for asking. And thanks for your comment.

beth 6 years ago

hey dianne my best friends 6year old son is deaf in one ear, hes doing really well, its such a shame you have to pay for doctor, where do you live?

thanks for writing this hub...

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hey Stephanie, Glad to see you back, yes I agree I think the reason for the impairment has alot to do with whether we have good balance or not. For all I know I could just be a clumsy person with nothing to do with the hearing impairment. Thanks for coming back and providing this little bit of info. And Thanks for the reminder.

Stephanie 6 years ago

Hi again,

I do want to interject a little thought, I guess because Michelle and Diane both talk about balance in their writings. From what I know of balance, it is regulated by our vestibular system, which resides, partially, in our inner ears (cochlea). Depending on the source of our hearing impairment, we might (or might not) experience problems in balance. i don't know if we all know the exact source of our impairments...I'm not sure as well, but I keep assuming it is due to damage of the right auditory nerve, and not the ear itself - I don't experience challenges with balance. As a kid, I would take gymnastics classes - loved the bars and trampoline.

I'd also like to remind everyone here - Be Kind To Your Ear(s)!

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Michelle, I understand exactly how you feel, except for the music I don't really listen to it that often, It gets annoying to me for some reason. However I do get in the mood to listen to it every so often. I used to do the closed captioning as well but lately I haven't and I usually catch what they are saying I think I read lips alot cause sometimes my husband will ask me what did they say, It just seems funny to me that I have to tell him, when he has perfect hearing in both ears.

And I get people talking to me on my wrong side on the time and they think I am ignoring them, one woman at work told me I was rude. I explained the problem and she still didn't get it. Oh well, I tried.

Michelle, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment I really appreciate it.

Michelle 6 years ago

Diane and everyone else, I am 43 and have been deaf in my right ear since birth. I came across this website accidentally. I enjoyed reading about people like me. I don't ever tell anyone I am deaf in one ear and my family usually forgets most of the time too. My favorite thing is being able to sleep without any sound. I know that must sound funny to people but it's wonderful. I find some things are different than other people mentioned - I love loud music (not good for my other ear), I have excellent balance (I thought it was from my body having to compensate), and I don't mind social settings. The things that are the same is that I am a horrible singer and dancer but that doesn't stop me from singing every song I hear. I don't think about my hearing loss about 90% of the time, but just the other day someone was talking to me on my right side and I didn't hear a word she said - she defiantly thought I was ignoring her and for some reason I never fixed the situation. I find I would rather people think I was aloof than tell them I am deaf in one ear. I love talking to my friends on the phone because I can hear every word they say. One other thing I have adapted in my life is how I watch TV and movies now. I used to miss a lot but now my husband and I use closed captioning on the TV and I don't miss anything now.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hey Liz, I'm glad you stopped by, I enjoyed reading your blog as well. Thanks alot, for your comments.

Liz 6 years ago

Thanks for reading my post on Being Deaf in One Ear and Owning a Parrot

I've enjoyed reading your hub and it sounds just like me! I had a very kind music teacher at school. I was good at music and when she found out I'd become deaf in one ear, she rearranged the whole classroom so that the piano and stereo were on my 'good' side. She didn't say anything, just did it and I knew she'd done it for me. Thanks Mrs. Hubbard.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Karanda, I'd hardly call this a trauma, I look at it more as just an inconvenience. Its frustrating at times but most of the time no big deal, It is bothersome but and I sometimes get confused or flustered, but I figure so does everybody else about one thing or another. Thanks for having a look.and for your comments.

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Karanda 6 years ago from Australia

Diane I can't imagine the trauma of going through life with something like this but I love that you manage to get through it regardless. You are an inspiration.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Stephanie, yes I just heard something about this recently. She certainly hasn't let it slow her down huh. She shows up on another show I like, Criminal Minds, she plays a real good part there. I bet there are more people than we realize that have deafness in one ear. Thanks for the little bit of info. Any and all is welcome.

Stephanie 6 years ago

Thanks Diane...

I don't know if anyone is interested in this, but I just found some interviews on Jane Lynch (a big actress, star of the tv show Glee, won an Emmy last year) and it turns out she only has hearing in one ear too (she says her impairment was likely caused by illness in infancy)

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Stephanie thanks for your comments, your experiences are somewhat similar with mine and others, at least about not thinking about it. Just automatically moving to the right side of people, etc. I'm glad you let us know about what your boss said about disclosure too, it is sometimes hard to know what to do, especially when wanting to secure a job. Thanks for you input.

Stephanie 6 years ago

Hi I'm 24 years old, no hearing in my right ear. A story for M, who asks about disclosure:

I just came out of a short-term position and my supervisor HIGHLY encouraged me that, in future endeavors, I disclose my hearing impairment to my supervisor and/or coworkers. In my case, I had disclosed my impairment when being interviewed (by another staff) but my supervisor wasn't told about my impairment. This caused issues with communication among other coworkers as well, who, I assume, thought I was consciously ignoring them at times when they called for me (when in fact I didn't hear them call me). My boss was nice about it in our first meeting because (I assume), she figured that I was not the type of person to consciously ignore others, especially in a work environment that depends highly on teamwork and communication (i.e. a group home for people with disabilities, which is where I was...likewise if you work in any healthcare field).

I often just 'forget' to tell people about my hearing issue...I don't think about it for the most part, and my methods to compensate are so automatic (stand to the right side of others) that I don't process them.

I'm right-handed, quite enjoy arithmetic and science subjects (hate my current calculus class thought!), and took music lessons for much of childhood (currently singing in a small university choir). So I don't think that right-ear deafness itself affects math skills and left-brain functioning.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi, M and Little Dove, Glad you stopped by. Yes Sleeping is the best can block out most noise easily. I too am bad at mathematics. Never had a knack for it. I can get by with everyday math for checkbooks and stuff but never could do well in algebra, trigonometry, etc. Maybe you have something there never thought about that much. But maybe single sided deafness has something to do with left/right brain usage, interesting......

Little Dove 6 years ago

Hey all.... I have been deaf in my right ear all of my 33 years, and like everyone else and the writer, I have compensated for it one way or another.... I do not think many people realize how much comensation I actually do because it has become so natural to me.... I have realized some things about myself that make me wonder... I can hear in my left ear, I am left handed,and left legged (strength wise..complements of long jump) and obviously in my right mind!! I feel like I am missing out on the usage of my left brain due to not having to use it soo much... like I suck at computational mathmatics and stuff of that nature...It makes me wonder if that has to do with the fact that I cant hear in my right ear...hmmmm

6 years ago

Me too have SSD. Can't remember since when. Left ear works great but right ear is just for show. The best thing about it is getting good sleep because I always sleep on my left with my left ear against the pillow. Blocks out most noise. I always sat at the right most bench of the class. Hated it when someone sat to my right. Love driving because cars here have driver seat on the right side. Dont like riding on passenger side of the car.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi lane, I think maybe it is dependent upon what kind of job it is. If you think your hearing problem might effect you job in a negative way, especially when it comes to safety it might be best to say something, because they maybe could accomadate for it. I know I did not let it be known till some time after I was hired. But other than some nuciances of not hearing people asking them to repeat themselfs it didn't effect my job performance. But of course I was in a slightly low sound environment.

You know that is a very good question though, I may do some research on that and right another hub on it. I'm sure others may have a question about that.

Thanks for the question, you gave me something to think about.

Lane 6 years ago

Does anyone know if you are deaf in one ear if you should self-indentify when applying for a job?

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hello Elena, I'm glad you posted your comment. I am deaf in my right ear, and when I have done that, listening to music with one ear bud, and covered my left ear i still could not hear anything. So I don't know, maybe you have a small percentage of hearing in your right ear. It may just be so minute that it is useless. I'm of course just guessing, I really don't know. I guess the only way to really know, would be to go to an audiologist to find out. I'm sorry I could not help you better. I understand the shyness though, I actually didn't come out of my shyness till after high school. I think I finally just got tired of it, and just started telling people when I couldn't hear them and why. So far I haven't really had any negativity at all. Good Luck, Diane

elena 6 years ago

hi everyone, i am also deaf in one ear. My mom says I was not born deaf but she doesnt know what happened to me. Ever since I can remember, I have not been able to hear from my right ear. From reading everyone's comments and other stories I realize now that part of my shyness is because of the deafness. I never thought about it that way, but I am very quite and it is because I cant always hear what others are saying, I always try to walk on the right side so that I can hear what people are saying to me. I do not like telling others about it, because I feel like they are going to see it as a disability or make me feel different than them. I do have one question for all of you guys...when im listening to music and put one bud in my right ear (the deaf one) and not the other, i cant hear a thing but if I cover my left ear, I am able to hear the music. Why is this?? Is this the same with all of you guys? Please reply, i would really like to find out

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Oh Sorry you feel this way chunfang, I hope you can try to feel better about this.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Oh ddsufsca, Okay I definately will try the 50/50 mix next time. Never knew that. And the cortisporine, never heard of it either so yes I will enquire about that. Thanks.

I hope you both enjoyed the hub. Thanks again. Diane

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ddsurfsca 6 years ago from ventura., california

My husband is deaf in one ear and I read him your hub. He said to try a 50/50 mix of peroxide and rubbing alcohol instead of pure peroxide, and next time you see your dr. ask for cortisporine (sp?) as a way to relubricate the ear canal. he has had this and many other problems, and he found this a great help.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Harry, I am happy that you are engaged in the conversation, yes SSD is more scientific. lol It's nice to see other commenters on here as well. Their stories are very interesting as well. We all sure share some common hurdles, when it comes to our handicap.

I don't particularly think I am dislexic however I have notice from time to time that I do get words mixed up. I really notice it when I see billboards or street signs.

I noticed that I saw a billboard the other day advertising a Quit Smoking Campaign, and I read it as Smoking Quit Campaign, after a half second I realized that wasn't right and corrected it in my mind.

So I may have a smidgen of dislexia, just never thought about it.


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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Ernest,

Thank you for your post, I had not heard of the term SSD before. I Google it and found more sites about being deaf in one ear. SSD sounds more scientific than deaf in one ear.

As you say being deaf in one ear is hardest on children. As an adult you do tend to develop strategies to deal with the problem, though in my case and yours we had to learn these tricks by ourselves. As a child I was very introvert and tended not to tell anybody about my handicap. Now I make a point of telling anybody I meet about my hearing problem. People cannot expect to make allowances for your hearing if they do not know you've got a problem. There are a lot of nice people in the world who are intelligent enough to understand your problem and if it is explained to them, they will accommodate you as best they can. I also find I am able to flush out any Assholes I meet. I believe life gets everybody in the end one way or other. Shit happens to everybody to a greater lesser degree sooner or later!

There are some people who even when told of your disability assume that you experience the world exactly the same way as they do, as you show no outward sign of your hearing problem. My children's primary school organise a ski trip every year for pupils and their parents. This means I have to socialise with people that I don't know very well in a noisy environment. Feeding time in a primary school canteen will send shivers up your spine and mine. I was having a drink at the bar with some of my fellow parents. I had taken up my customary position to one side of the group in order to make the best of my hearing when another parent joint or group on my deaf side. One of my party pointed out to the newcomer that I was deaf on that side. To which the newcomer, (The Asshole), replied "your deaf I am dumb". I don't know if the Asshole was a bit stupid or just plain nasty, but I knew that I did not need to bother with him.

I am dyslexic as well as being deaf in one ear which limited my aspirations especially as I did not pass GCSE English language until I was about 25. I think being deaf in one ear is worst than being dyslexic. They're certainly more websites sites on dyslexia as opposed to SSD. Over time my reading and writing has improved and the amount new technology available to dyslexics, that was not in existence 10 years ago, is mind blowing. I'm using speech to text software to write this post. Unfortunately with age I hearing problem can only get worse. I am very dubious about the hearing aids available as they only amplify sound. I find it ironic as a dyslexic male that a lot of my courtship with my wife was carried out by post! As somebody with SSD writing during courtship makes a lot of sense.

As you say, more should be done at school in educating children with regards SSD as well as other disabilities. If I were in charge of schools, each school would have a "school wheelchair". Each pupil would have spend one day in the chair on their own. They might gain some inkling as to what it's like not to be able to walk and what it is like to be different from the herd. Unfortunately, in today's world, health and safety would probably preclude this method of education.

A lot more could be done when designing our public buildings. The reverberating square concrete box can be made more acoustically friendly. This would benefit everybody not just the hard of hearing and I suspect would not necessarily cost much more.

Wishing you well


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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

wow, Ernest, it seems you have had a hard time dealing with you SSD It I know exactly how you feel. I have had a hard time as well at times. I have tried to be more possitive about it when I can. I understand how a child feels in school and that is why I wrote the hub about how to give your child who is deaf in one ear an anvantage in school to help parents understand how to help them in school since so much information can be lost, with the child. And I agree more research does need to be done. I would love to be apart of that research as well. Perhaps enough people will become aware of the need and things will be done. I appreciate you telling me your story, and wish you well. I plan to add more hubs about the matter, so I hope you can stop by again. Thanks a lot. Diane.

Ernest 6 years ago

Hi, i've been 100% deaf in my right ear (SSD) from childhood and it was only at the age of about 8 years old when it was discovered during a hearing test at school. I am now in my mid forties. After the first revelation of my single sided deafness in approx 1974, the audiologist simply told my parents and school that the cause was nerve damage, possibly due to Mumps at a very early age and that nothing could be done to rectify it. I was always had to carry a letter, which stated that I must sit on the front right hand side, from the specialist whenever I first entered a new classroom. The only advantage i can think of is that i can turn around and sleep on my deaf ear at night when there's too much noise in the area. The negatives are however far outweighing the 'positives'. Looking back at my life, i now realise that my deafness, especially in the period and environment i grew up, the lack of understanding and sympathy from normal hearing people during that period, have had a profound (negative) effect on my psychological and social development all these years. Due to my hearing problem from childhood, I’ve had numerous hurdles to cross (many of which could Not be crossed) while normal hearing children/people did not have these obstacles; since childhood, I found it Very difficult to make friends and still do as I tends to withdraw from any social activity as too many sounds makes me feel disorientated and feel nervous. I do not want to go anywhere, no restaurants or any place where there’s more than a few people. As a result, I know that this is also the reason for the lack of self confidence and insecurity which I’ve had al along. I agree, one either accepts it, and get some peace about it, or you rebel against it all your life, feel miserable and lonely, which also only aid in turning off some of the few friends left. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a policeman/detective, like many boys do. However due to very strict regulations, during those times, neither the police nor defence force would accept me, and this had a very negative impact on me, and I suppose, still have. I am sorry that this all sounds very negative, but I really wish that there were better guidance to children re profound hearing loss back then. Many negative feelings and things one experienced back then due to not being able to hear correctly, was (probably) just misunderstood by me, but people, and children, can be very cruel, and after some time, one rather keep aside and refrain from social activities. I am also convinced that the fact that I am having problems with aggression, for as long as I can remember, also stems from being a SSD sufferer. Im sure not every (single sided deafness) child/adult have the same experience, but I feel that there’s much more research needed to be done re psychological and social effects of SSD and that much better guidance is necessary, especially at school level, for children/adults with SSD.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Thanks TransScribbler, for the nice comments. Yes and being young and not realizing the disability fully makes it frunstrating since I didn't really know how to explain this to teachers, and so forth. Thanks again and glad you came by.

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TransScribbler 6 years ago

Hi Diane. Thank you for what (for me) is a very funny and poignant hub. My left ear only functions at 20-25%(inherited congenital defect), so I can relate to the incidents at school, being yelled at by people on the good side, and not the bad, etc. Thank you again!

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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Devin,

As well as being deaf in one ear I am dyslexic. When I was young I was told there was no connection between my dyslexia and being deaf. However I've been investigating the problem recently and it seems there is a connection between having glue ear as a child, which can lead to ear infections and deafness, and both dyslexia and auditory processing disorder (APD). One way to investigate your learning disabilities would be to visit the community forum at being dyslexic and read some of the postings there. There are links to ADP's sites. ADP and dyslexia have a number of share symptoms. Worth a try anyway! The link is .

Best of luck


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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Ryan, no I can't, I have no neuroreceptors or nerves leading from the ear to the brain. Sorry you lost yours as well,and vision to boot, must be really tough. Hope all goes well for you.

ryan 6 years ago

I'm 19 Lost all hearing in left ear and vision left eye after a car crash at 7months old, Sucks I can relate to you/// Can you get hearing back threw surgery?

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Thanks Devin, for your comments. Sorry to hear that you feel, that you have a learning disability due to your deafness in your right ear. However since you realize your disability, you may have to work a little harder, but I believe you can succeed. Thanks again I'm glad you enjoyed this site.

Devin 6 years ago

I'm 33 years old and am finally realizing I might have a learning disability due to being deaf out my right ear. I had horrible grades in high school and could never stick with college. At work and various training opportunities I always feel it takes me longer to grasp things. I love this site and everything said here strikes a chord!

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Hi Richard, glad you stopped by, I was born with deafness in one ear, so I'm sure it was more difficult to lose hearing at 7yrs old. I mean you really felt a sense of loss, as I did not know the difference. Glad your girlfriend accepts it. Hope all goes well for you. Thanks again.

Richard 6 years ago

I feel the same, i told my close friends and other friends, it hurts sometimes when they make fun of my one ear deafness,i wasted money for buying a hearing aid but not wearing them for many years until it got broken, well.. im happy enough that my GF accepts it... but i just wish i got my hearing back, i lost it when i was 7 yrs old, maybe because of my early age i was listening to loud music, or maybe because of riding on an airplane popping my ears or maybe i often got sick especialy colds, i dont know, might be all of them.

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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Thanks Tracey for your comment, I'm glad you stopped by. You have done exceptionaly well. I do wear glasses but blind in one eye must have its drawbacks as well. I'm glad to see someone else who understands my story. As it is lost on people around me, I think. I don't tell many people just because it really doesn't come up too often, but I will if the need arises. I don't know why parents seem to react so strongly to this kind of news, I mean while it is a different kind of challenge, it is usually something the child can navigate through. I guess parents are afraid of any disadvantage a child may have, especially now in this competitive world. About hearing devices I think they can help but if a person can get by without them well enough that's better, so as not to make them a crutch we feel like we need. Again thanks for your comment it was greatly appreciated.

Tracey 6 years ago


I'm 27 and for came across this site whilst researching my condition. I don't know what drove me to look it up, I've been deaf since birth in my left ear and have 'dealt' with it. As well as being completely deaf in my left ear, I was born completely blind in my right eye. You can imagine my embarrasment having to tell people about both of these conditions. Very few people know I have both, I tend to tell them about the deafness put of necessity but not the blindness.

Your stories struck a lot of chords with me. Whilst researching I have found a lot of what I would call extreme reactions by parents to children with the same condition. Some have even sent their kids to deaf schools. Now I certainly had some issues with monaural hearing but didn't require any special measures. I left school, gained a law degree and now have a job as a trainee solicitor. Most people don't know about the deafness and I have no need to tell them, it certainly hasn't hindered my progress.

Sometimes I think of asking the doctor if there are any hearing devices available on the NHS for the condition but something stops me. Maybe I'm just scared of changing a situation that I've known all my life.

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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Diane,

My hearing is the same as yours in that sticking a hearing aid in my bad ear is of no use whatsoever. I am still curious about crossover of hearing aids and whether they are of any value. With a crossover hearing aid in microphone is placed on your deaf side and collected via wire, it may be hidden in a pair of glasses, to an amplifier beside your good ear. My main concern with this contraption is putting some crude man made device in or near my super sensitive good ear. Would I lose more hearing than I would gain?

I have never met anyone using a crossover hearing aid. If anybody who is reading this post has used a crossover hearing aid, other than a professional audiologist, I would be interested in hearing their views.


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Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Yeah Harry I don't think that a hearing aid would work for me. As I believe I have no neurological pathways from the ear to the brain. Since hearing aids only amplify sound I don't think that would be useful in my case. At least thats what I've been told in the past. Thanks for the comments they are much appreciated.

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Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Diane,

I had a similar experience to you with my hearing test. it suggested that I had some hearing with my bad ear when I had very little. I agree with you, if you cannot tell which direction sound is coming from how can the pushbutton test work? I suspect that during this test sound is transmitted through your skull to your good ear.

Years later my mother was badgering me about having a hearing aid. I had another test, the audiologist thought that he had just a hearing aid for me! I put the device in my bad ear and fooled myself that the gizmo worked for about three days. Such is the power of a placebo.

I then tested it myself using my redundant stereo headphones. I felt pain in my bad ear before I heard anything at all. I did make enquiries about crossover hearing aids when I last had my eyes tested. The audiologist this time was more cagey about the value of his product so I did not buy one.

I will post more about education after I've painted a gate!



Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Yes Harry I do feel left out in a way. I sing horribly, and I can't dance to save my life, two left feet. And yes I guess I do think they can be at a disadvantage in school. But if teachers are aware of the hearing deficits, I believe that it is a duty of the teachers to make sure that child understands the assignments is able to absorb all that is being taught in the classroom. My experience was that I had some teachers who just did'nt care and I was left to figure things out for myself, which I did fairly well once I got up in the upper grades. But I also had teachers who understood my problem and took the time to clarify what was expected of me and to give me any help necessary such as more visual aids like writing assignments on the chalk boards, and more classroom participation which I think made a tremendous difference. So I don't think academics is the problem as much as just making sure the child gets all necessary information and instruction. Which lies on the teachers. In my opinion a child who does not do well in school, and they are genuinely trying, and who has no other issues, it is the fault of the teachers. In the elementary level of school I struggled, because teachers were not aware of the problem but once I reache middle school it became a little better as I did have one teacher who took the time to work with me. By High school I did fine not fantastic because I was a teenager, hated school. But in college I had a 3.5 average so I did fine. As far as language skills goes I speak just as well as anyone else, but I have heard of children who don't speak well at all I'm inclined to think this is because they were not worked with when they were toddlers developeing these skills, but I don't know I'm sure there are factors that we don't know about. Thanks for your reply, nice to see someone who has these concerns as well.

Harry Walmsley profile image

Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Diane

I'm glad you liked my comments. I think that my love of singing badly may be due to my hearing problem. Singing and dancing are both social activities in which it is not necessary to listen to anybody. You do not feel left out of these activities. What do you think?

More seriously have just come across an article states, contrary to what I've been told all my life, that children who have hearing loss in one ear are academically disadvantage that school.

See --



Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Wow Harry these are great comments. Everything you have described I have experienced as well. I laughed when spoke about dancing people. I never thought of it that way but it's true is like dancing.Funny. And directional hearing is always a problem.When you can't tell where noise comes from it can be a problem. Especially while looking for the phone, or while driving when I hear sirens. And yes my good ear seems to be super sensitive as well. We have a lot in common when it comes to our hearing. I'm so glad you posted this comment thank you very much. Best regards. Diane

Harry Walmsley profile image

Harry Walmsley 6 years ago

Hi Diane and Natalia,

Some time ago, I was at the funeral of an uncle and was talking to a cousin. She was just off crutches having had a hip replacement. It was a windy day (background noise). As we talked we began to circle each other (or dance). This happens regularly to me so I reminded her that I am deaf in one ear. She then told me about her grandchild who has just been diagnosed deaf in one ear. I was planning to write to her about being 1/2 deaf and was googling it when I came across your blog.

While having no hearing in one ear can be a nuisance at times it is not the worst thing that can happen to you. It gives you a higher appreciation of all the senses you have. 95% of the time it has no impact on my life and the other 5% I have learned to live on my own terms.

As long as I can remember I have been deaf in my left ear and have had A1 hearing in my right ear. I became aware of my deafness myself when I was 8 and told my parents. I am now 54 years old. A child accepts the world as he or she finds it. Up to that time I assumed that I heard, saw and felt the same as everyone else. I think, at a basic level, people who have never encountered a handicap assume that everybody they meet see the world exactly the same way they do.

I know that the health service is far more aware of hearing loss in young children than when I was growing up. Babies and young children are given hearing tests at regular intervals. The extent of the advice my parents were given was that I should sit at the front of the class in school. Nowadays some people have speech therapy and lip reading classes when they are diagnosed. I am curious how easy and effective lip reading is. I might give it a try but by looking someone straight in the eyes I am not using my one good ear, with its super sensitive hearing, to its best advantage. I now tell anyone I have not meet before that I am deaf in one ear and ask the to take account of it. Natalia, like you this handicap made me very shy however I wish I had told more people about my problem when I was younger.

The reason that I end up circling a person when I am talking to them is that I position my good ear in the best position to hear them, the other person moves round slightly to establish better eye contact and hearing for them, whereupon I will move again. If I do not say anything we will end up dancing in circles. Generally speaking the other person will stop dancing when I explain about being deaf in one ear but there are people who will continue to dance. The worst part of being deaf in one ear is that you send all the wrong nonverbal signals out to other people all I can do is to tell them about my problem and hope they are bright enough to understand. With three or more people in a noisy room it becomes more difficult. I can position myself to hear only part of the conversation. In the past I would have struggled on because that is what everyone else is doing but now I move to a quieter area. I.e. The kitchen at parties; Hotel reception area, bar; garden at weddings; or anywhere else. Why waste your time in an environment in which you cannot communicate and are not enjoying yourself?

Another funny situation arises from not having directional hearing. If my mobile phone is ringing in a room and I have forgotten where I have left it, I cannot tell where it is. You need two ears to know the direction a sound is coming from. I end up moving around the room taking bearing on the missing phone. Of course the phone stops ringing before I find it. I then ring my mobile phone and find it was in my trouser pocket.

The environment dictates how much being deaf in one ear affects you. At home it hardly matters but as external noises increase it becomes more difficult. When I am driving I find it more difficult to hear a passenger, as I need to look at the road. As you should be able to guess, I live in the UK. A room, with a low ceiling, full of people talking and piped music is best avoided while the same number of people outside, say at a barbeque is much easier for me to deal with. I am temped to cut the wire of any loudspeaker in a pub, restaurant or café I am in. I will always position myself to use my good ear to best advantage. As a table I like to sit at a corner with no one on my left. I will ask other people to change seats if necessary.

As a child my first big shock came when I started primary school. My children are at primary school and, as far as hearing go, I cannot see any difference in the environment from when I was at school. School meals were particularly bad time, not because of the food, but because of the noise. I think more thought should be put into the design of and the use of materials in public buildings to cut down on background noise. It would not cost that much more and would benefit everybody.

If you have some hearing in your bad ear a hearing aid may be worth trying but it is of no use to me. A hearing aid is just a small amplifier. I have no hearing in my deaf ear so it would not matter how high a sound is amplified I still would not hear it. Crossover hearing aid are available, I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has used them, but I am dubious about sticking some man made device into my super sensitive good ear. At this point I googled ‘crossover hearing aid’ there are loads of sites you could look at.

I not take any chances with ear infections. If either of my children complains about their ears I am straight off to the doctor. I have been to the out of hours surgery on bank holidays. I would not wait until Monday morning. I have had glue ear and while it has passed with no ill effect it is an unpleasant experience losing any hearing in my good ear.

I am fortunate not to have any problems with my balance but I am dyslexic, which means that I have some other issues. I have an ancient stereo system, one of the speakers has not worked for the last 10 years. I've no intention of fixing it never mind getting surroundsound whatever is!



Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Thanks Natalia, for the comment. Yes I constantly think about where will I sit or how to place myself so I can hear everyone. I usually just explain to them if I feel like I may need to ask someone if I can sit there or can you get on this side of me so I can hear you better. I used to not say much about it to people but through the years I find it easier. I have had times when I didn't hear someone talking to me and so I didn't respond to them because they slipped up on me on my bad side. So they thought I was being rude. But if I learn this happens I just apologize and explain to them that I just didn't hear them. They usually understand.

It really is hard at times to deal with so I understand where your coming from. And it is hard sometimes for most people to sympathize I think because we seem to do just fine, to them they think it should be no big deal. But we know how it is something we are always aware of so we don't miss anything.

And so what if your eccentric to them, your unique, that's a good thing. I think the world would be pretty boring if we were all the same. Good luck it sounds like your doing fine and I'm sure you will learn to compensate very well.

Natalia 6 years ago


I've been deaf in one ear since I can remember. I don't remember how much this affected me during my teenager years, but now I think I feel it more (now I'm 23).

I think partially because of that I'm more introvert than I'd be normally. And more eccentric in

my colleges/friends eyes than normal person - always on the most right side of everybody.

I haven't told anybody about my condition - only my closest family knows about it.

Now, I'm noticing more and more my handicap - sometimes it's very tiring to think where would be the best place to sit so that I'd hear the most of the people etc.

Lately, I started to think how it would be if I'd hear two ears. How my perception of the world would be different? Have you ever thought about this? Don't you feel sometimes like you have to choose like: "I'll sit there so I'll talk to this person which is on my left..." ?



Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago Author

Interesting aidualc, my mother is a much better listener than my father. Thanks for the comment.

aidualc profile image

aidualc 6 years ago from Montana

In the metaphysical world, the right side of the body gets its genetics from the father, while the left side comes from the mother. Interesting!

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