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Deaf in One Ear

Updated on March 27, 2012

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 19 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!!!

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      Tom from Ohio (USA) 19 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.

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      Theresa 23 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.

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      brandon parncutt 2 years 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.

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      Lauren 3 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 4 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


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      RICHARD BELL 4 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 4 years ago

      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 .

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      Ben 4 years ago


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      Erika 4 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.

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      Amanda 4 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.

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      Lindsay 4 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 4 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.

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      Charm 4 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 4 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.

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      michael Fleischer 4 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

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      Alexander Rookey 4 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.

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      scott 4 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..


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      Vennicia 4 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.

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      Matt 4 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.

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      Leon 4 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.

    • Harry Walmsley profile image

      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.


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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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...

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      Sarah 5 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 5 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.

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      steve wright uk 5 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

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      anonymous 5 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.

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      victor 5 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 5 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

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      Jason 5 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 5 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!

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      Marcus 5 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?

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      Stephanie 5 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.

    • Brent Walker profile image

      Brent Walker 5 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!

    • Brent Walker profile image

      Brent Walker 5 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.

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      Tom Red 5 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

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      Don Taylor 5 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.

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      Bailly 5 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. :)

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      Mary 5 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.

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      tbe 5 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

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      Isidro 5 years ago

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

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      Michael 5 years ago

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

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      Sean 5 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!

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      Fyghter 5 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

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      Paul 5 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!

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      Jaeli 5 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...

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      Justin 5 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

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      Tracy 5 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.

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      Mike 5 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

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      scott 5 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.

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      Ellen 5 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.

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      Amber, 12 years old 5 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

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      Chloe 5 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....

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      Krystar orbinski 5 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

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      fixit2010 5 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.

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      R.H. 5 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...

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      Emily 5 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".

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      Kelly Heikkila 5 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!

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      Diane Inside 5 years ago

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

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      Matthew 5 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 :)

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      Emily 5 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 :)

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      Isaac 5 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 5 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?

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      Piotr Mocarski 5 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

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      Mike 5 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.

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      Stephanie 5 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.

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      Tanya 5 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.

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      What should i do for this deaf

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      jackie 5 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!?

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      Misunderstood Girl 5 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.

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      Dave Robinson 5 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.

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      Diane Inside 5 years ago

      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.

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      Josiah 5 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!

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      Alicia 5 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.

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      Mich 5 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...

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      Diane Inside 5 years ago

      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.

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      hello 5 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?

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      Pris 5 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 5 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 5 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.

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      5 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

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      Karim 5 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.

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      Diane Inside 5 years ago

      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.

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      Stephanie 5 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:

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      Stephanie 5 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!

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      Diane Inside 5 years ago

      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.

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      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?

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      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

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      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.:)

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.


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      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!

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      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.