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Single-Sided Deafness (SSD) / Unilateral Hearing Loss

What Is Single-Sided Deafness (SSD) / Unilateral Hearing Loss?

A unilateral hearing loss is when there is hearing loss in only one ear. The other ear has normal hearing.

Unilateral hearing loss can be congenital (present at birth) or may develop later in life. The amount of hearing loss in the affected ear can be mild to profound hearing loss (also known as Single-Sided Deafness). Some people with unilateral hearing loss may be helped by a hearing aid. Other options are available for more severe unilateral hearing loss.

The following amplification options may be talked about with you. The options will depend on how much hearing loss your child has:

  • Hearing Aids: Learn more about hearing aids
  • CROS (contralateral routing of signal) Hearing System: This system was created for patients with SSD. It works by sending sound from a device on the side with hearing loss to a device on the normal hearing ear.
  • Bone Conduction Devices: Learn more about bone conduction devices.
  • Hearing Assistance Technology (HAT) / FM System: This system sends the speaker’s voice from a microphone to a device the child wears on the ear. It is often used in the classroom. The system helps the child hear and understand speech. These systems can be used alone or with another hearing device.
  • Cochlear Implants: Learn more about cochlear implants.

If our team and your family decide that one of these options will help your child, we will help you through the evaluation and fitting process.

Last Updated 11/2021

Reviewed By Virginia Bolster, AuD

Who treats this.

The Division of Audiology at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric audiology programs in the nation. Early intervention and active collaboration with your family can change the outcome for your child with a hearing problem.

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