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The Hidden Complications of Single-Sided Deafness
Date:9/4/2013

SAN MATEO, Calif., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Single-sided deafness (SSD), or being deaf in one ear, isn't exactly the poster-child for disabilities. Rather, it's an overlooked condition that is often misunderstood by the public. There is no way to see SSD, also called profound unilateral hearing loss, so those who suffer from it are often misperceived as "rude" or "unintelligent" when they don't understand or quickly respond to others. That's just one of the many hidden struggles associated with this condition.

Few people are aware how many SSD sufferers are among us. According to hear-it.org, about 60,000 people get SSD in the U.S. every year.  These numbers are only estimates because SSD hearing loss can develop over time in many cases.  This can be due to trauma or exposure to loud music and also from other less-expected causes such as smoking and stress. Also, many people who are beginning to develop single-sided hearing loss treat it as a minor annoyance and don't quickly seek medical attention.

A person with SSD has no problem hearing with his or her "good ear," but things get complicated quickly. Important aspects of hearing such as sound localization and the ability to selectively listen to one conversation in a noisy room become almost impossible. For many SSD sufferers, it is very difficult to follow conversations, making social interaction exhausting and frustrating, increasing irritability, stress, anxiety, and headaches.

Even less obvious are the safety concerns for people coping with SSD. Without two working ears, the brain has difficulties distinguishing the origin of sounds, hampering a person's ability to determine the location and direction of traffic, for inst
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SOURCE Sonitus Medical, Inc.
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