Hearing: how lopsided is too lopsided?

I always knew my left ear was my “dominant” one, and I still hear fine when using both ears, but in certain circumstances I’m really noticing that my right ear doesn’t work nearly as well as the left one. My cell phone is a prime example: in situations where there is a lot of background noise (using it outside while standing on the street), I can hardly hear a damn thing with the right ear.

Most of the time I hear fine, though - last time I checked at the Museum of Science and Industry, I can match pitches to 1 cycle per second. So is this somethig to worry about, or something that happens to a lot of people? (Or both?)

Well, I guess it’s too lopsided if it bothers you, at this point in your life.

My little premie has lopsided hearing, and they’re pretty proactive about treating it. She can’t hear a 40 decible sound in her left ear, but her right’s perfectly normal. She also hears on a .5-1ms (microsecond? millisecond?) “delay” in the left ear. It’s apparently lopsided enough that she’ll recieve speech intervention because it could adversely affect her language development.

You, presumably, have developed language just fine, so there’s not that medical need. But what would you lose by treating it, anyway? There’s teeny-tiny hearing aids now that could pretty much restore your hearing in most cases. You’d have two ears back.

If there is enough of a difference between your two ears for you to have noticed, and if you have never been assessed by an ENT specialist or had a full hearing evaluation, you should organise that ASAP.

You need to get a proper audiological assessment. They’ll test both the bone and air conduction in your ears, and by “masking” the good one with white noise, really work out what’s going on.

It could be wax or infection, it could be from years of listening to loud music, it could be ageing, it could be something more sinister. Do the smart thing and get it looked into, because it’s likely that they can do something to help.

It may be tempting to go to a hearing aid dealer for a “free hearing test.” The answers you get might be skewed by the need to sell hearing aids. Most hearing aid dealers are honest and ethical, but a few will make your problem seem worse than it is, for their own gain.

Plus, their tests aren’t reliable at identifying pathological conditions.

Go to an ENT specialist and a proper audiologist.

Second. Thats what I did.

This happened to me once and it turned out to be wax buildup. (I know, GROSS!) All they did was douche my ears with some saline (I think) and all was well again.

Along with Q-tips in the ear canal, this feels far better than it should! What sick evolutionary process made the inside of the ear an erogenous zone?

Given my allergies and other respiratory gunk, it probably couldn’t hurt for me to do that anyway. I’ll put it on my to-do list. No, it hasn’t affected my language development, but I honestly don’t know whether my hearing has changed, and I should at least establish some sort of baseline so I can keep an eye on it. (I’ve never seen an ENT, and probably haven’t had my hearing checked at all since mass classroom screening in grade school.)

Anyone else have personal experiences?

It wasn’t an evolutionary process, it was when those darn aliens spliced the anteater genes into us.

  • BookReader

Yeah! Q tips feel a LOT better than my elbow.
As to the OP, age might be a factor.
I was a musician for a time in my life, (symphony orchestras, rock bands, etc.) and haven’t experienced much hearing deteriation outside of the normal aging process.

Eh? :wink: