Best Hearing Aids for Single-Sided Hearing Loss

Our experts evaluated the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss and narrowed down the choices to their top picks.

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Unilateral hearing loss (UHL) is a condition where you experience hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other. UHL affects an estimated 7.2 percent of adult Americans, but only a small percentage wear hearing aids. For many with UHL, wearing one — or even two — hearing aids1 can help you hear better. Below, we’ll take a look at the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss and their impressive features. We’ll also explore unilateral hearing loss and the types of hearing aids that can help.

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids for Single-Sided Hearing Loss

Choosing the right hearing aid is hard, and it can be overwhelming if it’s your first time shopping for one. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss. We evaluated providers based on criteria like cost, advanced features, variety of models, reputation, and ease of use.

What Is Unilateral Hearing Loss?

UHL occurs when an individual has hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other. When there’s nonfunctional hearing in one ear, it’s also called single-sided deafness. Single-sided deafness affects an estimated 60,000 Americans each year5.

Many people living with unilateral hearing loss simply rely on their “good” ear for listening. However, some choose a hearing solution, such as the following:

  • A single hearing aid
  • Two hearing aids
  • CROS systems
  • BiCROS systems
  • Bone-conduction devices
  • Bone-anchored implants

What Are CROS Hearing Aids?

CROS hearing aids are for older adults who have near-normal hearing in one ear and hearing loss in the other. CROS hearing aids consist of a transmitter with a microphone that you wear on your ear with hearing loss and a receiver with a speaker that you wear on your better ear. The transmitter picks up sounds on one side and delivers the sounds to your other ear.

CROS hearing aids make it easy to hear conversations taking place on your poorer side. They also help you pick up more environmental sounds, which can improve safety and awareness.

What Are BiCROS Hearing Aids?

BiCROS hearing aids are another option if you have single-sided deafness. They work similarly to CROS hearing aids, but are for individuals who experience hearing loss in their better ear too. A BiCROS hearing aid will amplify sounds in your better ear as well as transmit sounds from your deaf ear to your better ear. Both sides have a microphone, and the sounds get sent to the receiver in the better ear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids for One-Sided Hearing Loss

  • Do hearing aids work for single-sided deafness?

    Hearing aids may help individuals with single-sided deafness, but it depends on the severity of the unilateral hearing loss1. An audiologist can help determine what type of assistive hearing device, if any, could help you to hear better.

  • Is it okay to wear only one hearing aid?

    If you have hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other ear, wearing one hearing aid is sufficient4. However, most individuals with age-related hearing loss experience hearing loss in both ears, even if it’s of varying severities. Research suggests that those individuals are more satisfied when they wear two hearing aids.

  • What type of hearing aid is best for single-sided hearing loss?

    The right solution for single-sided hearing loss depends on the severity of the loss. If you have nonfunctional hearing in one ear, CROS or BiCROS devices can be effective. Regular hearing aids may be sufficient for mild to severe single-sided hearing loss.

  • Will a hearing aid cure my single-sided hearing loss?

    No. Hearing aids cannot cure hearing loss; however, wearing hearing aids can help you hear better.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

Citations
  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2022). Unilateral Hearing Loss (Single-Sided Deafness)

  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Tinnitus

  3. Eargo. (2022). IT’S OUR HONOR TO SERVE THOSE WHO SERVE

  4. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). One hearing aid or two?

  5. The Hearing Journal. (2015). One hearing aid or two?