Single-Sided Deafness

Do you have single-sided deafness? Maria's story is fictional, but is based on the experiences of many people with unilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. If your story sounds similar, a cochlear implant or bone conduction implant could be an option.


About Maria

Maria experienced hearing loss in her left ear. She has unilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss, sometimes referred to as single-sided deafness. This type of hearing loss can be treated with a cochlear implant or a bone conduction implant.

Sudden Loss

One morning I woke up and my hearing was just gone. It was like someone had turned the volume way down on life. I couldn’t understand anything my husband was saying to me, and there was this terrible ringing in my left ear. I was dizzy and disoriented, and couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

My husband rushed me to the clinic. My doctor ran some tests, and determined that I had sudden hearing loss with tinnitus in my left ear, but he told us that it might go away on its own. He couldn’t determine the exact cause, so he prescribed corticosteroids and scheduled a check-up the following week to see if things improved. 

Feeling Lost

My hearing had disappeared so suddenly—why couldn’t it just come back? Every night I fell asleep hoping for a miracle, and every morning I woke up so disappointed. I could still hear with one ear, but everything felt so different. I had trouble following conversations, especially if there was any background noise. I had to take a leave of absence from work. I avoided family gatherings and made excuses when friends asked to meet up. Even everyday errands were a challenge.

After weeks of anxiety and despair, I finally came to terms with my hearing loss—and I wasn’t going to let it change my life or redefine who I was. My audiologist set me up with special hearing aids that sent sounds from my bad ear to my good ear. It helped a lot, but I still couldn’t tell where sounds were coming from, and I didn’t like having to wear hearing aids all day.

I finally came to terms with my hearing loss—and I wasn’t going to let it change my life or redefine who I was.

Finding Hope

My audiologist recommended I look into a hearing implant. I met with an ENT specialist, who explained that I was a good candidate for two kinds of implants. The first was a bone conduction implant, which would send sounds to my good ear, like my hearing aids, but could provide better sound quality and be worn much more comfortably. The other option was a cochlear implant, which could actually help restore hearing to my deafened ear.

Gathering Information

I researched both systems and read blogs to see how other people liked their implants. I was really impressed by how overwhelmingly positive people were about their experiences. I felt ready to move forward, and my family was behind me 100%. After talking again with my doctor, I decided to get a cochlear implant, because then I would be able to hear with both ears, which would make it much easier to tell where sounds were coming from.

With my hearing back, I feel like myself again, and I can stay close and connected to everyone in my life.

Feeling Complete

I was surprised at how quickly the surgery went, and I was back at home the same day. I was up and about after a few days of rest. About a month later, it was time to turn on my implant for the first time. I was nervous, but so excited.  When my audiologist activated my implant, I heard my husband speak—his voice sounded different, but after so many months, I could finally hear him with both ears.

Getting used to my implant took time, but I followed a daily rehabilitation programme that really helped improve my listening skills. After a few months, everything began to sound much more natural. I’ve had my implant for almost a year now. It’s taken plenty of effort and patience, but it’s absolutely been worth it. With my hearing back, I feel like myself again, and I can stay close and connected to everyone in my life.   

Why Maria Chose MED-EL

Understanding Speech

Having difficulties understanding speech with background noise left Maria feeling isolated and often exhausted. With her MED-EL cochlear implant, Maria no longer has to avoid busy environments like cafés and restaurants.

Sound Localisation

Maria noticed it was no longer possible to tell where sounds were coming from—a friend calling out across the street or birds chirping in the garden left her searching for the sound. A CI is able to effectively reproduce sound in a deafened ear and reduce problems of sound localisation, making it an ideal solution for Maria.

Return to Normal

Getting back to life as Maria once knew it was her dream, so getting a CI system that wasn’t going to restrict her was important. With the wide variety of connectivity options, waterproof accessories, and choice of audio processors, Maria knew MED-EL was the best way to get back to all the things she loved doing most.

Discreet Wearing Options

Although getting her hearing back was Maria’s top priority, she was worried about how she would look wearing an audio processor. When Maria found out about RONDO 3, she knew she’d found the perfect match. RONDO 3 is a unique single-unit audio processor, meaning everything is combined into a compact piece that can easily be hidden under her hair.

MRI Safety*

Maria had already had two MRIs in the past few years, one for a prolapsed disk and the other on her knee. Maria chose SYNCHRONY 2, as it is covered by our MRI guarantee** and can undergo high-resolution 3.0 T MRI scans without needing to remove the magnet.* For Maria, this means no discomfort***, no hearing downtime, and no surgery.****

These profiles are composites based on real recipients’ experiences. These profiles should not be considered as medical advice or recommendations. These hearing loss profiles are designed to help people better understand the overall hearing journey. Every individual’s hearing is different, so you should speak to your clinician to find out what is best for your needs.

* The SYNCHRONY 2 Cochlear Implant is MR Conditional. Recipients with a SYNCHRONY 2 Cochlear Implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
** The terms and conditions of the MRI Guarantee can be found here.
*** SYNCHRONY 2 has a self-aligning magnet, so there’s no painful magnetic pulling on the implant during an MRI scan.
**** Unless required for diagnostic reasons.

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Cochlear Implant System

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The BONEBRIDGE Bone Conduction Implant can deliver optimal sound quality for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss in only one ear. Find out about how BONEBRIDGE could help you.

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