Single Sided Deafness Solutions | CROS/BiCROS/BAHA Hearing Aids

– If you have a hearing
loss in only one ear, a traditional hearing aid
may not be your best option. That’s why in this video, I’m covering unilateral hearing loss and single-sided deafness, and going over the best treatment options for this type of hearing loss. Coming up! (upbeat instrumental music) Hi, guys, Cliff Olson, Doctor of Audiology and Founder of Applied Hearing
Solutions in Anthem, Arizona, and on this channel I cover a bunch of hearing related information to help make you a
better informed consumer. If you’re into that, consider
hitting the subscribe button. Individuals who have a
hearing loss in only one ear are presented with a
unique set of challenges, particularly if that
hearing loss is so severe that it prevents benefit from
a traditional hearing aid. While some cases of
single-sided hearing loss or unilateral hearing
loss can receive benefit from a traditional hearing aid, there are some cases of
single-sided hearing loss that are so severe that even
when you put a hearing aid on that side, it can’t
amplify sound to a level that becomes clear to the user. Yet, I constantly see in my
clinic individuals coming in with a single-sided hearing loss issue wearing a traditional hearing aid, even though their hearing loss will not receive benefit from it. In the case of single-sided deafness, a traditional hearing aid
definitely won’t work. But, deciding to go
without treating this type of hearing loss can come along with a unique set of problems, namely not being able to
hear and understand someone on your poor side. This problem can be made even worse if your better ear also has
some level of hearing loss, but deciding to go without a treatment for this type of hearing
loss is a bad idea. Mainly because you won’t be
able to understand speech from your bad side. This problem can also be made worse if you have a hearing
loss in your better side, which can compound the hearing difficulty. The reason you can’t just
rely on your better ear for this type of hearing loss is due to the head shadow effect. The head shadow effect is caused
by your head blocking sound from one side to the other. It actually creates a
seven decimal reduction in that sound which is the difference between understanding speech and not even being able to detect it. The good news is, is that there are
several treatment options for this type of hearing loss
and the first one is a CROSS, or Contralateral Routing of Signal. This option is for individuals
who have unusable hearing on their bad side and normal
hearing on their good side. What you basically do
is take a transmitter, put it on that bad side
ear, and transmit sound from that side over to your better ear that’s actually wearing a hearing device. Now, when you look at these devices, they look basically the same, although this one here
is just a transmitter and this one here is
an actual hearing aid. Now, if you go somewhere like a restaurant and you have someone sitting
on the left-hand side of you or your poorer side, their voice will be picked
up by the transmitter and you’ll hear them in your right ear, just as if they were sitting
next to you on the right side. The second option is BiCROSS, which is Bilateral
Contralateral Routing of Signal. This option is great for individuals who have unusable
hearing on their bad side and some level of hearing
loss on their better side. It’s used to overcome
that head shadow effect, but also to compensate for
the level of hearing loss that the better ear has. The setup is exactly the same as a CROSS, the only difference is
is that the hearing aid that’s put on the better side is provided with amplification in order
to overcome the hearing loss on that better side. So, you’re still receiving
sound from the bad side, it’s just sending it
over into a hearing aid that is also amplified. There are several companies that do make CROSS and BiCROSS technology, Signia, which is otherwise
known as Siemens. You also have Starkey, Widex, and Phonak. Your third option is a BAHA, which is a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid. This option is great for both individuals who have normal hearing
on their better side and some level of hearing
loss on their better side. This treatment option works
by using a sound processor to send vibrations through the skull from the bad hearing side
to the better hearing side, which allows you to hear. The processor is fixed to
a metal post or a magnet that is implanted into your skull. Now, this sounds worse than it really is, but at the end of the day, your cochlea, or your hearing organ, can sense the vibration of sound and any vibration of the
skull from your bad side will also be heard by
your better hearing ear. Thus, giving you the effect
of being able to hear sound from your bad side in
your better hearing ear. There are also a few companies that make Bone Anchor Hearing Aids and most notably you
have Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical. In terms of performance, there
is not a lot of difference between the CROSS technology and the Bone Anchor
Hearing Aid technology, however, if you do have a
hearing loss in your better ear, you may not be a candidate
for a Bone Anchor Hearing Aid depending on the severity
of that hearing loss. Overall, treating this
type of hearing loss is not very common for a lot
of hearing care professionals just because they don’t
see it a whole lot. When you’re trying to
find somewhere to go, you need to make sure you find
a hearing care professional who’s comfortable with working
with this type of technology. It is also important to note that if you do have a
single-sided hearing loss issue, your hearing care professional
should be referring you to a ear, nose, and throat physician to identify if it’s
something medical causing it. In rare cases, it could be a
tumor that’s actually sitting on your auditory nerve
that is blocking sound from that side and if it is, it needs to be either
monitored or removed. That’s it for this video. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section below. If you like the video, please share it and if you wanna see more
videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button. I’ll see ya’ next time. (upbeat electronic music)

Bernard Jenkins


  1. Thank you. Before your video, I was not aware of the BAHA system. This video could have been written specifically to describe my hearing loss. I have lost all hearing in my left ear and severe loss in my right ear. I have been using the Phonak BiCros system for about 5 years now and am now using my second pair. Hearing aids have totally changed my life. Each day is a new adventure!

  2. Valuable Information! But traditional hearing aids are way too much expensive and sometimes not really worth it.

  3. Thank you Dr. Olson!This is terrific information put in layperson terms. Greatly appreciated, especially like the diagram showing the shadow effect.

  4. Dr. Olson,

    Thank you for your videos. They are truly informative.
    I’m looking for a SSD hearing aid and currently am in between the Phonak Audeo B-R and the Untiron Moxi Now which I have been informed are from the same company and have a relationship similar to Toyota and Lexus. From what I’ve seen in researching these and sticking to the car analogy, Phonak is more like the Lexus while Unitron is more like the Toyota. Both have similar “engines” but the Phonak has more features. I’m interested in hearing your opinion on each of these devices or maybe seeing a video on this wishful thinking

  5. Hello doctor, i have SSD. I am wondering to have ad hear from med el or bone bridge implant. Which one do you suggest? I have been living it for quite some time, so most of the time i feel comfortable enough with only one good ear. I have tried the ad hear, its good, its comfortable and the sound is 90% natural. When i use traditional hearing aid, the sound isnt natural, its like hearing everyone talking with a mic and its unconfortable, i felt dizzy and the knocking sounds made my head hurt. I would like to go with bone bridge implant but my concern is that when i tried ad hear, and both my ears are open, the sound is dominantly from my good side, like 95% coming from them. The difference is only that i can hear sounds from my bad ear side

  6. My biggest concern is cost honestly. I want a good solution that won't break the bank.

  7. Thanks for this videoDr. Cliff. 3 weeks after receiving a flu shot I had sudden hear loss in my right ear, hearing is great in left ear. After 3 steroid ear injections and 2 hearing test I was told today by my ENT doctor that I'll need a dual cross device. I'm kinda afraid not knowing what to expect. I'm praying for normalcy in my life again through hearing in what sounds like both ears. I read wear one person on hear said, the device made her dizzy and bad headaches. Please give me hope that this won't be the case for me.

  8. I am 100% deaf in my right ear, found out when I failed the hearing test at the beginning of kindergarten, (30 years ago) some of my family had suspicions before I was five but because my ear looked normal my dr said I was fine. Test came back with nerve ending damage. My Question is, wich one would be the best for me? Also would cochlear implant be a possibility?

  9. Sir I have my right ear is deaf so I know the Cros hearing aid cost

  10. Do you know if Medicare pays for the BAHA, CROSS or BiCROSS? Thanks

  11. Thanks for this video Dr Cliff, 3 months ago, I got flu and loss my hearing on one side (right ear). My ent doctor diagnosed that I had sudden deafness. I got 3 time steroid injection and hyperbaric treatment, but it didnt work well. And he gave me advice to do 'cochlear implant', but i'm not ready yet. Is there other solution? Could i use cros or bicros device? Because my left ear works well and i still can hear from my right ear, although it isnt clear.

  12. Thank you, this is very useful. I have intracochlear schwannoma and one of those is likely in my future. Your channel was immensely helpful in navigating the choice of my current hearing aid. Thank you 🙂

  13. What questions should I ask the audiologist when I purchase and get fitted for a BiCROS device? Thanks

  14. What can you suggest Doc, for a Stage 2 Microatia and Atresia patient whom is 38 years old??

  15. Hello Dr. Cliff. I have moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss on my right ear and severe to profound sensorineural loss on my left ear. Will BiCros setup work for me or shall I just stick to binaural hearing aids? I appreciate your videos a lot. Thanks in advance for your advice.

  16. I sustained hearing loss when an enfant but didn't know until 3rd grade. I'd learned to read lips by then.
    Then a guy from Miracle Ear came to my home. Said I was more deaf in my right ear. I asked, "Then why is it when using the phone I can't hardly hear what's said using my left ear, but hear clearly using my right ear?" He said that this is not unusual.
    My question, is this true?
    My hearing loss is minimal, has never changed. So I don't need to wear hearing aids. However, if ever needed, I certainly would!
    I'm still wearing ear plugs due to my husband blaring the TV. If I don't, the sound actually cause pain in my ears.
    Thanks again for an educational and insightful video!

  17. I had a CROS but found that wearing two devices was so uncomfortable, I have very small oval shaped ear canals.
    Had the BAHA Attract surgery in June, trying to get used to wearing it. Cochlear America and Kaiser Permanante here in Sacramento are very committed to getting this right for me, but eeks this has been a process.

  18. Dear Doctor I had tinnitus on my left year 8 months ago and after injecting steroids I managed to improve left year around 30-45 decibels at 250 and 500 Hz. Hearing level for other frequencies above 500 Hz are above 75 decibels. I cannot hear anything if I go to a noisy area. Please suggest me a good hearing aid. My right year is normal except for frequencies above 4000 Hz (50-70 decibels) as I am closer to 70 years of age. Thank you

  19. Would this be an option for someone born with congenital bilateral deafness . i was told i am not a canidate for the cross over hearing aid.

  20. im 100% deaf in my left ear and i just had the surgery for the BAHA i get my hearing aid next week and i had the surgery 2 months ago since i was 6 i was deaf in my left and we got told there was nothing to help me i had the cross sytem but that didnt help at all but i hope this one will work i cant wait Please Read 🙂

  21. What are the relative for each solution you describe. I have single-sided deafness that started to onset at the age of 7. By the time I was 12 I was 95% deaf in one ear. I'm 50 now and was recently told that cross hearing aids would run me approximately $8,000. Is this true?

  22. I am really interested in the price of this product even if you can give me a approximation it will be more than enough.!!!

  23. my hearing loss is about 110 decible in my right ear..i dont hear anything with it..i have tinittus also.it has been about 10 years… now i am 20..hearing loss with tinnitus is very annoying and i feel depressed.. what should i do…what is the best possible way to prevent it??
    please help me..i need help…

  24. Sir…name is dikshith I can only feel a vibration n small hearing when I put my earpods on …n I can't hear when people speak kindly suggest me procedure what should I do

  25. I have loss 97% right ear when i was 5 now I am 47 so treatment is possible or not.Ear drums are ok.

  26. March of this year, 2018, I developed an SSD to my right ear. After having my 4th hearing test (yesterday), my Dr. suggested a CROS system. I asked about a BAHA, and he said that during the hearing test, the bone in the right ear will not transmit sound or vibration. So the BAHA system will not work for me. Question is, why doesn't insurance cover the CROS system?? As well, what the hell caused it?? Thanks!!

  27. I can only hear from left side since my birth is there anything that can cure that and playing video games and listening to songs from handfree or headphones are bad for my ear

  28. Thank you for your series. Which option is your recommendation for children? My 6 year old has unilateral grade 1 microtia and conductive hearing loss in that ear. He has normal hearing in the other ear. His hearing test results show he is a candidate for either. Corrective surgery to open ear canal is not a desirable option for us.

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    1 Like buy

  30. With the CROS hearing aid you just showed, can you wear like earphone or something ? or do we have a option for in-canal devices which can work on CROS technology ?

  31. What if you have perfect hearing on one side but moderate loss with sharp decline on higher tones

  32. Sir,I have 80% hearing loss in my left ear but right ear is normal.what should i do? Please advice….

  33. I have a cros but still have a lot of problems with picking up sound on my bad side. I still have problems in restaurants too. We are considering a BAHA but you said cros was better?

  34. I have CROS from phonak and I'm facing an issue:
    When my surrounding is loud (like sitting in a plane, in a subway or in a restaurant with loud background noise like many ppl talking) my hearing aid is not possible to filter those background noises. Which means I hear background noise as loud as my talking partner next to me which is bad because I can hardly hear them bcoz of loud background noise. Isn't there any kind of noise cancelling like in headphones?
    best regards Geek000

  35. Sir i have sensorineural hearing loss in the right ear. But my left ear is totally normal. Is there any treatment for me? Please suggest.

  36. I wish you were my audiologist!

    I find your videos so helpful and this video specifically as I’m profoundly deaf in my left ear and more than half deaf in my right. There are many times I still struggle with my deafness even though I have been wearing hearing aid for more than 35 years.

    Anyways, it’s a shame I don’t live over in the U.S ….. I ’m in Melbourne Australia but hopefully I’ll find a decent audiologist like yourself.

    Again, thanks for the video.


  37. This was hugely helpful. Thank you! I especially appreciate the comment that not all audiologists are used to handling this. Do you have any sense of if the BAHA bluetooth, or outside piece, is getting smaller as we gain in technology? And as things change, can the device we get today upgrade with that technology?

  38. Also which one is better I have a baha but the batteries are expensive and can't use it and planing on going to school and I have completely hearing lost in my right ear but have full hearing in my left would the cros be better and who do I go to ask about it

  39. Was born with SSD (right ear). Use to tell my friends that locating sound is superhuman in my world 🙂 also, lots of noise further lowers my hearing capacity (cocktails, receptions, etc), people that know automatically walk on my left side (such as wife), arriving early at meetings is important so i can strategically sit for discussion purposes, etc etc

    Now planning to get hearing aid – we’ll see how it goes 👍

  40. How can I surprise my dad? I wan him to hear with his right ear again.. anything I can do to make that happen?

  41. Hi, Could you do a comparison of the various Cros brands, especially an objective comparison of their performance in noisy environments?

  42. I just feel like my right ear is keep getting blockde and it hurts and my dad is on work he is far from home my mom doesnt know how to drive and i think this might be it for my right ear

  43. Generally, would this technology help someone with Meniere's disease? I've had it since 2004, and it's only the right ear. The hearing loss is periodic and is usually a 35 dB loss according to test I've had at the VA.

  44. Hi Dr. Cliff,
    If you have a SSD with some hearing on the bad ear, would BICROS give you extra brain stimulation (to prevent dementia) over CROS or traditional devices?

  45. Hi, Dr cliff….I had SSHL in my left ear and after going through Steroids and Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy there is less improvement (65 decibel only). What are your suggestions and what device would be best for me

  46. I was born deaf in my left ear,I’m now 30 and always wondered if there was any hope…

  47. I was born with an ear deformity, blocking the war canal. But all organs are perfectly normal, but still, I can't hear from the rigjt ear.

  48. Thank you for this video, I have SSD in my left ear, severe hearing loss, and just above the line of severe on my right ear. In two days I have an appointment to have a hearing aid from my hospital (Canadian) for three months trial, before I am give a perception by my ENT to go purchase. I'm excited to be able to hear again, but nervous that I won't be able to get the same treatment you recommend.

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