ZocdocAnswersWhy am I having trouble hearing out of only one of my ears?

Question

Why am I having trouble hearing out of only one of my ears?

My hearing seems to have gone down on my right side. The right ear feels fuzzy and when I plug my ears one at a time, the left ear is definitely better. What could be causing this?

Answer

There are several potential causes of decreased hearing in one ear, and your primary care doctor would be your first stop in helping you figure it out. First of all, it will be important to make sure this is not simply from having ear wax or some other object plugging up your right ear. Your doctor can tell this quickly by looking inside your ear. If there is wax, it is a simple procedure for your doctor to remove it in the office and to prescribe you some ear drops to keep it from building back up again. Another common cause of hearing loss is from fluid behind the ear. This is quite common after a recent cold or flu virus and it can last for several weeks. Again this can be diagnosed by your doctor, although the treatment tends to be waiting it out, as no medications are very effective. When you go to see your doctor you will want to mention any other symptoms, especially any ringing in the ears, any sensation of pain or fullness in the ear, and any dizziness or unsteadiness on your feet, as these are all clues to the cause of the hearing loss. Good luck!

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