Dominant ear

What is ear preference?

Is it normal to have a dominant ear? Do we hear better from one ear?

People's left and right ears are never the same. Each has their own and distinct hearing abilities, reflecting, in fact, the functional asymmetry of our brain. The sounds coming from the right ear are processed by the left cerebral hemisphere and vice versa. While the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for processing non-verbal sound information, such as pitch, intensity and timbre, the preponderance of the left ear in listening to music and ambient sounds.

How do we know which is our dominant ear?

To determine which is the dominant ear, we have to pay attention to how we approach the interlocutors who are talking to us. If we turn the left cheek, the dominant ear will be the left. In most cases (90%), the dominant ear is the one that is directly connected to the left hemisphere of the brain (hemisphere responsible for the right function of external inputs).

Left ear dominant (LED)

The left ear is generally more sensitive in picking up sound frequency modulations, such as music and singing. The left ear is rarely the dominant one.

Right ear dominant (RED)

The right ear is more effective at detecting speech stimuli and informational sounds. In most cases, this ear is the dominant ear.

Unilateral hearing loss and ear dominance

Unilateral deafness is defined as a hearing loss in which one ear (the good hear) hears well or nearly well, while the other has severe or profound hearing loss. If the hearing loss is severe or profound, the person hears only out of one ear.

Unilateral hearing loss in children

In the case of children, hearing loss can be recognized from the first months of life. If the hearing impairment is mild, moderate or affects only one ear, a hearing aid can be used.

Unilateral hearing loss in adults

Unilateral hearing loss in adults is hearing loss in one ear. This impairment can cause difficulty in identifying the origin of sounds and the direction of voices. Sometimes, resorting to specific hearing aids (CROS) can improve listening selectivity, perceiving sounds from a microphone placed on the "deaf" ear and towards the normal hearing ear.

How common is single-sided deafness?

Unilateral hearing loss can affect both children and adults and it is not uncommon. It is not known exactly how many people live with this condition, but it is estimated that 60,000 people in the United States alone have one-sided hearing loss.

Dominant ear test

To define the dominant ear, we must simply pay attention to how we approach the interlocutors who are talking to us. If we turn the left cheek, the dominant ear will be the left.

Get support and advice

Book a free hearing test

Book now

Test your hearing online

Take the test

Find your nearest store

Find a store