## I Have SSD

Here is a copy of my post "I have SSD":

Hello. My name is George Hernandez and I have Single Sided Deafness (SSD). SSD means I'm deaf in one ear — I've been completely deaf in my left ear since I was an infant.

This is my "coming out" post for SSD. While a fair number of people know I have SSD, this is the first time that I've explicitly stated it on this website or any public forum. I don't care who knows anymore. I will not live in fear with how people might use this information. I am not going to concern myself with how other people will think differently of me when they find out I have SSD. If anything, I want people to know ASAP so that we can deal with any logistical or pragmatic issues related with SSD as simply as possible.

Why am I coming out now? Well on 2007-11-13, I was poking around Wikipedia and I somehow got onto the page about Unilateral hearing loss [W]. One of the links on that page was for Single Sided Deafness, or Unilateral Hearing Loss [http://909ers.apl.washington.edu/~dushaw/SSD/index.html] by Brian Dushaw. After a few minutes of going over his pages, I felt compelled to send him an email. Here is our little exchange:

I found your pages on Single Sided Deafness (SSD) a few minutes ago.

I too am completely deaf in my left ear while my right ear hears fine. I've had SSD my whole life. SSD is a fairly big thing but it's also fairly minor. SSD is just one fact about me.

I just wanted to say that I found your pages surprisingly very comforting. My SSD is something that I have avoided telling people but I'm sort of tired of that. The frankness of your pages certainly helps me feel whole.

Thanks again!

-George Hernandez

Hi George,

I am glad you found the web pages helpful. Just so you know, I get a couple of compliments like yours a month on the web page - we are all in this together! :) The e-mails tell me that putting the web page together was entirely worthwhile. Thanks for taking the time to send me the note.

Best,
B.D.

I've started a page on SSD for several reasons:

• In honor of Brian. I've been leaning towards being more open about my SSD but it was his site that pushed me over the edge. Thanks!
• To explore the topic of SSD myself.
• The world can use another page on SSD!

I'm introverted (possibly related to SSD) but I'm an open person and it is very freeing to come out!

## Defining SSD

Single Sided Deafness (SSD). Aka Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL); being deaf in one ear; having a bad ear. I personally prefer the term SSD over UHL because UHL sounds like the loss is occurring presently. SSD assumes that the other ear is "normal", otherwise the person has a some sort of plain old deafness! A further distinction should be made about degrees of hearing loss.

• 90-120+ dB. Profound or total deafness. That's my left ear.
• 60-90 dB. Severe deafness.
• 30-60 dB. Moderate deafness.
• 10-30 dB. Mild deafness.

As far as loudness, the "volume" of sound is sound pressure level (SPL in decibels or dB), as placed on a unitless logarithmic scale that correlates the sound pressure (Prms in Pa) and the ambient sound pressure (P0 in Pa):

SPL = 20*log(Prms/P0)

Here are some common noises in dB:

• 0 dB. Auditory threshold
• 10 dB. Leaves rustling
• 25 dB. Calm room
• 50 dB. Normal talking at 1 m
• 70 dB. Car at 10 m
• 85 dB. Hearing damage with long term exposure
• 100 dB. Jackhammer at 1 m
• 130 dB. Pain threshold
• 140 dB. Rifle at 1 m
• 150 dB. Jet engine at 30 m
• 194 dB. Theoretical sound limit at 1 atm

Globally, approximately 0.1% are deaf. I don't know what the stats are for people with SSD.

## Living With SSD

Here are a few simple things about living with SSD.

• If the room is even a little noisy, I may have trouble hearing you. It usually not a matter of volume. Those with binaural or stereo hearing can not only localize sound, but they can also to some degree isolate sounds (ignore some sounds). In contrast, those with monaural or mono hearing have limited localizing ability (by turning the head and trying to distinguish volume) and cannot isolate sounds (i.e. we get much more "noise"). In some cases, all I can effectively hear is "noise" and thus I become effectively deaf but without the advantage of not being able to hear the noise.
• Whether sitting, standing, or moving about, I try to position myself so I can hear. I will turn my head, or walk around you, or seat myself for optimal hearing. I have a friend who has mild SSD on his right side: I walk on his left and he walks on my right. It works out perfectly!
• My right ear works perfectly fine. Especially if the room is quiet and you are close. I've always had some mild paranoia that I could lose hearing in my good ear and hence become completely deaf. Hence I'm protective about my right ear. I will also avoid loud situations in order to protect my one good ear.
• Sleeping on the good ear in order to block out noise is effective sometimes.
• One of the reasons I like to communicate via email, IM, letters, web pages, etc. is that in those cases my SSD is moot.
• If I'm on the phone and you're in the room trying to talk to me, then I cannot hear you at all. You'll have to flag me visually. The same thing if occurs if I'm using monaural headsets. Binaural or stereo headsets suck for those with SSD. Imagine just getting just the piano but not the bass.
• My SSD may contribute to my introversion and shyness, especially since I can hardly hear at parties.
• We SSD folks are not deaf and if we have a perfectly good ear, then we're not exactly Hard of Hearing (HH) either.
• I think my SSD has encouraged self-education (by reading and personal experimentation) as opposed to learning by listening.