Unilateral hearing loss

UHL is when a child has normal hearing sensitivity on one ear and any degree of loss on the impaired side. It is estimated that up to 6.3%1, or 4.4 million children2, in the United States have UHL.

Hearing well in a multitude of situations can be particularly challenging, especially for kids and teens with unilateral hearing loss (UHL). Having solutions which allow them to fully participate and are capable of keeping up with their active lives is essential to their overall sense of well-being in and outside of the classroom.


UHL effects on children

Untreated UHL may result in language delays and academic difficulties, but may also cause a child to suffer from fatigue, feel withdrawn or leave them susceptible to a greater risk of social and emotional difficulties.

Research indicates:

  • Children with UHL are 10 times more likely to need to repeat a year of school than children with normal hearing.3
  • They are 5 times more likely to need support services.4
Hispanic girl at school
Chatting teen

Unique solutions for all

Due to the mixed and broad nature of UHL there is no ‘one fits all’ solution. Various and/or a combination of unique solutions is required to meet a young listeners specific needs. The particular choice of solution may even vary as kids grow and find themselves with different listening challenges.

  • When the impaired ear is aidable, the Phonak SkyTM B family of pediatric hearing aids, with its 6 models and pediatric features, is optimized for a child’s listening environment.
  • For a child with single sided deafness or unusable hearing on one ear, the Phonak CROS B behind-the-ear models work seamlessly with the Sky B family*.  There is no manual adjustment needed for use - even with Roger.
  • For hearing in noise and over distance, the discreet RogerTM Focus receiver, worn on the normal ear and paired with a Roger microphone, provides improved speech understanding in typical classroom noise.

*not recommended with the rechargeable Sky B-PR.


Ready for success

At Phonak, we understand the needs faced by young listeners with UHL. For this reason, we have developed a number of dedicated solutions, proven to improve kids’ access to speech even in challenging environments, for all ages and hearing losses. Designed to be easy to use and fit, while ensuring that listening remains fun, our goal is to provide all children with UHL the best possible tools in order to be ready for success.


Evidence Downloads

White Paper: Quick Practice Guideline - Tools and considerations for assessing and managing unilateral hearing loss in children

Bagatto, M. et al., 2018

White Paper: Phonak Compendium: A Review of Unilateral Hearing Loss in Children

Smith, C. and Drexler, J., 2018

Field Study: Remote microphone listening devices for children and adults with unilateral hearing loss

Rance, G., 2018


Phonak Sky™ B


The hearing aid family for mild to profound hearing loss, specifically optimized for kids and teens.

Phonak CROS B


Phonak CROS™ B is the wireless CROS device based on Phonak Belong technology.

Roger Focus

Roger Focus SlimTube

A discreet behind-the-ear receiver for children with normal hearing, attention or auditory processing issues, brings speech directly into a child’s ear for better understanding.

Roger Pen

Roger Pen Family

A discreet, wireless Roger microphone that delivers superior speech-in-noise and over distance performance.

Roger Touchscreen Mic

Roger Touchscreen Mic Standing

This exciting and easy to use wireless teacher microphone is the core component of the Roger for Education portfolio and gives students and teachers alike the opportunity...

Roger Select


This microphone uses the MultiBeam Technology and gives teens discrete control in large, noisy conversations.


1 Ross DS, Visser SN, Holstrum, WJ, Qin T, Kenneson A. Highly variable population-based prevalence rates of unilateral hearing loss after the application of common case definitions.  Ear and Hearing. February 2010;31(1): 126-133. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e3181bb69db

2 Pop1 Child Population: Number of Children (in millions) Ages 0–17 in the United States by Age, 1950–2016 and Projected 2017–2050. ChildStats.gov Forum on Child and Family Statistics. https://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/pop1.asp  Accessed October 23, 2017.

3 Bess, F.H. & Tharpe, A.M. (1986). Case history data on unilaterally hearing-impaired children. Ear & Hearing, 7, 14 –19.

4 Oyler, R.F., Oyler, A.L., Matkin, N.D. (1988). Unilateral hearing loss: demographics and educational impact. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. 19, 201–210