|Image by jla0379 from Wikipedia|
What this means is that his ability to hear was much worse in one ear compared with the other... and it was due to nerve damage rather than earwax or fluid in the ears.
Whenever there is this type of nerve hearing discrepancy between the right and left ears, there is concern for the possibility of a benign brain growth called an acoustic neuroma. As this tumor gets larger, it compresses the hearing nerve causing progressive hearing loss on just one side.
Whenever a significant difference in nerve hearing is found on a hearing test, an MRI scan of the internal auditory canal is performed to look for this or other related tumor. Statistically, there is only a 5-10% risk of an acoustic neuroma with the presence of an asymmetric nerve hearing loss.
Fortunately for Bruce Jenner, no tumor was found and hearing aid placement was pursued.
Now, is it absolutely necessary that an MRI be performed? No, though it is the BEST test to further evaluate.
Alternatively, one can perform serial hearing tests every 6-12 months to monitor for any progressive hearing loss... and if present, than pursue an MRI scan.
One can also get a specialized test called an auditory brainstem response (ABR) which measures how quickly a sound gets transmitted to the brain. If a tumor is present, the signal is delayed whereas if no tumor is compressing the hearing nerve, the signal reaches the brain at a normal speed.
Of course, if the ABR comes back abnormal, than an MRI scan would be recommended as the next step.
Read more about asymmetric hearing loss.
‘KUWTK’ Recap: Bruce Jenner Might Have A Brain Tumor. Charter 6/24/13
BRUCE JENNER FEARS BRAIN TUMOR IN HEARING LOSS WOES—WATCH THE NEW KARDASHIANS CLIP. E Online 6/20/13.