Man able to enjoy lively party because he's using two hearing aids instead of one.

It’s unusual that people get identical levels of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. One ear is usually a small amount worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Do I really need a set of hearing aids, or can I just manage the ear with more considerable loss of hearing?

In many instances, two hearing aids are going to be better than only one. But one hearing aid might be more appropriate in some less common situations.

There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears

Your ears efficiently function as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has some benefits over wearing one.

  • The Ability to Correctly Localize: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is a lot easier when your brain can triangulate, and in order to do that, it needs solid signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s much harder to determine where a sound is coming from (Which could be useful, for instance, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs connected with hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation happening around you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise letting it decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: In the same way as your ears work as a pair normally, modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Is One Hearing Practical in Certain Situations?

Wearing two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: why would anyone wear a hearing aid in just one ear?

Commonly we hear two specific reasons:

  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some individuals feel if they can make do with just one they will save money. Getting one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to understand, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even ignoring hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can increase your chances of things like falling. So in order to discover if using one hearing aid is right for you, consult with a hearing care specialist. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in most situations. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. In most circumstances, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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