For most people both ears rarely have the same exact degree of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it sparks the question: Do I truly need two hearing aids, or can I simply manage the ear with more substantial loss of hearing?
One hearing aid, in many situations, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid might be an acceptable choice in some less common situations.
It’s Not an Accident That Ears Are a Pair
Your ears efficiently work as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has specific benefits over using one.
- The Ability to Correctly Localize: In order to determine where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires signals from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s a lot harder to determine where a sound is coming from (which could be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features function well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Improved Ear Health: Just as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs linked to hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also improve your ability to identify sounds.
- Tuning in When People Are Talking: 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 going on around you. Using two hearing aids allows your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can determine what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?
In the majority of cases, wearing two hearing aids is a smarter choice. But the question is raised: why would anybody wear a hearing aid in only one ear?
Well, normally there are two reasons:
- You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could be best served by using a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).
- Monetary concerns: Some individuals feel if they can manage with one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should understand that with time untreated hearing loss has been confirmed to increase your overall healthcare costs. Even ignoring hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing specialist to make certain only getting one hearing aid is a good idea for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
Two Aids Are Preferable to One
In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to ignore. In the majority of circumstances, just like having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing checked.