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

For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact degree of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In many cases, two hearing aids are will be preferable to just one. But a single hearing aid might be more appropriate in certain less common situations.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Come in a Pair

Whether you know it or not, your ears efficiently function as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has specific advantages over wearing one.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: In order to determine where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (which may be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely want to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: Just as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.

Are There Instances Where A Single Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

In the majority of instances, wearing two hearing aids is a more effective option. But that raises the question: If somebody is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Normally we hear two distinct reasons:

  • You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s certainly something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some people think if they can make do with just one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to get two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. However, you should know that with time untreated hearing loss has been confirmed to raise your overall healthcare costs. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing expert to make certain only getting a single hearing aid is a smart plan for you. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to 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 many to disregard. In most situations, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing tested.

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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