For most people both ears rarely have the same exact degree of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Do I really need two hearing aids, or can I just manage the ear with more considerable hearing loss?
One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid may be the way to go.
There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears
Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has certain benefits over wearing one.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always doing work, not just to interpret sounds but to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. So that you can correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. It is much harder to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which might be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
- Focusing on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist your hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise letting it decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Newer hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go for long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can decrease it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Some Situations?
Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If a person is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?
Usually we hear two different reasons:
- One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you might be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s certainly something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).
- Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can save money if they can wear just one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to get two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. However, you should understand that eventually untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare expenses. 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 will elevate your risks for things like falling. So talk to your hearing professional to make sure getting only a single hearing aid is a good plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two
Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most circumstances. There are simply too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to disregard. In most instances, just as having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.