Is One Hearing Aid Enough or do I Need Two?

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

It’s uncommon for people to get the exact same amount of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Do I really need two hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more considerable hearing loss?

In many situations, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to just one. But there are certain instances, dramatically less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid might be the right choice.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

Your ears effectively work as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. Which means that there are some advantages to using two hearing aids.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: 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 correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (which could be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely want to hear. Using two hearing aids permits your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can determine what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing get the input necessary to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids will also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: More modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair just like your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Circumstances?

Using two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But the question is raised: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Usually we hear two different reasons:

  • You still have perfect hearing in one ear: 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 certainly something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some people think if they can make do with just one they will save money. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. Still, you should know that with time untreated hearing loss has been verified to raise your overall healthcare costs. Even disregarding 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 increase your risks for things like falling. So talk to your hearing professional to make certain getting only a single hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.

Two Aids Are Better Than One

In most situations, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to ignore. In the majority of cases, just as having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing checked.

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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.