For most people both ears rarely have exactly the same amount of hearing loss. One ear is normally a little worse than the other, sparking many to ask the question: Do I actually need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more considerable hearing loss?
One hearing aid, in many cases, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid might be an acceptable choice in certain less common scenarios.
It’s Not accidental That Ears Are a Pair
Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over using one.
- The Ability to Correctly Localize: Your brain is always working, not only to interpret sounds but to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid signals from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which might be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
- Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on around you. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can decrease it and also increase your ability to discern sounds.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work together naturally, modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features function well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?
In most instances, using a pair of hearing aids is the more effective option. But the question is raised: why would someone use a hearing aid in only one ear?
Well, commonly there are two reasons:
- Financial concerns: Some people think if they can get by with one they will save money. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should understand that over time untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to rise by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So so that you can find out if wearing one hearing aid is right for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
- One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you might 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 as having one perfect ear).
Two Aids Are Preferable to One
Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of cases. There are just too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to dismiss. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing tested.