Is One Hearing Aid Sufficient or do I Need Two?

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 exactly the same amount of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it sparks the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in many cases, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, dramatically less common instances, that is, in which one hearing aid might be the way to go.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means using two hearing aids has specific benefits over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to understand sounds but also to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. So that you can properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires 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 may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist your hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely need to hear. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise letting it determine what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: Just as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can start to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Using two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work together naturally, newer hearing aid technology is made to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Situations Where A Single Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

Using two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that raises the question: If someone is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Often we hear two specific reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may be best served by using 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 individuals feel if they can make do with one they will save money. Getting one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to understand, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your risks for things like falling. So so that you can discover if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, contact a hearing care specialist. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of cases. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to disregard. In the majority of cases, 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 pro to get your hearing checked.

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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