It’s unusual for people to get identical amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is normally a small amount worse than the other, sparking many to ask the question: Do I truly need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more substantial loss of hearing?
In many instances, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to only one. But one hearing aid may be more appropriate in some less common situations.
It’s Not accidental That Ears Are a Pair
Your ears efficiently work as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are some advantages to using two hearing aids.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always doing work, not just to understand sounds but to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs input from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which might be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
- Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly need to hear. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work as a pair normally, modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features function well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Improved Ear Health: In the same way 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. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing receive the input necessary to preserve your hearing. Using two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.
Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Scenarios?
Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?
Well, commonly there are two reasons:
- Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can use only one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to understand, however, it has been proven that your general health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. 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 elevate your risks for things like falling. So in order to find out if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
- You still have perfect hearing in one ear: If only 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 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).
One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two
Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of instances. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. So, yes, in most cases, two hearing aids are better than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing examined.