One Hearing Aid or Two?

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

It’s unusual for people to get the same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it sparks the question: Do I really need a set of hearing aids, or can I just treat the ear with more significant hearing loss?

In most cases, two hearing aids are will be preferable to only one. But there are certain instances, significantly less common instances, that is, that a single hearing aid may be the right choice.

You Have A Pair of 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 benefits to using two hearing aids.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to interpret sounds but also to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to determine where a sound is coming from (Which may come in handy, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work as a pair normally, more modern hearing aid technology is created to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids will also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist your hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly want to hear. Wearing two hearing aids allows your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you would want to focus on.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

Using two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But the question is raised: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Normally we hear two different reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can wear just one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to understand, however, it has been proven that your general health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to increase by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So in order to discover if wearing one hearing aid is the right choice 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 only one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you may be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of instances. There are just too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to disregard. In most circumstances, just as having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing tested.

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.