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.

For most people both ears rarely have the same exact degree of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a small amount worse than the other, triggering many to raise the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in most cases, will not be better than two. But one hearing aid may be more appropriate in certain less common circumstances.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Come in a Pair

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears efficiently function as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: In order to determine where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s a lot more difficult to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which may be useful, for example, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on around you. Wearing two hearing aids lets your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to decide what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work together normally, more modern hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like 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. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can decrease it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Situations?

Wearing two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But the question is raised: If someone is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should know that over time untreated hearing loss has been verified to raise your overall healthcare costs. 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 will elevate your chances of things like falling. So in order to learn if using one hearing aid is right for you, speak with a hearing care specialist. We can also help you brainstorm 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 could be best served by using 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).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most situations. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. In the majority of situations, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing examined.

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