It’s uncommon for people to get the exact same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is usually a little worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid might be an acceptable choice in some less common situations.
It’s Not accidental That Ears Come in a Pair
Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has specific advantages over using 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. In order to correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs input from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s a lot harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which might be useful, for example, if you live next to a busy street).
- Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist your hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation 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 too can an unused sense. 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 need to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. Using two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work together normally, more modern hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
Is One Hearing Practical in Some Situations?
In most cases, wearing two hearing aids is a smarter option. But the question is raised: If somebody is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?
Usually we hear two different reasons:
- Financial concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can use only one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. Still, you should understand that eventually untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare expenses. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing expert to make certain getting only a single hearing aid is a good plan for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
- You still have perfect hearing in one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could 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 as having one perfect ear).
Two Aids Are Better Than One
Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of situations. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too many to dismiss. So, yes, in most cases, two hearing aids are better than one (just as two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.