It’s uncommon that people get the exact same levels of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear commonly has worse loss of hearing than the other, it sparks the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in most cases, will not be better than two. But a single hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in some less common situations.
There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears
Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are some advantages to wearing two hearing aids.
- The Ability to Properly Localize: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is a lot easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid 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 might be useful, for example, if you live near a busy street).
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work together normally, more modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and advanced features function well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids will also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
- Focusing on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations happening around you. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
Are There Situations Where A Single Hearing Aid Is Practical?
In the majority of cases, wearing two hearing aids is a more effective choice. But that begs the question: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?
Normally we hear two different reasons:
- You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: 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 certainly something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).
- Financial concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can wear only one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should recognize that over time untreated hearing loss has been proven to increase your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to rise by 26 percent after just two years of neglected hearing loss. So talk to your hearing professional to make certain only getting a single hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
Two Aids Are Better Than One
Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of instances. There are simply too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to ignore. In most situations, just like 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 get your hearing checked.