Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

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

It’s unusual that people get identical amount 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.

In most cases, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But there are some instances, dramatically less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid may be the way to go.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. That means wearing two hearing aids has specific advantages over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: 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 signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s much more difficult to determine where a sound is coming from (Which could be useful, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More modern hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, much like your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations happening near you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can start to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing receive the input necessary to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?

In the majority of circumstances, wearing a pair of hearing aids is a smarter option. But the question is raised: why would somebody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Usually we hear two different reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some individuals think if they can make do with only one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should understand that eventually untreated hearing loss has been proven to raise your overall healthcare costs. 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 talk to your hearing professional to make certain only getting a single hearing aid is a smart idea for you. We can also help you brainstorm ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may 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 thing 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 most circumstances. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. So, yes, in the majority of situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing examined.

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.
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