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

For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact amount of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little bit worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Do I actually need a pair of hearing aids, or can I just manage the ear with more significant hearing loss?

In many situations, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But there are certain instances, dramatically less common instances, that is, that one hearing aid might be the right choice.

There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears

Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. Which means that there are some benefits to using two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: 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 requires input from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s a lot more difficult to figure out where a sound is coming from (which could be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • 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 enables your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to determine what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs linked to hearing receive the input necessary to preserve your hearing. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can reduce it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Is Sensible?

In the majority of instances, using two hearing aids is the better option. But the question is raised: why would somebody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Usually we hear two distinct reasons:

  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you might be best served by using a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely 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 individuals think if they can get by with one they will save money. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to recognize, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your risks for things like falling. So in order to learn if wearing one hearing aid is right for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.

Two Aids Are Better Than One

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too many to dismiss. So, yes, in the majority of circumstances, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro 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.