Given the price of high quality hearing aids, many people naturally wonder whether they really need two hearing aids, or if they could make do with one. Virtually all hearing professionals will state that the many benefits of wearing two hearing aids considerably outweigh the additional cost, but to be fair let’s begin with the reasons why some people don’t require two.
First, if you have hearing loss in one ear but your hearing in the other ear is normal, you obviously don’t need a second hearing aid. Similarly, if you are completely and irrecoverably deaf in one ear, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to help. If you are prone to recurring ear infections, wearing hearing aids can potentially make the situation worse, so wearing a single aid might be an advantage. Or, if you have a specific form of hearing loss where the speech is heard garbled, a hearing aid in that ear may make your comprehension worse by amplifying the garbled speech. Except for these cases, the arguments for wearing two hearing aids are pretty persuasive, and are validated by surveys of consumer preferences and customer satisfaction – most hearing aid users vastly prefer the binaural sound provided by two hearing aids. Two hearing aids greatly enhance your ability to perceive the source of the sounds you hear, and provides a more realistically balanced sound. Studies have shown that most people are able to hear and understand speech better when wearing two aids, because the perceived volume of sound is higher with two hearing aids, which is even more true in a noisy environment.
One factor that is very important is that if you have hearing loss in both ears, wearing only one hearing aid can deprive the other ear of stimulation, causing it to further deteriorate and risking the possibility of total hearing loss in that ear. If you suffer from tinnitus or a ringing in both ears, wearing only one aid will allow the ringing in the other ear to continue. Not surprisingly, consumer research studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less mentally tiring than wearing one.
Collectively, there are numerous reasons why wearing two hearing aids is the better choice and only a few situation where a single one might be recommended. But if you still have your doubts, test it for yourself by making an appointment to see us. You will be able to hear the difference for yourself between one hearing aid and two. Our many years of experience lead us to believe that when you make your decision, you’ll agree with us that two are better than one.