It’s unusual for people to get the exact same degree of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear usually has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Can I just get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in many situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, however, that a single hearing aid might be the way to go.
There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears
Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has certain benefits over using one.
- The Ability to Correctly 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 needs signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s much harder to determine where a sound is coming from (which might be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work together normally, modern hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Focusing on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations happening around you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise letting it determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. 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 preserve your hearing by using two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
Are There Instances Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?
Wearing two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If someone is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?
Commonly we hear two different reasons:
- Financial concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can use only one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should know that eventually untreated hearing loss has been proven 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 ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your risks for things like falling. So speak with your hearing expert to make certain getting only a single hearing aid is a good plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
- You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you might be best served by having 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).
One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two
Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of circumstances. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to dismiss. So, yes, in the majority of circumstances, two hearing aids are better than one (just as two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing tested.