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 degree of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a small amount worse than the other, triggering many to raise the question: Do I truly need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more significant loss of hearing?

In most cases, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to just one. But one hearing aid may be more appropriate in some less common scenarios.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Are a Pair

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means using two hearing aids has certain benefits over using one.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: In order to determine 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 needs solid inputs from both ears. It is a lot harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on near you. Because your brain has more sound input 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.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to preserve your hearing by using two hearing aids. Using two hearing aids will also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Some Situations?

Using a pair of hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that begs the question: If a person is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Normally we hear two specific reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: 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 people feel that they can save money if they can wear just one hearing aid. Buying one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should know that with time untreated hearing loss has been verified to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your chances of things like falling. So talk to your hearing professional to make certain only getting a single hearing aid is a smart idea for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most situations. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to ignore. So, yes, in the majority of situations, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro 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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