It’s unusual that people get the same levels of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid might be the right choice.
There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears
Whether you know it or not, your ears efficiently work as a pair. Which means that there are certain advantages to using two hearing aids.
- The Ability to Correctly Localize: Your brain is always working, not just to understand sounds but to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. So that you can correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires input from both ears. It is much more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
- Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation happening near you. Wearing two hearing aids permits your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work as a pair naturally, modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. 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 identify sounds.
Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?
Using two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If a person is using a hearing aid in just one ear, why?
Well, usually there are two reasons:
- Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can wear just one hearing aid. If you really can’t afford to get two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. However, you should know that over time untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs. Even ignoring 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 increase your chances of things like falling. So so that you can learn if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, contact a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
- You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If only 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 thing as having one perfect ear).
One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two
In most situations, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to dismiss. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing checked.