It’s uncommon that people get the exact same levels of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear commonly has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Do I really need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more considerable hearing loss?
One hearing aid, in many situations, will not be better than two. But a single hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in certain less common circumstances.
It’s Not an Accident That Ears Come in a Pair
Your ears effectively work as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means using two hearing aids has some benefits over wearing one.
- The Ability to Properly Localize: Your brain is always working, not only to understand sounds but also to place them in order to determine where they’re coming from. This is a lot easier when your brain can triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. When you can only hear well from one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which might come in handy, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
- Improved Ear Health: Just as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. Using two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work as a pair naturally, newer hearing aid technology is created to work 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, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Concentrating When People Are Talking: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely need to hear. Using two hearing aids allows your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
Are There Instances Where One Hearing Aid Is Practical?
In most cases, wearing a pair of hearing aids is the smarter choice. But the question is raised: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?
Usually we hear two different reasons:
- One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s certainly something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).
- Financial concerns: Some individuals feel if they can manage with one they will save money. Getting one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should recognize that eventually untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare expenses. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your chances of things like falling. So so that you can learn if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, consult with a hearing care specialist. We can also help you brainstorm ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
Two Aids Are Preferable to One
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 good hearing in both ears to ignore. So, yes, in the majority of circumstances, 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.