It’s unusual for people to get identical degree of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Can I just use one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in most cases, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in certain less common scenarios.
There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears
Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively function as a pair. Which means that there are certain advantages to wearing two hearing aids.
- Being Able to Localize Properly: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. So that you can correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires input from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s much more difficult to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which may be useful, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features function well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- 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. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs associated with hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids will also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
- Focusing 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 stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Circumstances?
In most cases, wearing two hearing aids is the better choice. But the question is raised: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?
Normally we hear two specific reasons:
- Financial concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can use just one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to get two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. It’s significant to understand, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare costs have been demonstrated to rise by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So talk to your hearing expert to make certain getting only one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
- One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may be best served by using 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 as having one perfect ear).
Two Aids Are Preferable to One
In the vast majority of cases, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to ignore. In most circumstances, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing tested.