It’s unusual for people to get identical levels 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 get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.
In many cases, two hearing aids are will be preferable to just one. But one hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in certain less common scenarios.
You Have Two Ears For a Reason
Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively function as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over using one.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to interpret sounds but to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. So that you can correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s much more difficult to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which might be useful, for example, if you live near a busy street).
- Improved Ear Health: 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 receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can decrease it and also increase your ability to discern sounds.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work as a pair naturally, more modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
- Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist you in 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 able to filter out background noise letting it decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?
Using a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If somebody is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?
Often we hear two distinct reasons:
- You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs 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).
- Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can use only one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should understand that over time untreated hearing loss has been shown 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 chances of things like falling. So so that you can learn if using one hearing aid is right for you, speak with a hearing care specialist. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two
In the vast majority of situations, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than only one. There are just too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to dismiss. In the majority of circumstances, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.