Man able to enjoy lively party because he's using two hearing aids instead of one.

It’s unusual for people to get the exact same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it sparks the question: Can I just get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

In many situations, two hearing aids are will be better than just one. But one hearing aid might be more appropriate in certain less common circumstances.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

Whether you know it or not, your ears efficiently function as a pair. Which means that there are some benefits to using two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Correctly Localize: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. When you can only hear well from one ear, it’s a lot more difficult to figure out where a sound is coming from (which could be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: Just as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go for long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs connected with hearing get the input they need to preserve your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids will also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations 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 decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: In the same way as your ears work as a pair normally, more modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Circumstances Where A Single Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

Wearing two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that brings up the question: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Commonly we hear two specific reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can use only one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. It’s important to understand, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare expenses have been demonstrated to rise by 26 percent after just two years of neglected hearing loss. So talk to your hearing specialist to make sure only getting one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just 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 certainly something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Better Than One

Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in most circumstances. There are just too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to dismiss. So, yes, in the majority of cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing examined.

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