For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact amount of hearing loss. One ear is usually a little bit worse than the other, triggering many to raise the question: Can I just get one hearing aid for 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, however, that one hearing aid might be the way to go.
There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears
Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has some benefits over using one.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always doing work, not just to interpret sounds but to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s a lot more difficult to determine where a sound is coming from (which could be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
- Improved Ear Health: In the same way as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so too 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 need to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can minimize it and also increase your ability to discern sounds.
- Tuning in on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely want to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise letting it determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More recent hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features function well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.
Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?
Using a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that raises the question: If someone is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?
Commonly we hear two specific reasons:
- 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 definitely something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).
- Monetary concerns: Some individuals think if they can get by with only one they will save money. Getting one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should understand that eventually untreated hearing loss has been confirmed 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 neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your risks for things like falling. So talk to your hearing expert to make sure only getting one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
Two Aids Are Preferable to One
Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most situations. There are simply too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to disregard. In most cases, just as having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.