Do I Actually Need Two Hearing Aids?

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

For most people both ears don’t normally have exactly the same amount of hearing loss. Because one ear usually has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Do I actually need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply deal with the ear with more substantial loss of hearing?

In many situations, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to only one. But there are some instances, significantly less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid might be the way to go.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are some advantages to using two hearing aids.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to interpret sounds but also to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which could come in handy, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to help your 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 capable of filtering out background noise letting it determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, much like your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs associated with hearing receive the input they need to preserve your hearing. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also improve your ability to identify sounds.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?

In most circumstances, wearing two hearing aids is a better option. But the question is raised: If someone is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Commonly we hear two different reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some individuals feel if they can get by with only one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to get two, one is better than not getting one at all. It’s important to recognize, however, it has been proven that your general health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. 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 chances of things like falling. So in order to discover if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, consult with a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If just 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 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).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be healthier for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too many to disregard. So, yes, in the majority of cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing checked.

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