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

It’s unusual for people to get identical amount of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. One ear is usually a little worse than the other, sparking many to ask the question: Do I really need two hearing aids, or can I simply manage the ear with more substantial hearing loss?

In many cases, two hearing aids are going to be better than just one. But there are some instances, dramatically less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid might be the way to go.

There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has certain benefits over using one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: In order to determine where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is a lot easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. It is much more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which may be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. If your ears go for long periods without an input, your hearing can start 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. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can decrease it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work together naturally, newer hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your 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 letting it decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.

Is One Hearing Practical in Certain Circumstances?

Wearing two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that raises the question: why would somebody wear a hearing aid in just one ear?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Buying one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should know that eventually untreated hearing loss has been proven to raise your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare costs have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So in order to learn if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, speak with a hearing care specialist. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If just one of your ears requires 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 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 most circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to 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 most circumstances, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing checked.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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