One Hearing Aid or Two?

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 degree of hearing loss. One ear is usually a small amount worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Do I really need a pair of hearing aids, or can I just treat the ear with more significant hearing loss?

One hearing aid, in most cases, will not be preferable to two. But there are certain instances, significantly less common instances, however, that one hearing aid might be the way to go.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

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

  • The Ability to Correctly Localize: 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 in order to do that, it needs solid inputs 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 could be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist you in hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly 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 decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: Just as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without input signals, your hearing can start to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can minimize it and also increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Is Sensible?

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

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people feel if they can get by with just 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. It’s important to recognize, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even ignoring 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 wearing one hearing aid is right for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could 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 thing 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 the vast majority of circumstances. There are simply too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to ignore. In the majority of situations, just like having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing examined.

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.