Two Hearing Aids or One?

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

For most people both ears rarely 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 simply manage the ear with more considerable hearing loss?

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

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Come in a Pair

Your ears effectively work as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids have specific benefits over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to understand sounds but to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. So that you can correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to determine where a sound is coming from (which may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation happening near you. Because your brain has more sound input 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.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: More modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: Just as unused muscles can atrophy, so 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 guarantees that the organs connected with hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Circumstances?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that begs the question: why would anyone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Often we hear two specific reasons:

  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires 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 talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Monetary concerns: Some individuals think if they can make do with only one they will save money. Buying one hearing aid is better than getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to recognize, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear will increase your risks for things like falling. So so that you can find out if using one hearing aid is right for you, consult with a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure out approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.

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 situations. There are just too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to dismiss. In the majority of cases, just as 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 pro to have 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.