One Hearing Aid or Two?

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

It’s unusual that people get identical amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is usually a little worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Do I really need a set of hearing aids, or can I just manage the ear with more significant hearing loss?

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid may be more appropriate in some less common scenarios.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

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

  • The Ability to Correctly Localize: Your brain is always working, not just to interpret sounds but to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. In order to correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs input from both ears. It is a lot harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which could be useful, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can decrease it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations happening around you. Using two hearing aids enables your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: More recent hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair just like your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Is Sensible?

Using two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But the question is raised: why would anyone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, normally there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people think if they can manage with one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to get two, one is better than not getting one at all. However, you should understand that over time untreated hearing loss has been confirmed to increase your overall healthcare expenses. 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 increase your chances of things like falling. So so that you can 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.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may 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

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of situations. There are just too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to disregard. In most cases, 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 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.