For most people both ears rarely have exactly the same degree of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it sparks the question: Can I just get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be better than two. But there are certain instances, significantly less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid might be the right choice.
You Have Two Ears For a Reason
Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over wearing one.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to interpret sounds but to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s a lot harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (which could be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
- Tuning in 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. Wearing two hearing aids enables your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can determine what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer 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 state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
- Improved Ear Health: Just as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can start to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing get the input they need to preserve your hearing. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.
Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Is Practical?
In most instances, wearing a pair of hearing aids is a better option. But the question is raised: why would someone use a hearing aid in just one ear?
Normally we hear two distinct reasons:
- Monetary concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can wear only one hearing aid. Buying one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to know, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare costs have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after just two years of untreated hearing loss. So talk to your hearing specialist to make sure getting only one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.
- You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you might 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).
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 only one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to ignore. In most instances, just as having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing tested.