It’s unusual for people to get identical levels of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is normally a little worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Can I just get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.
One hearing aid, in many situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are certain instances, significantly less common instances, however, in which one hearing aid could be the way to go.
You Have Two Ears For a Reason
Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. Which means that there are some advantages to wearing two hearing aids.
- Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to understand sounds but also to place them so that you can determine where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which might be useful, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
- Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work as a pair normally, newer hearing aid technology is created to function as a pair. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.
- Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs connected with hearing get the input necessary to maintain your hearing. Using two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
- Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly need to hear. Wearing two hearing aids permits your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can determine what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
Is One Hearing Practical in Certain Situations?
In the majority of instances, wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice. But the question is raised: why would someone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?
Normally we hear two different reasons:
- Monetary concerns: Some people think that they can save money if they can wear 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 recognize that eventually untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will increase your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing expert to make certain only getting one hearing aid is a good idea for you. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
- One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only 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 certainly 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 Better Than One
In the vast majority of situations, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. There are just too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to dismiss. In most instances, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing examined.