Hearing Health Blog

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

It’s uncommon that people get the exact same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. Because one ear usually has worse loss of hearing than the other, it sparks the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

In many situations, two hearing aids are will be preferable to just one. But there are some instances, significantly less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid may be the way to go.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

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

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: In order to figure out 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 can triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. It is a lot harder to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which may be useful, for instance, if you live near a busy street).
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can start to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids will also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: In the same way as your ears work together normally, more modern hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Wearing two hearing aids allows your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to determine what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Circumstances?

In most cases, wearing two hearing aids is the smarter option. But that brings up the question: If somebody is using a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Usually we hear two different reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs 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).
  • 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 with time untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to rise by 26 percent after just two years of untreated hearing loss. So in order to discover if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you brainstorm ways to make hearing aids more affordable.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

In the vast majority of situations, however, two hearing aids are going to be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to ignore. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.

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