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

For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact amount of hearing loss. One ear is normally a little worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Do I really need a set of hearing aids, or can I just deal with the ear with more significant hearing loss?

In many situations, two hearing aids are going to be better than just one. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, however, that a single hearing aid could be the right choice.

There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are some benefits to wearing two hearing aids.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to interpret sounds but to place them so that you can determine where they’re coming from. This is a lot easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and in order to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. It is much harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (Which might come in handy, for instance, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. 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 connected with hearing get the input necessary to maintain your hearing. If you have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on near you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to focus 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 sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Situations Where A Single Hearing Aid Is Practical?

In most instances, using two hearing aids is the better option. But that raises the question: why would someone use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Often we hear two distinct reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think if they can get by with 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 understand, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can increase your chances of things like falling. If you want to discover if wearing one hearing aid is right for you, consult with us. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could 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).

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. In most instances, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to have your hearing checked.

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.