Is One Hearing Aid Sufficient or do I Need Two?

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. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it sparks the question: Do I actually need a pair of hearing aids, or can I just deal with the ear with more substantial loss of hearing?

In many instances, two hearing aids are will be preferable to only one. But one hearing aid may be more appropriate in certain less common circumstances.

There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears

Your ears effectively work as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: In order to determine 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 is able to triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid inputs from both ears. When you can only hear well from one ear, it’s a lot more difficult to determine where a sound is coming from (which might be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations going on near you. Using two hearing aids enables your brain to better tune 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 would want to focus on.
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing get the input they need to maintain your hearing. Using two hearing aids can also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: In the same way as your ears work together naturally, more modern hearing aid technology is created to function as a pair. The artificial intelligence and advanced features function well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Some Circumstances?

In the majority of cases, wearing two hearing aids is a better choice. But that raises the question: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Commonly we hear two specific reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to understand, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. 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 can elevate your risks for things like falling. So talk to your hearing expert to make sure getting only a single hearing aid is a good plan for you. We can also help you figure approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just 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 talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

In most situations, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. There are simply too many benefits to having strong hearing in both ears to disregard. So, yes, in the majority of situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get 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.

Questions? Talk To Us.