“Should I wear one or two hearing aids?” This is a very common question arising from the fact that hearing aids are a major financial investment. Most hearing specialists will state that the advantages of wearing two hearing aids greatly exceed the added cost, but to be fair let’s start with the reasons why some individuals don’t require two.
For starters, if your hearing is fully normal in one ear, you plainly don’t need a second hearing aid for that ear. Conversely, if you are totally 100 percent deaf in one ear, there is no point in having a second hearing aid. Some people experience chronic and recurring ear infections, which can in many cases be aggravated by hearing aids, so in this case wearing a single aid may be an advantage. Or, if you have a specific form of hearing loss where the speech is heard garbled, a hearing aid in that ear may make your comprehension worse by amplifying the garbled speech. Except for these cases, the arguments for wearing two hearing aids are pretty persuasive, and are validated by surveys of consumer preferences and customer satisfaction – most hearing aid users vastly prefer the binaural sound provided by two hearing aids. You will hear a more realistic sound panorama while wearing two hearing aids, and you will also be more able to pinpoint the location of the sounds that you hear. Research studies have demonstrated that two hearing aids also improve your ability to understand speech – especially in noisy environments. If you have hearing loss in both ears, wearing two hearing aids will enable you to keep stimulating both ears, whereas wearing only one can allow the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. If you suffer from tinnitus or a ringing in both ears, wearing only one aid will allow the ringing in the other ear to continue. Finally, many studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less tiring than wearing only one.
All told, the case for wearing two hearing aids is more persuasive than the case for wearing only one. If you’re still unsure, make an appointment so you can make your own assessment while wearing one hearing aid, or two. Experience tell us that you’ll probably agree that two are better than one.