Hearing Health Blog

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

It’s unusual that people get the exact same amount of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. One ear is normally a little bit worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Can I just get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In many instances, two hearing aids are will be preferable to just one. But there are some instances, dramatically less common instances, that is, that one hearing aid may be the way to go.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

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

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: 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. When you’re only able to hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (which may be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs linked to hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid your hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise letting it decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work together naturally, modern hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If somebody is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Well, normally there are two reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you might 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 as having one perfect ear).
  • Monetary concerns: Some people think if they can make do with just one they will spend less. If you really can’t afford to get two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should know that with time untreated hearing loss has been verified to increase your overall healthcare expenses. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to rise by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So talk to your hearing professional to make sure only getting one hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.

Two Aids Are Better Than One

In most circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. So, yes, in most cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.

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