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 exactly the same amount of hearing loss. One ear is normally a small amount worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

In most instances, two hearing aids are will be better than just one. But a single hearing aid might be more appropriate in certain less common scenarios.

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Come in a Pair

Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. Which means that there are some benefits to wearing two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Correctly Localize: 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 can triangulate, and in order to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. It is much more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (Which may come in handy, for example, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you use 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 around you. Using two hearing aids allows your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: Just 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 associated with hearing get the input they need to maintain your hearing. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer 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, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Some Scenarios?

In the majority of instances, using two hearing aids is a smarter choice. But the question is raised: why would somebody wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Commonly we hear two distinct reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think if they can manage with just one they will save money. If you really can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. 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 raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear can increase your risks for things like falling. So speak with your hearing expert to make sure getting only a single hearing aid is a good plan for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
  • You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If only one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could be best served by using 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 as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Better Than One

In the vast majority of situations, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. There are just too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to ignore. 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 pro to get your hearing tested.

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