Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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

It’s unusual for people to get the same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is usually a little bit worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be better than two. But a single hearing aid might be more appropriate in certain less common circumstances.

There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears

Your ears efficiently function as a pair whether you know it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has certain advantages over using 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. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which may come in handy, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work as a pair normally, more modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using sophisticated features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. If your ears go long periods without input signals, your hearing can start to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by using two hearing aids. Using two hearing aids will also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly need to hear. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.

Is One Hearing Practical in Certain Scenarios?

In most instances, wearing a pair of hearing aids is a better option. But the question is raised: why would anyone use a hearing aid in just one ear?

Well, normally there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people feel if they can make do with one they will save money. Buying one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to recognize, however, it has been proven that your general 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 talk to your hearing specialist to make certain getting only one hearing aid is a smart idea for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
  • You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may be best served by having 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).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

In most circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to dismiss. So, yes, in the majority of cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing examined.

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