Is One Hearing Aid Enough 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 rarely have exactly the same degree of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Do I actually need a set of hearing aids, or can I just deal with the ear with more considerable hearing loss?

In most situations, two hearing aids are will be better than just one. But one hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in some less common scenarios.

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

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears effectively function as a pair. That means wearing two hearing aids has specific benefits over wearing one.

  • The Ability to Properly 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 is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. It is much more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which could be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. If your ears go long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Using two hearing aids will also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations going on around you. Wearing two hearing aids allows your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to decide what is closer and therefore more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Is Sensible?

In the majority of instances, using a pair of hearing aids is a more effective option. But the question is raised: why would anybody wear a hearing aid in just one ear?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • You still have perfect hearing in one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could be best served by having 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 thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some individuals feel if they can manage with just one they will save money. If you really can’t afford to get two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should recognize that over time untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare expenses have been demonstrated to rise by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So speak with your hearing specialist to make certain only getting one hearing aid is a good idea for you. We can also help you figure approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. So, yes, in most circumstances, two hearing aids are better than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing checked.

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.