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

For most people both ears rarely have the same exact amount of hearing loss. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it sparks the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In many cases, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to just one. But one hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in certain less common circumstances.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

Your ears efficiently work as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are certain advantages to wearing two hearing aids.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: 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 correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs input from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which may come in handy, for example, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs linked to hearing receive the input they need to maintain your hearing. Using two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking 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 letting it decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Some Circumstances?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that brings up the question: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can save money if they can wear only one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should recognize that with time untreated hearing loss has been verified to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Your healthcare costs have been shown to rise by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So speak with your hearing professional to make certain getting only a single hearing aid is a smart plan for you. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: 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 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 the vast majority of cases, however, two hearing aids are going to be better 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 disregard. In the majority of cases, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.

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