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. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Can I just use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in many cases, will not be better than two. But there are certain instances, considerably less common instances, that is, that one hearing aid could be the right choice.

You Have A Pair of Ears For a Reason

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

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: 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 needs solid inputs from both ears. When you can only hear well from one ear, it’s a lot harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (which could be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start 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 preserve your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids can also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work as a pair normally, newer hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations going on near you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

In most cases, wearing a pair of hearing aids is the more effective option. But that begs the question: If someone is using a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Buying one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. Still, you should understand that eventually untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your overall healthcare costs. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will increase your risks for things like falling. So so that you can discover if wearing one hearing aid is right for you, speak with a hearing care specialist. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
  • You still have perfect hearing in one ear: If only one of your ears needs 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 Effective as Two

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of circumstances. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to disregard. In most situations, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing tested.

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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC