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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 commonly a little worse than the other, sparking many to ask the question: Do I actually need two hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more substantial hearing loss?

In many cases, two hearing aids are going to be better than only one. But a single hearing aid might be more appropriate in some less common scenarios.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Come in a Pair

Whether you know it or not, your ears efficiently work as a pair. Which means that there are certain benefits to using 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. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs signals from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to determine where a sound is coming from (which might be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. If your ears go for long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can reduce it and also 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 conversing is something you will certainly want to hear. Using two hearing aids permits 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 consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: In the same way as your ears work as a pair normally, modern hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with one another using advanced features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Are There Situations Where A Single Hearing Aid Is Sensible?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: why would someone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some individuals think if they can get by with one they will spend less. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to recognize, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing professional to make certain getting only a single hearing aid is a smart idea 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 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 thing as having one perfect ear).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

In the vast majority of situations, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier 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 disregard. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just like two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.