Hearing aids are an investment and for many, one they don’t take lightly. We understand that hearing aids can be expensive, so when you have one bad ear, and one okay ear, you may think you only need one hearing aid. This is almost never the case and it isn’t just because hearing specialists look forward to selling you two hearing aids; it is for your own benefit. Two hearing aids almost always out perform one hearing aid and here is how they accomplish these additional benefits.
When you wear two hearing aids you equally increase the noise level coming into both of your ears. One hearing aid can make sounds confusing and may result in overall poor sound quality. If your “good” ear also has some minor hearing loss, a hearing aid will help you avoid any auditory deprivation. This term describes what happens when hearing loss is left untreated and results in worse hearing loss and speech recognition later in life due to the initial hearing loss being untreated. When you wear hearing aids with even minor hearing loss, you can help support your ears and avoid auditory deprivation. Two hearing aids also help you hear important sounds such as speech through unwanted background noise. This is due to the brain using both of the ears to filter through information, when you’re only sending information to one ear, the can brain struggle to differentiate between important sounds and background noises. Having sound coming into both of your ears also gives your brain a better idea of where exactly the sounds are coming from, whether in front of you, behind you, or beside you. Two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus or painful and distracting ringing in the ears. It is believed that two hearing aids help to reduce tinnitus by drawing in and amplifying outside sounds which can relieve the ringing.
A few of the times where two hearing aids are not ideal is when the person suffers from Unilateral hearing loss or with patients who also have dementia as too much stimulation can be overwhelming. There is one exception to only using one hearing aid when suffering from Unilateral hearing loss and that is if the balance is affected by only using one hearing aid.
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss, you can schedule an appointment at Whisper Hearing Center for a hearing exam. Our experienced hearing care professionals will help you created a treatment plan and will walk you through from start to finish. If you need hearing aids we will work to find you the best one or best pair to fit your needs and your budget!