Hearing aids are a significant financial investment, so in the event that you’ve experienced hearing loss in both ears, you naturally ask, “Do I actually need two hearing aids, or could I hear just as well with only one?” In the vast majority of situations, the many benefits of wearing two hearing aids surpass that added cost, but there are certain scenarios where this isn’t the case.
To begin with, if your hearing is fully normal in one ear, you obviously do not need a second hearing aid for that ear. Similarly, if you are completely and irrecoverably deaf in one ear, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to help. Some people experience chronic and recurring ear infections, which can in many cases be aggravated by hearing aids, so in this case wearing a single aid may be an advantage. There are also hearing loss conditions in which the sounds of speech heard in one ear are completely garbled, and in that case wearing a hearing aid in that ear is merely going to amplify the garbled sounds, which makes it harder for your brain to understand speech heard through your other ear.
The case for wearing two hearing aids, except in these cases, is much stronger, and has been validated by surveys that show that most hearing aid users prefer wearing two aids to wearing only one. Wearing two hearing aids greatly improves your ability to detect the source and direction of the sound. Studies have shown that most people are able to hear and understand speech better when wearing two aids, because the perceived volume of sound is higher with two hearing aids, which is even more true in a noisy environment.
Critically important in the decision of purchasing one or two hearing aids is the fact that hearing involves the ear and the brain. When you wear two hearing aids, you continue to stimulate and use both ears. Wearing only one can cause the limited hearing in the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. If you suffer from tinnitus or a ringing in both ears, wearing only one aid will allow the ringing in the other ear to continue. Not surprisingly, consumer research studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less mentally tiring than wearing one.
All told, the case for wearing two hearing aids is more persuasive than the case for wearing only one. But if you still have your doubts, test it for yourself by making an appointment to see us. You will be able to hear the difference for yourself between one hearing aid and two. Experience tell us that you’ll probably agree that two are better than one.