Is One Hearing Aid Enough or do I Need Two?

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

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

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, however, that a single hearing aid might be the right choice.

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Are a Pair

Your ears efficiently work as a pair whether you’re aware of it or not. That means wearing two hearing aids has certain benefits over using one.

  • 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 much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. It is much harder to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which may be useful, for example, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly want to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise letting it determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. If your ears go long periods without an input, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs associated with hearing get the input they need to preserve your hearing. Wearing two hearing aids will also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More recent hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features work well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

In most circumstances, using two hearing aids is the smarter choice. But that begs the question: If someone is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Well, normally there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some individuals think if they can manage with one they will save money. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should understand that over time untreated hearing loss has been confirmed to increase your overall healthcare costs. Even ignoring hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can increase your chances of things like falling. So so that you can discover if wearing one hearing aid is the right choice for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure approaches to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
  • You still Hear Perfectly in one ear: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you could be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should talk to 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 most situations, however, two hearing aids will be healthier 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 dismiss. In most situations, just as 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 pro to have 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.