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 don’t normally have exactly the same degree of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Do I truly need two hearing aids, or can I just manage the ear with more significant hearing loss?

In many cases, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But there are certain instances, considerably less common instances, however, in which a single hearing aid could be the right choice.

There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has specific advantages over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to interpret sounds but also to place them in order to determine where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which could be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for instance).
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is peoples conversations happening near you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. If your ears go long periods without input signals, your hearing can begin to go downhill. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs connected with hearing get the input they need to maintain your hearing. Using two hearing aids will also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, much like your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Situations Where A Single Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

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

Well, normally there are two reasons:

  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may be best served by having 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 thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Monetary concerns: Some individuals feel if they can manage with one they will spend less. Getting one hearing aid is better then getting none if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s important to know, however, it has been proven that your general health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your risks for things like falling. So speak with your hearing professional to make sure only getting a single hearing aid is a smart idea for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.

Two Aids Are Better Than One

In most situations, however, two hearing aids will be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. So, yes, in most cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.

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.