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

It’s uncommon for people to get the exact same levels of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. One ear is normally a little worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply use one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In most situations, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But one hearing aid may be an acceptable choice in certain less common scenarios.

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Are a Pair

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are certain advantages to using two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: Your brain is always working, not just to understand sounds but also to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. In order to correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires signals from both ears. It is a lot harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work together normally, modern hearing aid technology is made to function as a pair. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Improved Ear Health: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you already have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can reduce it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid you in hearing. Other people conversing is something you will definitely need to hear. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that brings up the question: If someone is wearing a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can wear just one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to get two, one is better than not getting one at all. Still, you should know that with time untreated hearing loss has been verified to increase your overall healthcare costs. Your healthcare expenses have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after just two years of neglected hearing loss. So in order to find out if wearing one hearing aid is the right choice for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just 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 certainly something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

In most circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than just one. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to ignore. In most cases, 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 checked.