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

For most people both ears rarely have the same exact degree of hearing loss. One ear is usually a little worse than the other, triggering many to raise the question: Can I just get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In most cases, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But one hearing aid might be more appropriate in certain less common circumstances.

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

Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has specific advantages over using one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: In order to determine where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is a lot 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 determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which may be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: In the same way as your ears work as a pair normally, more modern hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Wearing two hearing aids permits your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to determine what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.

Are There Instances Where One Hearing Aid Is Practical?

Using two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: why would anyone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Commonly we hear two different reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some people think if they can get by with only one they will spend less. Getting one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should understand that with time untreated hearing loss has been proven to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Your healthcare expenses have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after just two years of untreated hearing loss. So talk to your hearing expert to make sure only getting a single hearing aid is a smart plan for you. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
  • 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).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most instances. There are simply too many benefits to having good hearing in both ears to ignore. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing tested.