Considering the cost of high quality hearing aids, lots of people naturally wonder whether they need two hearing aids, or if they can get by with only one. In the majority of cases, the many benefits of using two hearing aids exceed that added expense, but there are certain scenarios where this isn’t the case.
First, if you have hearing loss in one ear but your hearing in the other ear is normal, you clearly don’t need a second hearing aid. Similarly, if you are completely and irrecoverably deaf in one ear, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to help. If you are prone to recurring ear infections, wearing hearing aids can potentially make the situation worse, so wearing a single aid might 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.
Outside of these four situations, the arguments for using two hearing aids are fairly strong and backed up by numerous consumer satisfaction surveys among hearing aid users. Two hearing aids greatly enhance your ability to perceive the source of the sounds you hear, and provides a more realistically balanced sound. Understanding speech has been proven to be much easier when wearing two hearing aids than when wearing one, especially when the listening environment is noisy.
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. Two hearing aids are almost always better for people who have tinnitus, because hearing aids mask the ringing or buzzing sound, and wearing only one aid will allow it to continue in the other ear. Finally, many studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less tiring than wearing only one.
All told, the case for wearing two hearing aids is more persuasive than the case for wearing only one. For many people making this decision, they need to experience the difference between one and two hearing aids first hand. You can test out the difference by scheduling an appointment to come see us. Then decide for yourself which provides you with the better hearing experience. We think you’ll decide that two is better than one.