Given the cost of high quality hearing aids, many people naturally wonder if they really need two hearing aids, or if they can make do with one. The advice provided by the majority of audiologists and hearing industry professionals is that the benefits of wearing two hearing aids surpass the difference in cost, but let’s begin with a few scenarios in which this might not be true.
Clearly, if you have hearing loss in a single ear but your hearing in the other ear is normal, you do not need two hearing aids. 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.
Except for these cases, the arguments for wearing two hearing aids are pretty persuasive, and are validated by surveys of consumer preferences and customer satisfaction – most hearing aid users vastly prefer the binaural sound provided by two hearing aids. You will hear a more realistic sound panorama while wearing two hearing aids, and you will also be more able to pinpoint the location of the sounds that you hear. 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.
One factor that is very important is that if you have hearing loss in both ears, wearing only one hearing aid can deprive the other ear of stimulation, causing it to further deteriorate and risking the possibility of total hearing loss in that ear. For tinnitus sufferers, two hearing aids are almost always the wisest choice because the hearing aid is used to mask the ringing or buzzing sounds associated with tinnitus. Without the second hearing aid, these sounds continue in the other ear. Last but not least, clinical studies and customer surveys have shown that users find wearing two hearing aids much less tiring than wearing only one.
Collectively, there are numerous reasons why wearing two hearing aids is the better choice and only a few situation where a single one might be recommended. 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. Experience tell us that you’ll probably agree that two are better than one.