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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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 amount of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little bit 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 considerable hearing loss?

In most situations, two hearing aids are going to be preferable to only one. But there are some instances, significantly less common instances, however, in which one hearing aid could be the way to go.

It’s Not accidental That Ears Come in a Pair

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears efficiently work as a pair. That means wearing two hearing aids has specific advantages over using one.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid signals from both ears. It is much more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which might be indispensable if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: In the same way as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin 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 using two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can decrease it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation happening near you. Wearing two hearing aids allows your brain to better filter out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: More modern hearing aid technology is created to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two pieces communicate with one another and, much like your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Are There Situations Where One Hearing Aid Is Practical?

Wearing two hearing aids is usually a better choice. But that begs the question: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • Monetary concerns: Some individuals think if they can get by with one they will save money. Buying one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. Still, you should recognize that with time untreated hearing loss has been proven to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Your healthcare costs have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after only two years of neglected hearing loss. So speak with your hearing professional to make sure only getting a single hearing aid is a good idea for you. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more affordable.
  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you may be best served by using a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

In most circumstances, however, two hearing aids will be better for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to dismiss. So, yes, in most situations, two hearing aids are better than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing checked.