The Difference Between Wearing One or Two Hearing Aids

“Should I use one or two hearing aids?” It is a fairly common question stemming from the fact that hearing aids are a significant investment.The advice provided by nearly all audiologists and hearing industry professionals is going to be that the benefits of using 2 hearing aids surpass the difference in cost, but let’s start with a few scenarios in which this might not be the best advice.

Obviously, 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. Also, if you have completely lost your hearing in one ear, and are experiencing total deafness in it, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to be effective. 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.

The case for wearing two hearing aids, except in these cases, is much stronger, and has been validated by surveys that show that most hearing aid users prefer wearing two aids to wearing only one. 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. Studies have shown that most people are able to hear and understand speech better when wearing two aids, because the perceived volume of sound is higher with two hearing aids, which is even more true in a noisy environment.

If you have hearing loss in both ears, wearing two hearing aids will enable you to keep stimulating both ears, whereas wearing only one can allow the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. 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. Not surprisingly, consumer research studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less mentally tiring than wearing one.

All told, the case for wearing two hearing aids is more persuasive than the case for wearing only one. But if you still have your doubts, test it for yourself by making an appointment to see us. You will be able to hear the difference for yourself between one hearing aid and two. Our many years of experience lead us to believe that when you make your decision, you’ll agree with us that two are better than one.

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