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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 don’t normally have the same exact amount of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a small amount worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Do I truly need two hearing aids, or can I simply deal with the ear with more considerable hearing loss?

One hearing aid, in many cases, will not be better than two. But a single hearing aid might be an acceptable choice in some less common circumstances.

There’s a Reason Why You Have Two Ears

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

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always working, not just to understand sounds but also to place them in order to determine where they’re coming from. In order to properly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain needs input from both ears. It is much more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which may come in handy, for instance, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Tuning in When People Are Talking: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help your hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely need to hear. Because your brain has more sound input when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to determine what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy in the same way as an unused muscle will. Your hearing can start to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to preserve your hearing by using two hearing aids. If you have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Circumstances?

In most instances, wearing a pair of hearing aids is the smarter option. But that raises the question: If someone is using a hearing aid in only one ear, why?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can save money if they can wear just one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, one is better than not getting one at all. It’s significant to understand, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your chances of things like falling. So talk to your hearing expert to make sure only getting one hearing aid is a good idea for you. Finding ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is an additional service we offer.
  • You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If just one of your ears requires 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 talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most situations. There are just too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to dismiss. In most instances, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely better than having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care professional to get your hearing examined.