Audiology Specialty Clinic - Sioux Falls, SD

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 little bit worse than the other, triggering many to ask the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be better than two. But a single hearing aid may be more appropriate in certain less common situations.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

Your ears effectively function as a pair whether you know it or not. Which means that there are some benefits to using two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: Your brain is always doing work, not just to interpret sounds but also to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. This is a lot easier when your brain can triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. It is much harder to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (Which may come in handy, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs linked to hearing receive the input necessary to maintain your hearing. If you have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also improve your ability to discern sounds.
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to assist you in hearing. Other people conversing is something you will certainly want to hear. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise letting it decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Newer hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair just like your ears are. The two hearing aids communicate with each other using state-of-the-art features and artificial intelligence to, much like your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Does One Hearing Aid Make Sense in Certain Situations?

Wearing two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that brings up the question: why would someone use a hearing aid in just one ear?

Well, usually there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can wear just one hearing aid. Getting one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should recognize that over time untreated hearing loss has been shown to raise your overall healthcare costs. Even ignoring hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and neglecting any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your chances of things like falling. So speak with your hearing professional to make certain getting only one hearing aid is a good plan for you. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more budget friendly.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If just one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s definitely something you should talk to your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same thing as having one perfect ear).

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

Two hearing aids, however, are going to be better than one for your ears and hearing in the vast majority of circumstances. There are just too many advantages to having good hearing in both ears to disregard. So, yes, in the majority of circumstances, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing tested.

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