If what goes in one ear goes out the other, is it necessary to have hearing aids in both ears? When considering the major purchase of hearing aids, you might think you can skip out and only buy one, but what are the pros and cons?
Benefits of Two Hearing Aids
Since the brain localizes sounds by listening from both sides, it is often helpful to wear hearing aids in both ears. When talking with people seated on either side of you, your brain has to take in sounds from both directions and decide which way to turn to listen. With only one hearing aid, the volumes may be different in both ears and the brain may get confused where the sound is coming from. There may also be background sound competing with your conversation, and two hearing aids allow the brain to determine which sound to listen to. The brain constantly deals with competing sounds, so it is important to maintain the same levels on both sides.
Additionally, the hearing aid can not only amplify but also clarify the sounds. It’s like changing the bass levels on your stereo to better understand the lead singer’s lyrics. The proper volume levels in both ears helps with comprehending the sounds, not just making them louder.
Hearing aids can also prevent further deterioration in the ear. By wearing hearing aids in both sides, further damage cannot be done. Also, when one ear is able to hear better than the other, it tends to overcompensate and the hearing can become weaker on one side. Hearing aids in both ears allows for an evenness across both ears.
Benefits of One Hearing Aid
Cost is also a major factor in determining which hearing aid is right for you, so the idea of halving the price is tempting for many. However, this is not a decision to be made by you. After extensive testing, it is your doctor or audiologist who can give you the best options. Audicus also provides a helpful quiz when it does come time to figure out the most bang for your buck. Many doctors will agree that one hearing aid is better than none, so this is always an option if you are limited in funds.
There are other scenarios where only one hearing aid is needed such as when your hearing is only deficient in one ear. Though you may feel off balance only wearing an aid in one ear, it may be unnecessary to wear two.
There are also instances when individuals experience delays with their hearing aids either mentally or electronically, so wearing only one aid is more beneficial. You will often see live musicians take out their ear piece so they can better hear their music in live time. Their monitor should play back the music with the proper blends, but musicians wish to gain a more comprehensive experience of the sounds. Similarly, one hearing aid in and one ear without can allow an individual to feel as if they are really grasping what is going on around them.
No matter one or two, Audicus has hearing aids that work for everyone!