Is One Hearing Aid Enough?

This is one of the most common questions asked by our patients. If you have a hearing loss in each ear, you are most likely a candidate for binaural (two) hearing aids. Based on the test results, your audiologist will be able to determine if you would benefit from one or two aids, however the final treatment decision is always in the patient’s hands. As a result, it is important to understand the advantages of having stimulation to both ears as this can be a major contributing factor to your success with hearing aids.

1. Better speech understanding in noisy environment

  • In background noise, speech intelligibility is improved when wearing binaural hearing aids.  The brain is better able to focus on the conversation you are engaged in and filter out other conversations and background noise.

2. Better sound quality

  •  As with the radio in your car, speech and music clarity and quality is improved when listening in stereo.

3. Ability to localize sounds or speech

  • When you only wear one hearing aid but have a hearing loss in both ears, you always think sounds are coming from the ear with the hearing aid as this is now your better ear. As a result, you won’t be able to tell where someone is when they are calling your name. When you have two hearing aids the brain can compare the input from both ears and better determine which side the sound is on.

4. Keeps both ears active and stimulated

  •  You don’t hear with your ears, but with your brain. As a result, it is important to keep stimulation going into both sides so it keeps all processes working as they should. Research shows that if you aren’t stimulating your ears and brain, your ability to understand speech can deteriorate.

5. Better distance hearing

  • You can hear a voice at a further distance when using two ears versus one as you get a natural loudness advantage from your brain when stimulation is going into both sides.

6. Balanced hearing

  • Naturally, we hear with two ears and therefore going to two hearing aids is a more natural transition. If you only get a hearing aid for one side, your new battle will be to make sure that ear is next to all the sounds you want to hear.

Patient satisfaction has proven to be much higher when two hearing aids are worn. If this is a question you have been wondering, contact an audiologist for more information. All hearing aids have a 30 day trial period, so the best solution is to try two hearing aids and see the advantage for yourself.