Do I Have to Buy Hearing Aids as a Pair?

Man able to enjoy lively party because he's using two hearing aids instead of one.

It’s uncommon for people to get the exact same degree of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. Because one ear usually has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Do I really need a set of hearing aids, or can I simply manage the ear with more considerable hearing loss?

One hearing aid, in most cases, will not be preferable to two. But a single hearing aid may be more appropriate in some less common situations.

There’s a Reason Why You Have A Pair of Ears

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears efficiently work as a pair. That means using two hearing aids has some advantages over wearing one.

  • Being Able to Localize Properly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to understand sounds but also to place them in order to figure out where they’re coming from. In order to correctly triangulate where sound is coming from, your brain requires input from both ears. When you can only hear well out of one ear, it’s much harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which could come in handy, for instance, if you live next to a busy street).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Modern hearing aid technology is designed to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features function well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, similar to your brain, identify which sounds to focus on and amplify.
  • Improved Ear Health: Just as seldom used muscles can atrophy, so too can an unused sense. If your ears go for long periods without input signals, your hearing can start to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids will also help minimize tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to discern sounds.
  • Tuning in on Conversations: The whole point of wearing a hearing aid is to help your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation going on near you. Using two hearing aids enables your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain can decide what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you want to focus on.

Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Is Practical?

Using a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that raises the question: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. It’s significant to recognize, however, it has been proven that your total health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare expenses have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after only two years of untreated hearing loss. So in order to learn if using one hearing aid is the right choice for you, speak with a hearing care specialist. Discovering ways to help make hearing aids more affordable is another service we offer.
  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you may 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 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. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. In the majority of cases, just like having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing examined.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.