Given the price of excellent quality hearing aids, many people logically wonder whether they need two hearing aids, or if they could manage with one. In the majority of cases, the many benefits of wearing two hearing aids exceed that additional expense, but there are particular situations where this is not the best advice.
To start with, if your hearing is completely normal in one ear, you plainly don’t need a second hearing aid for that ear. Also, if you have completely lost your hearing in one ear, and are experiencing total deafness in it, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to be effective. If you are prone to recurring ear infections, wearing hearing aids can potentially make the situation worse, so wearing a single aid might be an advantage. There are also hearing loss conditions in which the sounds of speech heard in one ear are completely garbled, and in that case wearing a hearing aid in that ear is merely going to amplify the garbled sounds, which makes it harder for your brain to understand speech heard through your other ear.
Except for these cases, the arguments for wearing two hearing aids are pretty persuasive, and are validated by surveys of consumer preferences and customer satisfaction – most hearing aid users vastly prefer the binaural sound provided by two hearing aids. You will hear a more realistic sound panorama while wearing two hearing aids, and you will also be more able to pinpoint the location of the sounds that you hear. Understanding speech has been proven to be much easier when wearing two hearing aids than when wearing one, especially when the listening environment is noisy.
If you have hearing loss in both ears, wearing two hearing aids will enable you to keep stimulating both ears, whereas wearing only one can allow the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. For tinnitus sufferers, two hearing aids are almost always the wisest choice because the hearing aid is used to mask the ringing or buzzing sounds associated with tinnitus. Without the second hearing aid, these sounds continue in the other ear. Finally, many studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less tiring than wearing only one.
All told, the case for wearing two hearing aids is more persuasive than the case for wearing only one. If you’re still unsure, make an appointment so you can make your own assessment while wearing one hearing aid, or two. Then decide for yourself which provides you with the better hearing experience. We think you’ll decide that two is better than one.