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

It’s unusual for people to get the same amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. One ear is commonly a small amount worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I just get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

In many cases, two hearing aids are will be preferable to only one. But there are certain instances, dramatically less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid could be the way to go.

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

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. Which means that there are some advantages to using two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: Your brain is always doing work, not just to interpret sounds but to place them so that you can figure out where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain can triangulate, and to do that, it requires solid signals from both ears. It is a lot harder to figure out where sounds are coming from when you’re only able to hear well out of one ear (which could be essential if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Focusing on Conversations: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. Other people talking is something you will certainly need to hear. Wearing two hearing aids allows your brain to better tune out background noises. Because your mind has more available data your brain is able to figure out what is closer and consequently more likely to be something you would want to focus on.
  • 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 get regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears ensures that the organs associated with hearing receive the input necessary to preserve your hearing. If you already have tinnitus, wearing two hearing aids can reduce it and also improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: Just as your ears work as a pair normally, modern hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, determine which sounds to amplify and focus on.

Is One Hearing Practical in Some Scenarios?

Using a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that brings up the question: If someone is using a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Often we hear two distinct reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If only one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you could be best served by using 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).
  • Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can use just one hearing aid. Getting 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 overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Even disregarding hearing loss for two years has been shown to increase your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear will elevate your risks for things like falling. So talk to your hearing professional to make sure only getting a single hearing aid is a smart idea for you. We can also help you brainstorm approaches to make hearing aids more affordable.

Two Aids Are Preferable to One

In the vast majority of circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to be healthier for your ears and your hearing than only one. There are simply too many advantages to having strong hearing in both ears to ignore. In the majority of instances, just like having two ears is better than having one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to get your hearing tested.

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