Given the cost of high quality hearing aids, lots of people logically wonder whether they need two hearing aids, or if they could make do with only one. Most hearing specialists will state that the many benefits of wearing two hearing aids substantially exceed the additional expense, but to be fair let’s start with the main reasons why some people don’t need two.
For starters, if your hearing is fully normal in one ear, you clearly do not need a second hearing aid for that ear. Similarly, if you are completely and irrecoverably deaf in one ear, wearing a hearing aid in that ear is not going to help. Some people experience chronic and recurring ear infections, which can in many cases be aggravated by hearing aids, so in this case wearing a single aid may 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.
The case for wearing two hearing aids, except in these cases, is much stronger, and has been validated by surveys that show that most hearing aid users prefer wearing two aids to wearing only one. Two hearing aids greatly enhance your ability to perceive the source of the sounds you hear, and provides a more realistically balanced sound. Research studies have demonstrated that two hearing aids also improve your ability to understand speech – especially in noisy environments. Critically important in the decision of purchasing one or two hearing aids is the fact that hearing involves the ear and the brain. When you wear two hearing aids, you continue to stimulate and use both ears. Wearing only one can cause the limited hearing in the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. If you suffer from tinnitus or a ringing in both ears, wearing only one aid will allow the ringing in the other ear to continue. Last but not least, clinical studies and customer surveys have shown that users find wearing two hearing aids much less tiring than wearing only one.
So the arguments for wearing two hearing aids seem to outweigh those 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. Experience tell us that you’ll probably agree that two are better than one.