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

It’s unusual for people to get identical amount of hearing loss in both ears simultaneously. Because one ear commonly has worse hearing loss than the other, it raises the question: Can I just get one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in many cases, will not be better than two. But there are some instances, considerably less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid may be the right choice.

You Have Two Ears For a Reason

Whether you know it or not, your ears effectively work as a pair. Which means that there are some advantages to wearing two hearing aids.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: Your brain is always doing work, not just to understand sounds but to place them in order to determine where they’re coming from. This is a lot easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and in order to do that, it needs solid signals from both ears. When you can only hear well from one ear, it’s a lot harder to determine where a sound is coming from (Which could be useful, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Tuning in on Conversations: If you use a hearing aid, the whole point is to aid your hearing. One of the things you want to hear is other people and the conversation happening near you. Because your brain has more sound stimulation when wearing hearing aids, it is better able to filter out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to focus on because they are closer.
  • Improved Ear Health: An unused sense will atrophy just like an unused muscle will. If your ears go for long periods without an input, your hearing can start to go downhill. Get the organs of your ears the input they need to preserve your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids can also help decrease tinnitus (if you have it) and improve your ability to identify sounds.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work Together: More recent hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair just like your ears are. The artificial intelligence and advanced features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with one another and, similar to your brain, recognize which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

In the majority of instances, wearing two hearing aids is a better option. But that begs the question: why would anyone wear a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • You still have perfect hearing out of one ear: If just one of your ears needs a hearing aid, then you might 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 as having one perfect ear).
  • Monetary concerns: Some people feel that they can save money if they can use just one hearing aid. If you really can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. It’s important to understand, however, it has been proven that your overall health costs will increase if you have untreated hearing loss. Your healthcare costs have been demonstrated to increase by 26 percent after just two years of neglected hearing loss. So in order to learn if using one hearing aid is right for you, talk to a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Effective as Two

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 having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too many to disregard. So, yes, in most cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just as two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing examined.