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

For most people both ears rarely have exactly the same amount of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little worse than the other, sparking many to ask the question: Can I just use one hearing aid for the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in most situations, will not be preferable to two. But one hearing aid may be more appropriate in certain less common situations.

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Are a Pair

Your ears efficiently work as a pair whether you know it or not. That means using two hearing aids has certain advantages over wearing one.

  • The Ability to Properly Localize: In order to figure out where sounds are coming from, your brain is not only working to interpret but also to place it. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and in order to do that, it needs solid signals from both ears. It is a lot more difficult to determine where sounds are coming from when you can only hear well out of one ear (which may be crucial if you happen to live near a busy street, for example).
  • Make The Health of Your Ears Better: Just as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t get regular sound input. Wearing hearing aids in both ears guarantees that the organs connected with hearing get the input they need to maintain your hearing. If you have tinnitus, using two hearing aids can minimize it and also increase your ability to identify sounds.
  • Focusing on Conversations: The whole point of using a hearing aid is to help 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 input when wearing hearing aids, it is better capable of filtering out background noise allowing it to decide what sounds to concentrate on because they are closer.
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: More modern hearing aid technology is made to work as a pair in the same way as your ears are. The artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art features work well because the two pieces communicate with each other and, much like your brain, determine which sounds to focus on and amplify.

Are There Circumstances Where A Single Hearing Aid Is Practical?

Using two hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But the question is raised: If a person is wearing a hearing aid in just one ear, why?

Usually we hear two specific reasons:

  • One Ear Still Has Perfect Hearing: If only one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you may be best served by having a hearing aid in just one ear but it’s certainly something you should have a conversation about your hearing professional about (having one better ear is not the same as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some people think that they can spend less money if they can wear just one hearing aid. Purchasing one hearing aid is better then not getting any at all if you can’t really afford a pair. However, you should understand that with time untreated hearing loss has been confirmed to raise your overall healthcare expenses. Even neglecting hearing loss for two years has been shown to raise your healthcare costs by 26 percent, and ignoring any hearing loss in one ear can elevate your risks for things like falling. So in order to find out if using one hearing aid is right for you, contact a hearing care specialist. We can also help you figure approaches to make hearing aids more budget friendly.

Two Aids Are Better Than One

Two hearing aids, however, will be better than one for your ears and hearing in most circumstances. The benefits of having strong hearing in both of your ears are simply too plentiful to dismiss. In most instances, just as having two ears is better than having only one, having two hearing aids is definitely preferable to having only one. Schedule an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing tested.

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.

Medical information dates as new research comes out all the time - if you have a concern about your hearing, please call us.

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