“DO I NEED TWO HEARING AIDS OR CAN I WEAR JUST ONE?”
Many of our patients ask me this question when it’s time to discuss the purchase of a hearing aid. Some are asking because of the financial aspect of paying for two hearing aids; others ask just because they don’t like the thought of wearing two. Typically my answer is this: If you have hearing loss in both ears, even if one ear is worse than the other, yes, you should wear two hearing aids.
- More natural – you were born with two ears for a reason. This is the way your brain and body work.
- More information to your brain – our brain needs sound from both ears in order to give it more information to process more accurately; in other words, you get better speech understanding and clarity when wearing two hearing aids versus one.
- Better sound quality – with sound coming from both ears, you get a sense of balance and require less amplification. This allows for a more natural sound quality.
- Directionality – it is easier to tell where a sound is coming from when you can hear on both sides. This is important when trying to listen to speech in a noisy environment, or when someone is calling your name; also when trying to cross the street and listen for traffic.
I will often recommend my patients purchase two lower technology/cost hearing aids versus one higher level/cost hearing aid because listening with two hearing aids is better than listening with just one.
Please note that there are circumstances in which I do recommend one hearing aid. This is based on the type and severity of hearing loss as well as speech discrimination scores. Your audiologist will make that recommendation when appropriate.