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Do I Need Two Hearing Aids?

“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.
Here’s why:

  •     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.

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