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

For most people both ears don’t normally have the same exact amount of hearing loss. One ear is commonly a little worse than the other, sparking many to raise the question: Can I simply get one hearing aid in the ear that’s worse.

One hearing aid, in many situations, will not be better than two. But one hearing aid might be an acceptable choice in certain less common circumstances.

It’s Not an Accident That Ears Come in a Pair

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

  • Being Able to Localize Correctly: Your brain is always doing work, not only to understand sounds but to place them in order to determine where they’re coming from. This is much easier when your brain is able to triangulate, and to do that, it needs solid inputs from both ears. When you’re only able to hear well from one ear, it’s a lot harder to figure out where a sound is coming from (Which might come in handy, for example, if you live near a busy street).
  • Modern Hearing Aids Work as a Set: Just as your ears work together normally, newer hearing aid technology is designed to function as a pair. The artificial intelligence and sophisticated features work well because the two hearing aids communicate with each other and, much like your brain, identify which sounds to amplify and focus on.
  • Concentrating When People Are Talking: If you’re using a hearing aid, the whole point is to help you in hearing. Other people talking is something you will definitely need to hear. 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: In the same way as unused muscles can atrophy, so can an unused sense. Your hearing can begin to go downhill if your ears don’t receive regular sound input. Get the organs of your ears the input they require to maintain your hearing by wearing two hearing aids. Wearing two hearing aids can also help reduce tinnitus (if you have it) and increase your ability to identify sounds.

Are There Circumstances Where One Hearing Aid Makes Sense?

Wearing a pair of hearing aids is the better choice in most cases. But that brings up the question: why would anybody use a hearing aid in only one ear?

Well, commonly there are two reasons:

  • You still Hear Perfectly out of one ear: If only one of your ears requires a hearing aid, then you might be best served by having 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 thing as having one perfect ear).
  • Financial concerns: Some people feel that they can spend less money if they can wear just one hearing aid. If you truly can’t afford to buy two, getting one is better than not getting one at all. However, you should recognize that over time untreated hearing loss has been verified to increase your overall healthcare expenses. Your healthcare expenses have been shown to increase by 26 percent after just two years of untreated hearing loss. So talk to your hearing specialist to make sure getting only a single hearing aid is a smart idea for you. We can also help you figure ways to make hearing aids more budget friendly.

One Hearing Aid is Not as Beneficial as Two

In most circumstances, however, two hearing aids are going to be better for your ears and your hearing than only one. The benefits of hearing as well as possible out of both of your ears are simply too plentiful to disregard. So, yes, in the majority of cases, two hearing aids are a better choice than one (just like two ears are better than one). Make an appointment with a hearing care pro to have your hearing checked.

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