Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Ron Middleton Hearing Aids, Hearing Health

Ron Middleton

Chances are, if you’ve been researching your hearing health and the efficacy of hearing devices, you might be wondering if using two hearing aids is necessary. Before making any decisions about purchasing hearing aids, it is important to visit a hearing health professional to make an informed decision. As part of a comprehensive examination, both ears will be tested to determine if a hearing loss is present and if so, its configuration.

Hearing Loss Configurations

Unilateral hearing loss means there is hearing loss in one ear, while bilateral hearing loss means both ears are affected. This determines the type of hearing aid that would be beneficial to you. Our team will help you find the best devices for your needs and program the necessary levels of amplification required for optimum use. 

Common sense and medical research have dictated over the years that hearing loss left unattended only creates further deterioration of one of our most crucial senses.Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss.

Following this train of thought and information, we can only proceed to the next inevitable conclusion – if you have been diagnosed with a bilateral hearing loss, it is recommended that you use two hearing aids! (For those with unilateral hearing loss, there are different options available.)

The quality of sound

The processes that are involved in our perception and interpretation of sound are quite complex. That being said research has substantiated that when it comes to speech versus background noise the use of two hearing aids provides much greater clarity. It also gives us the ability to discriminate between sounds that require greater attention, such as speech, as opposed to indiscriminate sounds outside of a conversation! Sound quality is especially important in environments such as the supermarket, pharmacy, busy restaurants, public venues, and transportation hubs. 

The direction of sound

Let’s look at everyday situations such as walking down the street, listening to music, or a loved one calling out to you to join in the family meal. The localization of sound is crucial from the time of birth as we learn quickly to identify and pinpoint the direction of speech for nurturing and sustenance! The soothing sounds of a parent, the prompts to eat and warning sounds to prevent us from getting hurt.

We rely on this vital factor of our sound process to alert us of possible dangers as well as to the greetings of family and friends that make our lives whole. To retain this ability we must enhance the ability of both our ears and maintain the necessary function of “sound localization”. It is the intricate balance and relationship of our ears that allow us to evolve and thrive as sensory-based relationships steward our paths in life.

Keep the volume level at necessary levels

What does this entail? The concept of “binaural summation” essentially means the process of balancing sound when both ears receive audio input. If one ear is weaker than the other at processing sound then we have greater difficulty identifying which sound material needs to be filtered in or out.

However, if we use and program our hearing aids to equip the specific needs of each ear the ability to discriminate is made much easier! This results in hearing and recognizing speech much more easily when we are in environments that have multiple streams of audio input coming at us at the same time.

Is it more important to pick up what your friend is saying to you with clarity or the music or traffic in the background? Having the amplification of the hearing aids adjusted for each ear will help your hearing processes refine these speech and ambient sound waves for both loud or quiet environments.

A fuller experience

Clarity. Balance. Enrichment. This is what we seek in our overall health and so it should apply to our auditory health as well! How can you best prepare for the ever changing situations that require our best sensory perceptions – hearing being one of them?

People that suffer from hearing loss from mostly one ear seem to have a harder time of it than those who address their condition with two well fitted and programmed hearing devices. A 12-week long trial showed that over 40 percent that armed both ears with hearing implements enjoyed a greater degree of user and hearing benefits than those that only had the only ear fitted for their condition. 

Make an informed decision

Hearing at optimal levels leads to maintaining healthier cognitive functions and thereby keeping the very sense we need nourished and elastic for all aspects of our health and well-being. If you believe you might benefit from the use of hearing aids, contact us today to learn more about our hearing tests.