Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Do you wear hearing aid devices? If you answered “yes,” you’re probably eager to maximize your hearing ability. You have probably worked with your hearing healthcare specialist to try a range of hearing aid brands. They’ve likely also helped you determine the features and functionality that will most help your hearing. 

Aside from trying different brands and features, another way to maximize your hearing is to use two hearing aids. 

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Let’s imagine for a moment that your ears are a muscle. Just like any other muscle, keeping your ears in top condition requires exercise. 

(Sidenote – There are muscles within your ears. However, as a whole your ears are not a muscle, they are actually an organ.) 

Hearing loss can affect your ears differently. If you have a hearing impairment, you may have chosen to only wear a hearing aid device in one ear. While this is going to help one ear, it can actually hinder your hearing ability. 

To help explain why this is, let’s first explore how our hearing works. Normally, we will have ‘binaural hearing.’ This means that both ears are involved in your ability to hear. Some benefits of using both ears to hear include: 

  • Improved ability to locate the source of a sound
  • Better perception of speech 
  • Improved sound processing
  • Easier to hear 

Binaural hearing is the natural state of your hearing. Your brain can more effectively process sounds when both ears are involved. 

Now, back to hearing aids. The purpose of a hearing aid device is to amplify sounds. This provides auditory stimulation, and helps enhance your overall hearing ability. You may notice that your hearing loss is worse in one ear than the other. You may even be tempted to only wear one hearing aid. 

Even if you feel that your hearing in one ear is fine, you may find voices in loud areas are a little unclear. Equally, the sounds from the television may not be as crisp. Known as ‘auditory deprivation’, this happens to many of us as we age. 

Using two hearing aids helps to create surround sound amplification. This helps to stimulate our natural state of hearing: binaural hearing. Wearing two hearing aid devices will help you perceive sounds with greater intensity. It can help your ability to distinguish between different frequencies. It can also enhance your ability to clearly hear speech, even when in a noisy environment. 

The benefits to using two hearing aid devices extend beyond this. Using two devices means there is less load on any one single device. This means you won’t need to have them turned up as high, as both devices will be amplifying sound around you. Two devices can also help reduce symptoms of tinnitus. Unfortunately, only using one device is unlikely to offer this benefit. 

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If you’re interested in learning more about occupational hearing loss, contact the hearing healthcare specialists at Regional Hearing and Balance Center. Please call us on 208-497-3596, or click here to request an appointment online.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.