When it comes the time that hearing aids are necessary, it can be hard to accept, especially when you learn that you need two hearing aids, not just one. In many cases, wearing two hearing aids is recommended, especially when hearing loss occurs in both ears. However, hearing aids are not cheap, and some may cringe at the idea of wearing two-especially if they are on a tight budget. However, it is best practice to amplify both ears, especially if you are looking for the best possible outcome.
When a person hears a sound, they hear in both ears. Known as binaural hearing, using both ears can help us hear better and determine the origin of a sound. So when it comes time to using hearing aids, having two will allow your ears to process sound naturally. Otherwise, when you wear one hearing aid, the side with the weaker hearing will not allow you to hear important signals, like someone talking to you, or the sounds of traffic, in your weaker ear. Sounds heard in the weaker ear can be softer than the background noise, making it difficult for your brain to pick up and determine the location of the sound-which can be dangerous depending on the situation.
By wearing two hearing aids, you can enhance the binaural hearing process, as both devices will work together to process sound. In addition, wearing two hearing aids may also help conserve your hearing in the weaker ear. Experts believe that wearing a hearing aid in your weaker ear can help keep the auditory nerve stimulated. While there is no solid proof that inadequate stimulation makes the auditory nerves deteriorate, this is the case with other nervous system parts. Other areas, such as the brain, will suffer from a lack of stimulation.
If you are on the fence about purchasing two hearing aids, ask your audiologist about trying both during a trial period. Typically, the benefits of wearing a hearing aid in each ear outweigh the cost, and taking them for a test drive can help you find out for yourself. To find out more about hearing aids, contact your audiologist for a consultation.