Millions of people around the world are now affected by hearing loss and the effects it can have on relationships and daily life. When hearing loss becomes a concern, the decision to see a professional for a hearing evaluation and get fitted for hearing aids can be a big one. You may wonder how hearing aids will affect your lifestyle. Care of or cost of hearing aids may be a concern as well. For these reasons and more, many affected by hearing loss in two ears consider purchasing or wearing just one hearing aid instead of two.
While this may seem like a reasonable way to save some time and money, there are several reasons why it is always best to invest in your hearing by purchasing and using two hearing aids.
Known as binaural hearing, this is simply the fuller hearing ability that comes from two ears processing sound instead of just one. Not only does it help with understanding speech more clearly in noisy situations, but it also prevents a “head-shadow” effect when a sound or conversation occurs on the hearing impaired side of the head and sound waves are blocked from reaching the hearing ear. All of this together improves communication and listening ability, helping those with hearing loss participate more fully in the conversation.
With hearing in two ears instead of just one, you are able to not only hear more fully but also better determine where a sound is coming from. This is called localization. Not only does this help you to better “tune in” to what you want to hear and “tune out” other background noises, it can also be vital in the case of emergency sounds such as sirens.
With millions of Americans now affected not only by hearing loss but also by tinnitus, tinnitus maskers are proving an essential feature in many hearing aids. With only one hearing aid, tinnitus can only be masked in one ear leaving a ringing in the other ear. Research continues to underscore the serious effects tinnitus can have on wellbeing and the importance of strategies like tinnitus maskers to manage the symptoms.
While wearing one hearing aid instead of two, even with hearing loss in both ears, may seem like a sensible solution to save time on care and cleaning and money on the devices and accessories themselves, it can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the hearing aid you do choose to wear. Studies are now pointing to the importance of treating hearing loss early and fully as part of total health, and it may be time to look at getting fitted for, purchasing and wearing two hearing aids as an important investment in your health now and into the future.
Work with a hearing healthcare provider to find the right devices for your needs through a comprehensive evaluation, consultations and fittings.
Get you back on the road to hearing better hearing today with solutions that fit you and your lifestyle!