Do I really need to buy bilateral hearing aids or would just one be adequate?
If two hearing aids have been recommended to you by the professional at your hearing center, why settle for just one?
There is ample research to support that people with hearing loss are more successful with hearing aids when two hearing aids are worn versus just one, as well as demonstrating some major disadvantages when only one hearing aid is worn.
Just as our brain is wired to see through two eyes to enhance our vision, same is true for our hearing. Our brain processes sound from both ears to allow an enhanced listening experience. When the brain receives input from only one ear, enhanced hearing abilities are lost.
Some benefits of wearing bilateral hearing aids include:
- Better localization – the ability to tell where sounds are coming from
- Better hearing in background noise (such as restaurants and parties)
- Better sound quality (“mono” versus “stereo”)
- Better hearing for soft sounds, such as children’s voices and the sounds of nature
- Less strain on you while listening - with only one hearing aid, you may often strain to hear various sounds and become fatigued, but with two hearing aids, listening is more relaxed
- Listening balance – you won’t be turning your “good” ear to hear.
- Higher success and satisfaction - studies indicate people who wear bilateral hearing aids are much more satisfied with their hearing aids.
People often think getting used to hearing aids will be easier if you wear only one hearing aid. As you can see, it will actually be more difficult and your hearing will not improve as much as it would with two hearing aids.
Follow the advice of your the professional at your hearing center and purchase two hearing aids. That extra investment will pay off.