Our ears work in an organized fashion to transmit sounds to the brain so we can fully understand speech and background noises. In order to fully comprehend noises that are around us, we have two ears. Our two ears help us to determine depth perception, direction of sound, as well as the clarity of noises, especially when in a noisy environment. If you have hearing loss and have been treated by an audiologist with two hearing aids, it's just as important to wear both devices. Here are just a few reasons why you might wear two hearing aids instead of one:
Keep auditory nerves engaged
The ears are like muscles, and if you don't use it you may lose the ability to clearly understand speech with the non-hearing aid ear. Doctors call this auditory deprivation effect, it can lead to aggravated hearing loss in the ear that does not utilize an aid.
Clarity, tone and accuracy
Research has shown that wearing two hearing aids makes for clear conversation, making it possible to better understand noises as they are meant to be heard. Other people's voices, television and music can be enjoyed at a clear, crisp quality through two hearing aid devices. Since users of two hearing aids will likely have a lower volume set than those with one instrument, there is less of a chance for distortion as well.
Wearing two hearing aids increases the range of hearing by roughly four times. A person who is hearing with one ear may be able to softly hear a voice from 10 feet away, while a person with two devices can hear the voice from a 40-foot distance. It also allows you to hear from every angle and direction.
People with well-rounded hearing will be able to hear sirens, car horns and other alerts louder and clearer. Since the range of hearing is increased, it is easier to comprehend where the noise is coming from, and how far away it is.
Has your balance ever been affected by an ear infection or hearing loss? Using two hearing aids can eliminate this issue because the sound is being distributed through both ears. Monaural hearing aid wearers can feel a strange sensation with sound since it is only being picked up fully by one side of the body.
Cushioning of sound
If you are only wearing one hearing aid, this device has to pick up sudden loud noises on its own. Binaural hearing aid wearers are required to have the volume set lower than those who only wear one device, which allows for a higher tolerance of loud sounds.
Hearing aids may take a few days or weeks to get used to, but patients will often have higher satisfaction ratings if they use two hearing aids instead of one. Because of all the reasons listed above, wearing two hearing aids versus a single device can be much more beneficial.