Serving Oxford & the communities
of North Mississippi for over 20 years

Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

two modern hearing aids

According to statistics, an estimated 14.3% of Americans have reported some degree of hearing loss, and it is the third prevalent physical condition behind heart diseases and arthritis. Further studies have proven that one in every three American adults between 65 and 74 have hearing loss. Although age is a common cause, 15% of younger people experience some level of hearing loss as well. 

Patients may experience hearing loss or some trouble hearing in either both ears or one ear.  This has prompted one of the frequently asked questions: are two hearing aids better than one?

Do you need two hearing aids?

Audiologists usually recommend getting two hearing aids if you have hearing loss in both ears. You will hear much better with two listening devices as compared to using just one. In having two hearing aids, your brain can recognize various sounds and process them accordingly. Hearing aids are small electronic devices that help in amplifying the external sounds around a person experiencing an issue with their hearing. It can be worn in or behind the ear.  

After diagnosing the cause of your hearing loss, your audiologist would program each hearing aid independently to coordinate the exact amplification level you require, since your hearing loss affects each ear differently. However, it is usual to experience varying hearing loss in each ear. After several years of research, the use of two hearing aids is notably recommended by audiologists to restore hearing loss. Here are some excellent reasons why you should choose two hearing aids over one: 

Two hearing aids offer improved quality sound 

One of the reasons you may be thinking of getting a hearing aid is not just because you cannot hear sounds at an ordinary level; instead, these sounds do not seem loud enough, which makes it difficult to hear. You may have difficulty hearing conversations around you or a TV show. This is particularly the case when there is a variety of background noises. To establish good communication, you will have to hear what is being said clearly and using two hearing aids would do just that

Standard sound amplification 

Wearing two listening devices offers binaural summation. Research shows that binaural summation provides a better sound intensity to the listener. The two ears are given a stimulus immediately as compared to when only one hearing aid is used. The binaural summation procedure is an enhanced ability to segregate frequencies and improve discourse understanding, whether in a quiet or noisy environment. Using two listening devices means your audiologist would not need to turn them up high compared to a single hearing aid, which will even help conserve batteries in the device.  

Better perception of sound direction 

The two ears work in harmony to make sound localization simple. Individuals experiencing one-sided hearing loss can confirm the challenge with this expertise. Being able to detect the direction a sound is coming from is not just helpful for your regular daily existence but plays a significant role in safety considerations. From birth, you learn and perfect the skill of turning your head towards the direction of voices around you. The first step to improving sound localization or limitations from one-sided hearing loss is binaural prompts from two hearing devices. 

Higher user fulfilment 

There are several reported cases of higher user satisfaction among users of two hearing aids rather than just one. In a 2011 study, while 46% of individuals preferred to wear only one hearing aid, those who experienced hearing loss in their day-to-day life indicated a definite preference for two hearing aids. This suggests that despite the various dynamic and spontaneous listening circumstances your audiologist takes you through, wearing two hearing aids will bring you the most satisfaction. 

When is one hearing aid better than two? 

One hearing aid may be ok if you are experiencing mild hearing loss in just one ear. However, most individuals adapt quicker and hear more naturally when fitted with two devices. This is because they can work together to produce a natural sound you are accustomed to. Make sure you get regular hearing tests to ensure you understand the severity of your hearing loss ear.

Need more information on hearing aids? 

If you are uncertain about whether to wear a single hearing aid or two, or have numerous questions concerning your ear health, visit Hearing Aid Consultants of North Mississippi or call us at (662) 234-1337 to be consulted by our trusted and experienced audiologists.