You may wonder why the audiologist recommends that you wear two hearing aids. If you only have moderate hearing loss in one ear and the loss in the other ear is just mild, why not just wear one hearing aid?

Two ears for safety

It’s not an accident that we have two ears. Our ears pick up the sounds from all around us. Signals coming from two ears on opposite sides of the body help our brain to determine the location of the sound.

If you only receive sound from one ear, it is difficult to determine the location of a sound. You might not think that the location of a sound is important; but just think about a car horn. Don’t you want to know what direction the honk is originating? When you receive signals from both ears, your brain quickly calculates the origin of a sound and this can help keep you safe.

Robust sound

Any chance you remember when stereo first came out? People called it “HiFi” because breaking the sound into two channels created a high fidelity experience. What technology was doing for music was recreating the experience of hearing with two ears. When you hear with both ears you stimulate all auditory areas of the brain. You experience a richness that comes from picking up a wider range of frequencies and tones. The entire auditory processing portion of the brain is engaged and the result is sound that is robust.

Improved speech comprehension

Two ears are really better than one when it comes to following conversation. This is especially true in noisy surroundings. You pick up more frequencies and can better tune in on voices and tune out the background noise when both ears are engaged. That is because the brain is getting sufficient signals to determine which sounds are important and which sounds are not. When the brain is only getting half the signal, it has a much harder job sorting out the things you want to hear from the things that don’t matter.

Two hearing aids simulate natural hearing

If you wear hearing aids in both ears, you will better simulate the process of natural hearing. Sounds from all directions will be amplified, you will better discriminate sounds, and your hearing experience will be much better.

If you have any level of hearing loss in both ears, you should wear two hearing aids. It really is better than just wearing one.