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Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Hearing aids are a significant financial investment, so if you’ve experienced hearing loss in both ears, you logically ask, “Do I honestly need two hearing aids, or could I hear just as well with only a single one?” Most hearing specialists will state that the benefits of wearing two hearing aids substantially exceed the extra expense, but to be fair let’s start with the reasons why some people don’t require two.

Obviously, if you have hearing loss in a single ear but your hearing in the other ear is normal, you don’t need two hearing aids. Conversely, if you are totally 100% deaf in one ear, there is no point in having a second hearing aid. Some people experience chronic and recurring ear infections, which can in many cases be aggravated by hearing aids, so in this case wearing a single aid may be an advantage. There are also hearing loss conditions in which the sounds of speech heard in one ear are completely garbled, and in that case wearing a hearing aid in that ear is merely going to amplify the garbled sounds, which makes it harder for your brain to understand speech heard through your other ear.

Outside of these four situations, the arguments for using two hearing aids are fairly strong and backed up by numerous consumer satisfaction surveys among hearing aid users. Two hearing aids greatly enhance your ability to perceive the source of the sounds you hear, and provides a more realistically balanced sound. Understanding speech has been proven to be much easier when wearing two hearing aids than when wearing one, especially when the listening environment is noisy.

Critically important in the decision of purchasing one or two hearing aids is the fact that hearing involves the ear and the brain. When you wear two hearing aids, you continue to stimulate and use both ears. Wearing only one can cause the limited hearing in the other ear to deteriorate further from lack of use. Two hearing aids are almost always better for people who have tinnitus, because hearing aids mask the ringing or buzzing sound, and wearing only one aid will allow it to continue in the other ear. Finally, many studies have shown that wearing two hearing aids is less tiring than wearing only one.

So the arguments for wearing two hearing aids seem to outweigh those for wearing only one. For many people making this decision, they need to experience the difference between one and two hearing aids first hand. You can test out the difference by scheduling an appointment to come see us. Experience tell us that you’ll probably agree that two are better than one.

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