Most hearing loss sufferers are more satisfied with two hearing aids than one, according to Dr. Anthony Komaroff’s column in the Daily Journal.
If you have hearing loss, it’s probably difficult to accept that you need one hearing aid, let alone two. If you have hearing loss in only one ear, then only one hearing aid is necessary. However, most people experience hearing loss in both ears, especially when it’s age-related rather than noise-induced, meaning you’ll be more satisfied with two hearing aids.
With two hearing aids, hearing loss sufferers can take better advantage of the way brain processes sound through binaural hearing. Normal hearers tend to experience sounds through both ears with exceptions. For example, if you rub two fingers together outside your right ear, you process nearly all of the sound in that ear.
What Happens Internally When You Hear?
When a sound enters both ears, each ear sends a version of the sound to the brain. The brain then interprets the sound by processing the signals from both ears. The brain does a much better job of processing the sound when it’s getting signals from both rather than simply one. With signals from both, the brain can pick out voices and interpret what the voices are saying even when there’s a lot of background noise.
If you have hearing loss in both ears and you’re only wearing one hearing aid, your brain will likely have more difficulty distinguishing voices from other sounds, especially in a noisy environment. You may also have a hard time identifying the location of particular sounds.
The brain normally identifies the location of sounds by comparing the relative loudness and frequencies of sound signals coming into both ears as well as the amount of time it takes these sounds to travel through the ears. However, when sound signals are always louder in one ear, the brain can’t locate a sound.
Another advantage of wearing two hearing aids is being able to set each of them at a lower volume. This lower volume means less feedback and sound distortion.
If you are still considering whether you want or need two hearing aids, simply ask your doctor if you can use two aids on a trial basis. You can be fitted for two hearing aids and use them over a period of several weeks to decide if you hear better with one or two. If you decide not to use two, you can simply return one hearing aid to the doctor.
Want to learn more about hearing loss treatments? Feel free to schedule a consultation by contacting one of our representatives today! They will help you choose the right path for you hearing loss goals.