When diagnosed with hearing loss, your audiogram can explain how your hearing issues are configured. Not only can it show your hearing specialist what specific frequencies of sound you find challenging, but it will also indicate whether your hearing loss exists in one ear (unilateral hearing loss) or both ears (bilateral hearing loss).
If your hearing loss is bilateral, your audiogram can also determine if the hearing loss is similar between the two ears (symmetrical loss) or if it has significant differences (asymmetrical loss).
There are many options for treating bilateral hearing loss effectively through hearing aids. With bilateral hearing loss, your hearing specialist will always recommend a matched pair of hearing aids to assist your hearing for the most comprehensive hearing care.
One hearing aid could effectively do the work of two. For most people with bilateral hearing loss, using only a single hearing aid significantly detract from the advantages hearing aids can offer.
Here are some reasons why two hearing aids are often better than one.
Better sound localization
Just as we use our eyes to achieve proper depth perception, we need both ears for our spatial sense of sound. Our brain is capable of attuning itself to the slight lag between when a sound wave reaches the ear it is closest to and the ear it is farthest from. By processing this information, our brain can triangulate a sound’s direction.
When only one ear is involved in hearing, we lose most of our ability to place sounds in space. The sound’s start can be challenging and confusing if we don’t directly see the source of the noise, such as a person’s lips moving to talk or someone dropping a spoon on the floor. Selective hearing is where our auditory system prioritizes what we hear, allowing us to focus on a conversation while ignoring background noise.
Today, hearing aids take advantage of how bilateral hearing functions to emulate selective hearing better than ever before, but they need two hearing aids. By treating hearing loss with only one hearing aid, the untreated ear cannot pull its weight in helping with the spatial sense of sound. A single hearing aid can also not assist much with restoring our selective hearing abilities.
Not only is a good location better with two hearing aids, but your sound quality will also improve when using a pair of devices. When a single hearing aid is used to compensate for bilateral hearing loss, the volume has to be set higher than it would on the hearing aids of a balanced pair. The louder volume on a single hearing aid has disadvantages. Sudden loud noises can be jolting, and higher volume is more prone to feedback.
Using two hearing aids at a more moderate volume can offer you a better hearing range and more reliable sound quality. A set of hearing aids also gives a more “natural” feeling to your hearing and can be better used to treat tinnitus issues if they are present.
Avoid Progressive Weakening
Another downside of opting for a single hearing aid instead of a pair is its effect on the ear that gets left untreated. While using a hearing aid on a single ear helps support that ear’s hearing loss, it also weakens the untreated ear.
With hearing loss, the brain reorganizes itself to compensate for missing information and repurpose unused resources. When one ear is significantly more potent at hearing than the other, cognitive connections are gradually pulled away from the weaker ear, making the hearing loss even more pronounced. Using a single hearing aid hastens more profound hearing loss in the untreated ear, so your hearing becomes unbalanced.
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Are you looking for hearing care that understands your needs and can help you find the best hearing solutions? We are here for you. Our hearing specialists offer comprehensive tests and care tailored to you. Regarding finding suitable therapies for hearing rehabilitation, We can match you with convenient options for your hearing and lifestyle with a wide selection of reliable products from the top brands in hearing care.
Don’t delay – if you have questions about your hearing, contact us today!