One hearing aid is good, but two are better
When you or a family member notice hearing loss, a common question is whether it’s better to wear one or two hearing aids. If you have hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids are absolutely necessary.
What are the advantages of hearing with both ears?
It is strongly recommended to use two hearing aids to get the best hearing quality possible. Audioprosthetist Mathieu Vézina explains:
“It’s much easier to understand speech and hear specific sounds in a noisy environment with two ears. The sound quality is better, clearer. So hearing is more comfortable and balanced.”
When both ears have hearing aids, improvement is immediate and noticeable. And there are many advantages in rediscovering the pleasure of hearing.
- Better pinpointing of sounds. It becomes much easier to locate the source of sounds and judge their distance. For example, when walking, you will be able to tell if a car is coming and how far away it is, even if you can’t see it.
- Better level of amplification. With one hearing aid, the amplification has to be stronger to compensate for the other ear. The sounds become less natural, more distorted, especially loud sounds, and that can be very unpleasant. Hearing aids are designed to work in pairs, somewhat like speakers and earphones. The amplification of two hearing aids can be less strong and more balanced because they are adjusted to the same level in each ear, producing more natural sounds that are easier to tolerate. It even helps hear weaker sounds, like children’s or women’s voices.
- Better speech comprehension amidst noise. Whether you’re in a restaurant or at a family get together, you can enjoy—and understand—these moments to the fullest. Hearing well from both ears enables the brain to separate speech from ambient noise.
- Superior sound quality. It becomes much more enjoyable to listen to a talented maestro, for example!
Hearing aids help understand speech
Many studies have shown that when only one of two hearing impaired ears is equipped with a hearing aid, speech comprehension in the unequipped ear decreases significantly compared to the equipped ear. The difference is huge: between 5 and 17%!
By depriving one of your ears of auditory stimulation, there’s a good chance you won’t understand speech as well, even if you eventually get a hearing aid for the second ear. That is why it is important to equip both hearing impaired ears with hearing aids and to get your hearing checked regularly to lessen the impact of hearing loss in your daily life. Hearing well is one of the factors that will help you stay socially active and keep in touch with your friends and family.