Two ears are better than one

When discussing treatment for hearing loss, one of the most common questions asked of hearing healthcare professionals is, “Can’t I get by with just one hearing aid?”

Using two, or binaural, hearing aids carries many benefits. For example, hearing well with both ears delivers more natural sounds. Similar to listening to stereo versus mono, the tones are richer and differences in the sounds are easier to distinguish. With just one hearing aid, sounds can seem “flat” and even tinny.

Wearing a single hearing aid makes it more difficult to distinguish individual sounds in a noisy environment. This can cause “listener fatigue” as you have to work harder at hearing well. You may feel a sense of being unbalanced, turning your “good ear” to find the source of the noise or conversation. With two hearing aids, listening can feel effortless.

When using two hearing aids it is easier to tell which direction sounds are coming from, referred to as localization. This can be an important safety feature in day-to-day life, especially when driving.

While your ears deliver sounds, it is your brain that “hears” and processes the information it receives. Your right ear and left ear each deliver sound received to the brain via different neural pathways for processing. This makes it more difficult to understand what has been heard if one ear is receiving sound less effectively than the other.

While one ear may be getting the benefit of a hearing aid, your level of hearing in the ear without amplification can deteriorate. Referred to as “auditory deprivation”, that ear can experience loss of hearing clarity faster than the ear with the hearing aid.

For additional information on the benefits of binaural hearing aids or to book an appointment at the Lincoln Hearing Clinic with registered audiologist, Jerry Laufman, visit our Contact Us page or call Lorraine Baker-Laufman at 905-563-HEAR (4327).


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