Do I need two hearing aids?
We hear this question regularly from patients who feel that if they correct only their worse-hearing ear, things will be much better. But our hearing relies on two ears in more ways that you might think.
Localization—or knowing where a sound is coming from—is only possible with two ears. Trying to hear well without this critical spatial component of natural hearing is very difficult. Additionally, think of how important it can be to know where a siren or a scream is coming from. People who lack this component in their hearing are seldom satisfied with their hearing.
Hearing with two ears also helps enormously when trying to understand speech in noisy situations. Our brains are quite good at helping us selectively attend to the ear that’s better receiving desired sounds (speech, for example), while giving less attention to undesired sounds or background noise. Put simply: People do not hear well using only one ear, and for people with hearing loss, two hearing aids create a much more natural and effective better-hearing experience.
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