Are two hearing aids really better than one?  The short answer, backed up by decades of research in the field of hearing science, is a resounding “yes.”  Here are a few good reasons.

1. Use it or lose it. Even though your ears aren’t muscles, depriving them of sound can make the auditory nerve pathway and the associated centers of the brain less effective at decoding the sound around you.Research shows that people wearing only one hearing aid experienced a decline in their word recognition compared to those wearing two devices.

2. Crystal clear sound.Wearing two hearing aids has been shown to facilitate clearer communication and understanding.Studies have shown a pronounced improvement in sound quality and clarity, and higher speech discrimination scores, for subjects fit with two devices.

3. More bang for your buck.Wearing two hearing devices gives the user an increased perception of volume.Neither of the two devices needs to have its power output turned up as high as a single device trying to do the work of two.

4. Improved sound localization.Our two ears work in harmony to help us localize sound.We learn from an early age to use this binaural input to accurately determine the source of the sound in our lives.Knowing where sounds originate is not only helpful in our everyday lives, it can be an important safety consideration as well.People with single sided deafness have long attested to having difficulty with this skill.

5. Satisfaction. Hearing healthcare professionals report higher hearing aid satisfaction from clients wearing two hearing devices as opposed to one. And isn’t that why anyone wants hearing aids to begin with?

Adapted from “Why You Should Wear Two Hearing Aids” (B. Plotnick), Healthy Hearing, 12/21/2017

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