Most of us are born with two ears. We hear best when these two ears work together, how nature intended. Years of research supports the claim that people with hearing loss in both ears benefit more from wearing a hearing aid in each ear. This helps to give sound a more balanced, natural quality and, in complicated listening situations, hearing with two ears helps the brain to make better sense of your listening environment.
So what improvements can I expect with two hearing aids?
Improved Listening in Noise
Two hearing aids makes soft speech more accessible and in more noisy places, the speech is more easily separated from the background noise.
Improved Hearing Sensitivity
When wearing two hearing aids together, one gains a volume boost just by having the two ears working together. There is even a natural volume increase provided by the brain! People who only wear one hearing aid are likely to want to turn the hearing aid up quite a bit, leading to possible sound distortion and increased chance of feedback, or whistling. The sound quality is also improved when both ears are working together.
Improved Sound Localisation
It is the brain’s job to determine where a sound is coming from. This is possible because sounds may arrive at each ear at different times and intensities depending on which side/direction the sound came from. The brain is then able to analyse the timing (nanoseconds!) and volume differences to quite precisely locate the direction of the sound source, and thus, which way you need to look.
With one hearing aid, it will always feel as if sound is coming from your aided side, which may not always be correct.
Stimulation of the Pathway
A big benefit of wearing two hearing aids is that both auditory pathways get stimulated together. Nerve pathways that aren’t used can get rusty or unfit, so it is important to keep them active and firing! When there is a hearing loss present. This is done by wearing appropriate hearing aids.
Copyright: Francis Slabber & Associates 2017