Should I wear two hearing aids for both my ears?

“Two is better than one,” as we often hear. We advise two hearing aids if you have hearing loss in both ears because you will hear better with two hearing aids than one. You have bilateral hearing but only one brain. In other words, your ears detect noise, but your brain processes random noise into recognizable sounds. It’s more comfortable if your brain is obtaining signals from both ears.

Your hearing care provider or audiologist will program each hearing device individually to correspond to the precise levels of amplification required in each ear because it’s normal to have various levels of hearing loss in each ear.

For many years, a study in hearing science has backed the idea of using two hearing aids. Some reasons are:

Risk of Auditory Deprivation

One of the best ways to keep your body healthy and in good working order is by regular exercise, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and getting your steps in for the day. Conversely, when we don’t move and use our muscles, they tend to weaken and even atrophy over time.

Though your ears aren’t muscles, restraining them from sound can make the auditory nerve pathways and the associated commands in the brain slightly dv effective at interpreting the sounds around you. In the presence of noise, understanding speech gets complicated even when the sound is loud enough for you to hear. Hearing healthcare professionals call this auditory deprivation.

Using two hearing aids means each ear picks up sound and gets the stimulus it needs to stay at peak performance. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology peeked at the word recognition abilities of people with one hearing aid versus two.

Researchers discovered a significantly higher number of the study subjects wearing only one hearing aid encountered a drop in their word recognition than those with two hearing aids.

Better sound quality using two hearing aids

One of the most significant reasons you may be considering getting hearing aids is that, besides not being able to hear at typical levels, you’ll discover that even if you can hear, the sound isn’t clear. You have trouble comprehending what others are saying. Often true if there is background noise competing. Understanding speech is the foundation of good communication, and there’s no better reason to seek hearing treatment.

Research has shown that wearing two hearing aids makes for a more thorough discussion to understand sound better. The study concluded a noticeable improvement in sound quality, clarity, and higher speech discrimination test scores for subjects with two hearing aids compared to those who wore hearing aids in only one ear.

Knowing where sound is coming from

Knowing which direction a sound is coming from, or sound localization, is something people with average hearing take for granted. We learn to turn our heads toward sounds, toys, and voices from birth. We’ve mastered this skill. Finding the source of sound is helpful in everyday life, but it can also be essential in defending oneself.

Our two ears work in delicate harmony to make localization easy, and people with single-sided deafness can affirm having difficulty with this skill. So to improve localization, the first requirement is binaural cues from wearing two hearing aids.

Setting the proper amplification is easy

Wearing two hearing aids provides binaural summation. Binaural summation is when a listener senses greater intensity (volume) of sound when both ears are presented with a stimulus simultaneously compared to hearing the stimulus in either ear alone.

This phenomenon is also associated with an improved ability to distinguish frequencies and speech understanding in diverse noise situations.

Neither of your two devices will require the power output or be turned up as high as a single device attempting to do the work of two. In this manner, it can help you conserve hearing aid batteries and may even suggest you can wear small hearing aids since not as much power is needed.

But when can one hearing aid be best used?

Research suggests that for people with cognitive delays or dementia, one hearing aid may work better than two. Two hearing aids over-stimulate the brain and auditory pathways making it more complicated for the user.

If you have normal hearing in one ear and mild hearing loss in the other, you’re probably OK to wear one hearing aid. But remember to get regular hearing tests to ensure your “good ear” is still hearing well.

So it is still best to ask your audiologist or hearing doctor for advice. It is also best to do a trial and error and see which is ideal and best for your lifestyle. At Listening Lab Singapore, you can take a hearing test to determine your hearing level. If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to wear two hearing aids (or one for single-sided hearing) or are curious about the best type of hearing aid for you, visit one of our hearing clinics in Singapore today.

About The Listening Lab

Listening Lab is a home-grown company whose mission is to help our clients restore their hearing to enjoy the life that they desire. Experiencing hearing loss can be detrimental to one’s quality of life. Hence we commit to providing high-quality hearing solutions.

Our hearing solutions include hearing tests and treatment and prescribing hearing aids. Clients may come to get their hearing checked, and we will assess whether hearing aids are required.

If hearing aids are required, clients can choose from a variety of the best hearing aid brands we provide. Each of the products offers unique features that complement daily use and perform well in helping our clients enjoy the life that they desire.

What Do Our Customers Say?

Person in charge nice and helpful with warm smiling face. Should you have hearing problem, can seek for her advise.
Catherine Tang Yap
Your service is marvellous! Patient and friendly. Mr Ching has been a customer of The Listening Lab since 2018. We have been attending to him for his follow up reviews and we are glad to see his progress!
Mr Ching
My husband purchased a Siemens Pure 7PX in 2016. We wish to appreciate Listening Lab for their ongoing attention and professional help they have been providing to us.
Mr & Mrs Sriram
madam Low
My mum has hearing loss for many years. Consultant of Listening Lab helped her fitted with Resound hearing aid. His patience and professionalism was greatly appreciated as the hearing aid enable her to hear and communicate with the people around her especially her grand children. We are happy with the services rendered by consultant. Keep up the good work!!
Madam Low
The Voice of two Generations in Singapore radio, Mr Brian Richmond, has chosen The Listening Lab to be his audiology and hearing services provider. We could not be prouder!

Brian is the definitive household name in English Radio since the early years of Singapore's founding, starting with Rediffusion followed by Radio One and now with Gold 90.5FM as well as Vintage Radio Singapore. His honeyed voice and selection of music filling our ears as we lived the bustle of our daily lives.

Soccer fans from the Malaysia Cup era of soccer will never forget his heart-pounding commentary from "live" matches, as we experienced the ups and downs of the Singapore Lions in the 1970s to 90s.

Our Executive Director Kelvin Lee is proudly beaming ear-to-ear in this photo with Brian. But you wont be able to see it through the masks!
Brian Richmond
I started experiencing loss of hearing sometimes in 2010 (41 years old) owing to some medical issue. I was having difficulties hearing conservation especially in meeting. Thus, giving me the fear in attending meeting.

Initially I started with Phonak hearing aid. It helps amplified the sound and I could hear better then. Somehow, my hearing loss deteriorated further that in late 2012 (43 years old), there was profound loss of hearing on my right ear. Even digital hearing aid could not help. On my left ear there is still about 50% to 60% hearing with hearing aid. I was lost at this point of time. I was considering learning sign language. I went to see my ENT specialist and my audiologist Mr. Bala advised me to go for an CI as an alternative to my hearing loss.

I also thank God for Engineer and Scientist, giving them the knowledge to create such a complex and sophisticate device to help those with hearing loss like me. It will be all perfect if the cost is affordable too.
Jonathan Po
madam goh
I took my mum to Listening Lab at Simei to get her hearing aid fixed, during our first visit, she patiently explained the whole procedure to my mum and also explain to my mum why she really in need to fix the hearing aid. She is very knowledgeable, and friendly, and we are encouraged to ask questions. she is also very patient with old people which is the most importance. Also her after service is superb so I highly recommend.
Mdm Goh
My mum, Madam Kek (73 year old) had the Cochlear implant (CI) done on her left side in 10th September 2019. Thereafter, thanks to the subsequent auditory verbal therapy, evaluation from SGH ENT team, as well as, the support from AB's and Listening Lab staffs; Madam Kek was able to hear, comprehend sound and music from her Cochlear implant, Naida CI Q90, and hearing aid (HA), Naida Link UP, for her right side before end year. We are happy that both the CI and HA have improved mum qualify of life. Now Madam Kek is looking forward to work again to pass her time as she can hear and better communicate with others.
Madam Kek
Titus was implanted when he was 18 months old. He is a happy, talkative 6.5 years old now. AB has been with him for 5 wonderful hearing years and we are looking forward to a bright future that lies ahead for him. AB’s Naída CI sound processors are reliable and the technology is constantly evolving and upgrading. When Titus was introduced to Naida Link CROS, his life was enriched. The wireless network established between his Naida CI sound processor and a Naida Link CROS transmitter allows him to hear from both ears. This changes Titus’s life and the way we interact with him. We are also very pleased with the prompt response and service provided to us. The staff in AB genuinely cares! We want to thank AB for making Titus’s hearing journey an enjoyable and a relatively stress free one!
Titus Pang
mr tan
I have been living with progressive hearing loss for more than three decades. Socially, I find myself fearful of communicating with people and at home, watching 'soundless' television programs is a norm.

An unforgettable experience. Trying on a pair of Resound GN hearing aid, I was energized and revitalized and overwhelmed with emotional tears of joy. The Resound GN is truly remarkable and uniquely equipped with three-friendly-user environmental modes that provide hearing comfort wherever we are.

In particular, I like to extend my utmost gratitude to Hearing Consultant. With her profound compassion and wisdom in guiding me, I am confident that I can forge a formidable partnership with the Listening Lab; So that I can rebuild a new chapter of a happy and value-creative life and simultaneously, leaving behind the painful memories of the past three decades.
Mr Tan

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