Should I have one or two hearing aids?
We can locate where sounds are coming from because sounds reach the ears at slightly different times and loudness. As sound travels up the two hearing nerves from both ears, through the brainstem to the auditory cortex it undergoes many levels of processing. If the brain’s processing is limited by hearing loss, our ability to hear speech in noise becomes impaired.
Issues related to cost, aid management or user preference may mean that only one hearing aid is fitted. Some people have poor speech clarity in one ear compared to the other and amplifying sound in the worse ear may only provide distortion and noise. Audiologists play word lists into each ear and calculate a speech discrimination score to help evaluate whether both ears can be fitted with hearing aids or whether other options are more appropriate.
If cost is the issue, you will generally hear better with two lower cost hearing aids than one top-of-the range device. Please feel free to discuss these issues with your Audiologist before making a final decision.