Do I Really Need Two Hearing Aids?
When an audiologist recommends two hearing aids, there is often a question as to the reason. The question is a good one for several reasons, not the least of which is the additional expense of a second aid.
Two hearing aids are not recommended routinely for all patients evaluated. When this recommendation is made, it is because the audiologist feels that communicative ability will be significantly improved. Usually, this is the case of a person who has significant hearing loss in both ears. To clarify this more, listed below are some relevant facts about binaural hearing aids that have been proven by research and clinical experience.
TWO HEARING AIDS CAN HELP THE PATIENT BETTER UNDERSTAND SPEECH IN THE PRESENCE OF UNWANTED NOISE .
A major complaint of most hard-of-hearing people is that background noise, such as noisy restaurants and social gatherings, makes it difficult to understand what is being said. Even when there is one normal ear (and one bad ear), background noise can present a major problem.
TWO HEARING AIDS CAN ALLOW BETTER RECEPTION OF QUIET SOUNDS AND SOFT SPOKEN WORDS .
With many patients, the inability to hear soft spoken or environmental sounds is a major complaint. To approximate the performance of two aids, a single aid may have to be worn with the volume at a higher level than it would be when two aids are worn. The higher volume setting may allow the patient to hear the softer sounds but it may become uncomfortable for other listening conditions. The addition of the second aid can have the effect of increasing the range of sound that the patient can hear comfortably.
RECEPTION OF SOUND FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE HEAD IS POSSIBLE WITH TWO HEARING AIDS .
The addition of a second hearing aid reduces the need for rotating the head around to face the speaker, making communication easier and more comfortable.
THE ABILITY TO LOCATE THE SOURCE OF A SOUND IS IMPROVED WITH TWO HEARING AIDS.
The ability to identify the direction of a sound source allows a person to react more appropriately to his environment.