Hearing is a complex process. Which is why detecting the cause behind hearing loss and treating it requires expertise and the intervention of experienced audiologists. Every audiologist is often posed with a question from end users, that is ,” would I need hearing aids in both ears?” and then when at times the answer is on the affirmative, comes the second question, “but why would I need two hearing aids, instead of one?”. The answer to this question is extremely simple even though the process it encompasses is highly, complex. Here is why it is preferable to use two hearing aids instead of one, even if it is that one ear has more hearing loss than the other.
The ears and the sense of hearing serve a larger purpose than just hearing… Think about it!
Location sensing and Distance awareness
Our sense of hearing guides us in understanding depth, distance and location, at times in partnership with vision but mostly when vision is not enough. Say for example you are walking down a noisy crowded street and your friend calls out to you from far behind. You brain processes the sound as you hear it and determines the direction it is coming from, the distance and your relative location to the source, in this case your friend. You brain performs this complex within a matter or micro-seconds and helps you react accordingly. Think of your ear as siding in location sensing. Now, when either of your two ears is damaged, the whole process is differed too. Some people may have a lesser degree of hearing loss in one ear. In that case they can definitely use just a single hearing aid, but often times it becomes difficult to calibrate the hearing aid in balance with the natural sense of hearing, no matter how good the hearing device is. In fact, in many cases with the hearing aid, people start feeling that their hearing aid is louder or clearer than their good ear and this causes localizing problems. In this case it is advisable to use two hearing aids, so that the calibration is balanced enough for the ears to perform normally and you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed again when your friends calls for you in a crowded street.
Hearing balance is extremely important. The ears take in sound inputs from various directions and the brain processes it to understand direction and distance of certain sources of sound. Now at all times the input capacity of undamaged ears is always balanced in such a way that optimum processing of the sound is done by the brain in the least amount of time. With the introduction of a hearing device in just one ear, naturally this balance is thrown away a little. Even though calibration can help achieve a certain amount of balance between the two ears, it is never 100 %. At the end of the day it’s a machine and you cannot expect it to replace a human organ by 100 %. But it has been seen that when hearing aids are introduced in both ears, it becomes easier to achieve balance. Since, both ears have a hearing device attached, the processing time and function is somewhat same on both ears as it is the device that is taking in inputs first. This reduces pressure on any one ear and the person using the hearing aid also feels much comfortable.
Research says that over 25 % of users who has problems in just one ear developed problems in the other ear eventually. Out of this 25%, over 63% of the users were using hearing aids in just their problem ear. For a long time audiologist have hence had the opinion that hearing loss in one ear can affect the other ear for a number of factors, but only a few are preventable. Using a hearing aid in just one ear, may cause the other good ear to strain as it will try to match up to the other ear’s processing capabilities and vice versa. This strain may cause hearing loss in the good ear. Use of two hearing aids has been seen to have helped to limit this strain and prevent the good ear from developing hearing issues.
All said and done, if you are facing troubles with hearing, always consult and audiologist first and follow the doctor’s advice for the best results. To find the best Hearing Aids in Kolkata contact Bengal Speech and Hearing Pvt. Ltd.