Are Two Hearing Aids Better Than One?

Dr. Li-Korotky

For people who are hearing impaired, using two hearing aids to hear is so much better than just using one. Two hearing aids keep the cognitive abilities from declining by working with the brain on both sides to keep neurons firing that would otherwise die off. They keep the hearing fresh and sharp allowing for communication between family and peers to continue without missing a beat. They allow the user to continue living their life without interference. Some people don’t see the point of bothering with any hearing aids and they spend their lives straining to hear even the smallest of sounds. This is truly a horrible way to live and highly unnecessary. There are so many treatments on the market right now along with technological aids that there is just no need to live your life without being able to hear.

There are two major types of hearing loss. The first is unilateral hearing loss which is also known as single-sided deafness. It occurs in one ear and affects millions across the country. Then there is bilateral hearing loss which is the hearing loss that most requires the use of two hearing aids as it affects both ears instead of just one. However, don’t underestimate the power that two hearing aids can have on unilateral hearing loss as well. Though unilateral hearing loss only affects one ear, two hearing aids can help improve the quality of hearing in both. It can help you continue to drive, go to work, and resume any and all of your daily activities that were used to doing before.

As mentioned above, the effect that not wearing a hearing aid can have a profound effect on the brain as neurons can die off quickly. It can cause it to go haywire in a way because it senses that the portion of itself that it used to use to help you hear isn’t needed anymore. In an effort to keep itself useful, it slowly starts shutting down that part of the brain, not feeling it is necessary anymore. It starts overworking itself in other areas of the brain to make up for the part that was lost. This is something that has only recently been discovered by doctors and neuroscientists. Before this research was done, it was not known if dementia setting in about the same time as hearing loss was simply a coincidence or if the two were actually linked together in some way. Now they know the two are very much connected.

Hearing loss can be a terrifying thing to go through alone. It is important if you are the one suffering from it, to stay close with your friends and family. Don’t distance yourself from them as hearing loss can sometimes make you do. If it is a loved one that is going through it and has just been diagnosed, try to be patient if they push you away and don’t feel like talking. Though you may not think so, it is a huge thing for someone to be told they have hearing loss. It can affect the person negatively by giving them suicidal thoughts or just by making them close themselves off from the world. Give them their space, but be there to talk if they need to. Offer them a ride to the hearing specialist and explain the benefits of hearing aids to them. They truly may not know what they offer. Tell them what you know and advise them to talk their hearing specialist about any other lingering questions they may have.

It is important to see a hearing specialist even if you are reluctant and even if you don’t want hearing aids. Hearing specialists can help talk you through anything and can offer alternative treatments to hearing aids. They can also offer medication that will help offset the symptoms you are having. It is crucial to seek some kind of treatment, no matter what it is. Hearing loss is a serious diagnosis, no matter the age or time in your life that it affects you. It is very important to not let it impact your mind with negative thoughts. Take control of it and don’t let it rule your life.

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