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Do You Need Hearing Aids In Both Ears

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Help And Support If You Wear Hearing Aids

Do I need hearing aids in both ears?

Adjusting to hearing aids can be difficult at first. It may take a few weeks or months to get used to them.

You’ll have follow-up appointments after they’re fitted to check how things are going, but get in touch with your audiologist at any point if you’re having problems.

Several hearing loss organisations can also provide help and support if you’re adapting to hearing loss or life with a hearing aid.

Will It Be Hard To Adjust To Hearing Aids

It may take from several weeks to months for you to get used to your hearing aids. You may find that:

    • Sounds seem strange. It’s good to remember that hearing aids will not make you hear like you used to. And nothing will ever sound completely normal. If noises are so strange or shrill that they are distracting you, tell your hearing aid provider.
    • You hear things you haven’t heard in a long time. For example, you may hear background noises much more clearly.
    • You are more aware of sounds close to you. Your footsteps, heartbeat, or car motor may be much more noticeable. With time, your brain will get better at ignoring these sounds.
    • Your hearing aids can be uncomfortable. But they should not be painful. Before you leave the hearing aid provider’s office with your new hearing aids, make sure they fit. Your hearing aid should not hurt your ear or be loose in your ear.
    • Sometimes your hearing aids will make a buzzing noise when you use a cell phone. This noise can be annoying, and it can make it hard to hear the person on the phone. If you use a cell phone, make sure your hearing aid provider knows. He or she can suggest hearing aids that work better with cell phones. And when you buy a new cell phone, buy one that is compatible with hearing aids.

Here are some general tips to help you adjust to your new hearing aids.

In The Ear Or Behind The Ear Whats The Best Hearing Aid For Me

Its a staggering statistic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States, surpassing diabetes and cancer. But we often take our hearing for granted.

If you have signs of hearing loss and a hearing evaluation reveals you should start using hearing aids, sorting through the options may be overwhelming.

When I talk about hearing aids with my patients, I usually begin with the style because thats dictated by the amount of hearing loss you have. The two categories are behind-the-ear hearing aids and in-the-ear hearing aids and there are pros and cons to both.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids sit behind your ear and can have a thin wire, dome or custom-fitted mold that goes into your ear canals. They can improve sound with most types of hearing loss.

  • Pros:
  • They may require more repairs due to the moisture and wax in the canals.
  • They use smaller batteries, which dont last as long.
  • Typically, theres only room for one microphone, which can impact hearing in noisy environments.

Other considerations

Next I look at dexterity and lifestyle needs.


The ability to handle the hearing aid, put it in, take it out and replace the batteries can be challenging if you have tremors, arthritis or any other issue using your hands. In-the-ear hearing aids are typically best if you have dexterity issues.

Battery life




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Don’t Risk ‘auditory Deprivation’

Even though your ears aren’t muscles, depriving them of sound can make the auditory nerve pathways and the associated centers in the brain less effective at decoding the sound around you. Understanding speech, particularly in the presence of noise gets more difficult even when the sound is loud enough for you to hear it. Hearing healthcare professionals call this auditory deprivation.

Wearing two hearing aids means each ear picks up sound and gets the stimulus it needs to stay at peak performance. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology looked at the word recognition abilities of people fitted with one hearing aid versus two. The researchers found that a significantly higher number of the study subjects wearing only one hearing aid experienced a decline in their word recognition compared to those who had two hearing aids.

Receiver In The Ear Hearing Aids


Receiver in the ear hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids.

The main difference is that with RITE hearing aids, the part of the hearing aid that sits behind the ear is smaller and is connected by a thin wire to a speaker placed inside the opening of the ear.

RITE hearing aids are less visible than BTE hearing aids and are suitable for most people with hearing loss, but they can be more fiddly to use than BTE hearing aids.

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Many Hearing Aid Manufacturers

Manufacturers like Signia, Starkey, Oticon, Widex and Phonak have made it their mission to improve peopleâs hearing and change their lives. Signia was the first manufacturer to introduce hearing systems as a solution to treating hearing loss. Whichever manufacturer and hearing instruments you choose, make sure to discuss all your options with your hearing care professional. Hearing aids are not one-size-fits-all, which is why there is such a large selection of devices to choose from.

Do People Around You Tell You That You Should Consider A Hearing Aid

These behaviors, when coupled together, may still be missed by you either because youre not on the lookout for hearing loss or because theyve gone undetected for so long, your brain has just established it as the new normal.

But while your perception is highly adaptable, others may not be so prone to flexibility. If theres someone else who is observing these changes together and suggests a hearing aid as a solution, dont be offended.

It may be the wakeup call youve been missing all along.

Your ears and the degree to which you can hear the world around you affect the quality of life you experience. Its hard to truly enjoy art, or feel social and emotionally engaged with friends, family and current events, or even contribute to your own life in a meaningful manner without this essential sensory faculty.

If youve been experiencing a persistent issue in response to any of these questions, the first step is to head to a specialist for a hearing check-up as soon as possible.

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You’ll Better Know Where Sound Is Coming From

Knowing what direction a sound is coming from, or sound localization, is something people with normal hearing take for granted. From the time we are born and we learn to turn our head in the direction of our mother’s voice, we learn to perfect this skill. Not only is finding the source of sound helpful in everyday life, it can be an important safety consideration. Knowing where those ambulance sirens are in relation to your car helps you know when and where to pull over to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Our two ears work in delicate harmony to make localization easy, and people who have single-sided deafness can attest to having difficulty with this skill. Dr. Francis Kuk writes in the Hearing Review that to improve localization, the first requirement is binaural cues from wearing two hearing aids.

Hearing Aids Can Cause Ear Wax Build Up

Do I need One Hearing Aid or Two?

Yes, you probably guessed it from the last paragraph, putting hearing aids in your ears can also affect the ear wax migratory process. So, unfortunately, in many cases, hearing aids go right along with ear wax build-up. That’s why many hearing healthcare professionals offer their Patients ear wax removal as part of their package when they buy hearing aids.

Read Also: Does Warm Compress Help Ear Infection

Do You Often Ask People Around You To Repeat Themselves

Yes, repetition is the backbone of habit. So, if youre repeatedly asking others to repeat themselves, you may not notice but they certainly will, especially if they interact with you on a regular basis.

Repeating ones words gives the ears a chance to perceive sound vibration once again. It also allows the other senses to kick in and give the ears doing the hearing a boost, if you will.

So, watch for this frequent request from yourself. It may be the first signal of hearing loss.

Do I Need One Or Two Hearing Aids

If hearing loss exists in both ears, there is greater benefit in using a device in each ear similar to wearing eyeglasses with two lenses. There are always exceptions to the general rule and that will be discussed with your audiologist. Benefits from hearing aids in each ear include:

  • Improved ability to understand speech in background noise
  • Less amplification in each hearing aid reducing the possibility of feedback
  • Less auditory effort so you are less fatigued at the end of the day
  • Improved ability to locate the source of sound

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/01/2019.


  • Hearing Loss Association of America. Accessed 9/2/2018.How Can I Tell If I Have a Hearing Loss?
  • National Institutes on Health. . Accessed 7/1/2020.NIH Fact Sheet: Hearing Aids
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.. Accessed 9/2/2018. Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech or Language Disorders

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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Causes Of Bilateral Hearing Loss

A bilateral hearing loss can be caused by many factors. The most common causes are: age, noise exposure, heredity and medication, which all mostly lead to a sensorineural hearing loss. You can also have a bilateral hearing loss if both of your ears ability to conduct sound into the inner ear are blocked or reduced. This is called a conductive hearing loss.

When the bilateral hearing loss is both conductive and sensorineural, it is called a mixed hearing loss.

If you think that you might have a bilateral hearing loss, we recommend that you get your hearing checked by a hearing professional.

Curious About Hearing Aids

Do you REALLY need two hearing aids?

If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to wear two hearing aids , or are curious about the best type of hearing aids for you, visit our directory of consumer-reviewed clinics to find a hearing aid clinic near you. You’ll receive a thorough hearing test and receive the best advice for how to get back to hearing your best.

Also Check: Clearflex Hearing Aids

Adjusting To Hearing Aids

It’s important to understand that your hearing aid cant make your hearing what it used to be. But as you use it, youll become more aware of sounds and where they are coming from.

When you first get your hearing aids, be patient. It may take some time to get used to them. In most states, you are allowed a trial period after you buy a device. Then, if yours don’t work out for you, you may get a partial refund and be able try a different type that works better for you. Also ask about warranty coverage.

Take time to learn how your hearing aids work and insist on a good fit. Work closely with your audiologist to avoid problems such as:

  • Discomfort
  • Echo-like sounds from your voice
  • Feedback or a whistling sound
  • Background noise
  • Buzzing with cell phone use

It may help to start wearing your hearing aids in quiet areas and to keep a diary about how you feel.

It Is Imperative You See An Ent Specialist And A Hearing Care Professional

If you is having trouble hearing, you should visit an ENT specialist. The physician usually performs a hearing test to determine the nature and extent of your condition. You will then be given a prescription, which you can take to a hearing care professional. Do you need hearing aids in both ears? Is your ability to hear good or bad? All these questions are answered with a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

Depending on your hearing analysis, the anatomy of your ears, and personal preferences, you can choose a hearing system to try risk-free. The hearing care professional knows what is most important in terms of suitable hearing technology and can recommend the best solution for you. Once the hearing aids are fitted, you can wear them for 45 days. During this trial period, you can have the devices fine-tuned to ensure you get the best sound quality and clarity. Adjustments are very common because it takes some time to get used to listening while wearing hearing aids. In fact, it can take a few weeks to adapt to your new-and-improved hearing. After a view visits to the hearing care professionalâs office, you need to see the ENT specialist again to confirm medically that your hearing has improved.

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Do I Need A Hearing Aid

If you dont hear as well as you used to, you might need a hearing aid. This really depends on the kind of hearing impairment you have.

Keep in mind that the people who need hearing aids arent simply older adults. Although they make up the majority of the hearing loss population, many young individuals suffer from these impairments as well. Out of 466 million people worldwide who have a hearing loss, 34 million of them are children.

Here Are A Few Important Things To Consider:

How To Put Hearing Aids In Your Ears | Matt Burden – Hearing Care Practitioner
  • Think of the ears a bit like a muscle. The pathways from your ears to your brain both need to be worked out.

  • Wearing two hearing aids helps you identify where sounds are coming from, the fancy word for this is localization. The brain uses timing and loudness cues based on the information it gets from both ears to know where a sound is coming from.

  • The information the brain gets from both ears goes to both sides of the brain. Both parts of our brain share that information to help us pick up speech sounds through noise.

  • Most people have what we call symmetrical hearing loss. This means both of your ears have the same amount of hearing loss. Both ears are the same age, they have the same genetics, and theyve been exposed to the same general sounds and medications. It is a good thing when your ears both have identical hearing loss!

    If you suspect your hearing loss is different between ears, it is in your best interest to consult promptly with a licensed physician . If your hearing loss is different between ears, then you simply wear each hearing aid on a different program that’s right for each ear. The goal is to hear balanced between both ears.

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    Do I Need One Hearing Or A Pair Of Hearing Aids

    If what goes in one ear goes out the other, is it necessary to have hearing aids in both ears? When considering the major purchase of hearing aids, you might think you can skip out and only buy one, but what are the pros and cons?

    If youre reading this article, you probably want to understand whether you can get just one hearing aid, or if its better to have two. Of course, theres no right answer here.

    While you can buy one hearing aid alone, its important to consider your individual circumstances before deciding on whether you should buy a matching pair or a custom, solo hearing aid.

    How Do Hearing Aids Work

    There are three main parts to a hearing aid. Each plays a key role in delivering the right level of sound and frequency into your ear:

      • Microphone: The miniature microphone converts sound waves into electrical signals, which are sent to the amplifier.
      • Amplifier: The amplifier boosts the power of these electrical signals and sends them through the speaker. The level of amplification depends on the severity of an individuals hearing loss. This is diagnosed during an evaluation by an audiologist.
      • Speaker: The speaker receives the electrical signals and converts them into acoustic energy, or sound. This sound is delivered into your ear.

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    Do I Really Need Two Hearing Aids

    April 3, 2019 By Arlington Hearing Center

    Its unusual that people get identical amount of hearing loss in both ears at the same time. Because one ear normally has worse loss of hearing than the other, it raises the question: Do I actually need a pair of hearing aids, or can I simply treat the ear with more substantial loss of hearing?

    In many cases, two hearing aids are will be better than only one. But there are certain instances, considerably less common instances, that is, in which a single hearing aid may be the way to go.

    Do You Need A Hearing Aid

    All about hearing

    Whether its because of noise-induced hearing loss, age-related hearing loss, the side-effect of a issue like tinnitus or a symptom of harmful ototoxic medication, progressive hearing loss is a tricky thing to address.

    Becoming aware is half the battle. Unless youre diligent with periodic hearing tests, how would you truly be able to tell if your hearing was degenerating? And how does one determine the rapidity of the onset of hearing loss?

    These are all excellent questions so we turn to the hear.com hearing experts who can provide answers. If you face any of these six issues, you may want to consider a device to enhance your hearing without having to strain.

    Keep in mind that hearing loss is sometimes temporary so these experiences should be over a marked period of time. Answering yes to some of these questions after a concert, for example, is not the best test of ones hearing.

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