Clark Audiology & Hearing Aid Center
401 West Germantown Pike
East Norriton, PA 19403

Two Ears or One

Would you wear eyeglasses with only one lens to correct a vision problem in both eyes?  Binaural hearing (hearing with both ears) allows you to make fine judgments about sound and to listen selectively to one of several sounds. Most hearing loss is gradual and hearing loss typically occurs in both ears, therefore it makes sense to fit both ears with hearing aids.

Here are some advantages of using 2 hearing aids:

Localized sound
Localization, or the ability to detect the direction and distance of sound, can only be achieved with two ears. The sound of a car horn, for example, will reach the ear it is closest to a few micro-seconds earlier, and at a higher intensity, than the opposite ear. This difference allows you to identify the direction from which the sound is coming. wearing one hearing aid (when 2 are needed) will not help you locate the direction of sound.

Balanced hearing
Hearing with two ears may help you more accurately and confidently respond to sounds on your left or right side. This balanced hearing helps you relax, enjoy listening to a full range of sound in “stereo”, and reduces the stress that would occur with just listening with one ear.  It is similar to listening to tv with one speaker vs. surround sound.

Better speech comprehension and improved sound quality
Hearing with both ears may provide you with more natural sound quality, helping you to hear correctly and respond appropriately to the world around you.  When the brain receives sounds from both ears, it is able to choose specific sounds to focus on (speech) while paying less attention to others (noise). With only one good ear, the brain has to work harder to focus on speech and this can lead to misunderstandings and fatigue.

Auditory deprivation
Auditory deprivation means that further deterioration of hearing, when hearing loss already exists, occurs at a faster rate in an ear without stimulation that it occurs in an ear with stimulation (usage of a hearing aid). In other words, the lack of stimulation to those frequencies with hearing loss actually allows hearing to further decrease. This is best understood by the theory “Use it or lose it.”

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Clark Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, 401 West Germantown Pike East Norriton, PA 19403
Serving Audobon, Blue Bell, Eagleville, Lafayette Hill, Lansdale, Plymouth Meeting