Born with two, use the two! At Robillard Hearing Centres we suggest the use of binaural amplification over the use of monaural amplification. Like using glasses instead of a monocle to correct your eyes. Using two hearing aids instead of a single aid will help maintain the natural use and function of both ears working together.
When sound is directed into the canal, hitting the eardrum, exciting your auditory nerve, your brain is able to process and understand where the sound is coming from. If you have the same hearing loss in both ears but only amplify one side, you’re not able to stimulate both nerves; therefore, not allowing your brain to comprehend the direction of signal.
If you only corrected one eye, you would find depth an issue. If you only stimulated one ear, you would have difficulty with localization of different sounds. Another risk of stimulating one ear over two is loss in neural stimulation between the brain and ear, what we call auditory deprivation. By amplifying only one side, when two ears have a hearing loss, the non-amplified ear will become lazy and over time harder to fit with prescribed amplification. A monaural fitting is less effective with speech in noise, communication between ears, and balance between the ears; this is due to auditory deprivation.
Another benefit would be increasing speech understanding/ intelligibility. When wearing two aids versus one, you would notice wearing two aids results in clearer speech with average listening situations. When using two ears with proper amplification, clients will also notice about 10dB more in natural volume. If we speak at about 55dB, while ambient room noise is 40dB, 10dB is a significant difference. Balance is key for a fuller sound and proper neural stimulation.
We carry a variety of hearing aids that suit binaural use, working together to create a comfortable amplified sound for those in need. Please contact our offices with any questions or for more information.