Bilateral Hearing Loss: Are You Using One Hearing Aid or Two?

September 12, 2018 2

Levels of hearing loss are likely never the same for two people. When you discover you are living with a hearing loss there are many details that result from a complete hearing exam that will give you an inside view of your exact hearing loss and how to confront it. The primary portion of a hearing test that will allow you to learn your exact hearing loss level is called an Audiogram. When reviewing your personal Audiogram with an Audiologist (AuD.) or a Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist (NBC-HIS) each of these professionals should sit and review your Audiogram results with you.

In reviewing your specific Audiogram with a certified hearing professional will allow you to understand exactly which sound frequencies are difficult for your brain to interpret and also if you are showing a unilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in one ear) a bilateral hearing loss (hearing loss in both ears).

The next step is determining is your hearing loss is symmetrical (similar hearing loss in both ears) or if you are experiencing an asymmetrical hearing loss (significant difference in the hearing loss in both ears).

When a person is suffering from bilateral hearing loss, the majority of hearing healthcare professionals will almost always, except in rare cases, recommends wearing two matched hearing aids, when compared to wearing just one hearing aid in the most severe ear.  In the end, most people suffering from bilateral hearing loss eventually realize that using only one hearing device will take away from the overall hearing advantages of treating the hearing loss in both ears.

Bilateral Hearing Loss: Where is that sound coming from?

Localization is the ability to detect and determine the source/direction of a sound. People are developed to utilize two ears in order to comprehend our spatial sense of sound. Our brains were built to process sounds through vibrations. When only one ear is involved in hearing we lose most of our ability to place sounds in space. We can also lose our ability to differentiate between sounds we want to focus on and those we want to ignore. By treating hearing loss with only one hearing aid, the untreated hearing loss ear falls behind. It is unable to keep up with cognitive functioning of sounds and spatial sense of sound.

When a person with bilateral hearing loss decides to combat their hearing loss by wearing two hearing aids, that person will feel a more accurate functionality with their hearing devices. Of course wearing two hearing aids will help with better sound location and origination, but it will also help with improving the overall sound quality you experience. When a single hearing aid is used to take the place of the need for two hearing aids, the volume has to be set higher than if you were using the proper two hearing aid devices. Setting one hearing aid volume to a much louder setting in order to compensate for using one hearing aid instead of two hearing aids has distinctive drawbacks.  Sudden loud noises can be jolting and higher volume is more prone to feedback. On the other hand, using two hearing aids at a more moderate volume can offer you a better hearing range and more reliable sound quality. A set of hearing aids also gives a more “natural” feeling to your hearing experience.

Bilateral Hearing Loss: Do you need help?

If you are currently suffering from bilateral hearing loss, Physicians Hearing Solutions is your answer. Our expert team of hearing healthcare professionals are fully trained and experienced in providing all of our patients with the best hearing healthcare available. Offering cutting-edge hearing technology and care, we want you to trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing care each time you come to see us. Our practice offers hearing aids to suit any budget and lifestyle. Let us help you find a way to improve your hearing healthcare today. Call (401) 921-0181 or find us online at


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