Wearing hearing aids in both ears, or “binaural hearing aids”, has been associated with many hearing benefits, including:
Why are two hearing aids better than one? By wearing two hearing aids you include your hearing range from 180 degrees to a full 360 degrees – like listening to a stereo system with surround sound. Researchers have found that the feeling of loudness generated by a sound doubles when the two ears are used instead of one ear for a sound coming from the front of the listener. At the same time, louder sounds can be heard more comfortably by people who are hearing with both ears instead of just one.*
Moreover, if you have hearing loss in both ears but only choose to wear a hearing aid in one ear, the other ear will not receive the auditory stimulation that it would get from a hearing aid. Not surprisingly, research has found that when only one hearing aid is worn, the unaided ear tends to lose its fine-tuned ability to discriminate and understand different sounds. Wearing two hearing aids to keep both ears “active” may potentially mitigate a further decline in your hearing function.**
If you have one ear that cannot be aided by hearing aids, it is possible to wear Earlens in one ear. But if you have mild to severe hearing loss in both ears and would like to wear the Earlens Contact Hearing Solution, it is advisable to wear Earlens in both ears. Earlens is not currently compatible with any CROS or BiCROS systems.
To learn more about whether Earlens could help you hear better. Schedule an appointment with your local Earlens provider and ask about a sound demonstration to compare Earlens to your existing hearing aids.
* Avan P et al. “Importance of Binaural Hearing”. Audiol Neurotol 2015; 20(suppl):3-6.
** Stender T. “On the Benefits of Binaural”. Hearing Review July 2014.
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