The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss in Both Ears
Individuals with hearing loss often experience varying levels of impairment in each ear. This can lead to the question of whether treating only the severely affected ear will be sufficient. However, as hearing specialists at Professional Hearing Management, we have found that addressing hearing loss in both ears is crucial for optimal sound experience and improved quality of life.
The Effects of Unilateral Hearing Loss
Unilateral hearing loss, where one ear is affected, is relatively common. However, the factors that cause hearing loss usually affect both ears to different degrees. As a result, relying on a single hearing aid to correct hearing loss may not provide satisfactory results. In fact, it is more beneficial to address the hearing loss in both ears.
Advantages of Binaural Hearing
Hearing well with both ears is essential because it allows us to take advantage of our ears’ critical ability to locate sound. It also makes it easier to understand speech in the presence of noise and reduces the fatigue and confusion brought on by difficult listening environments. Additionally, hearing with both ears significantly improves the ability to decipher speech and selective listening ability, which enables us to focus on the sound or voice we want to hear.
Processing sounds collected by the left ear is initially done by the right side of the brain, while the sounds collected by the right ear are initially processed by the left side of the brain. The two halves of the brain then work together to organize the signals into recognizable words and sounds. Using both sides of the brain significantly improves our ability to understand speech and selective listening ability.
Better Hearing with Background Noise
Using more of the brain to focus on the sound we want to hear is essential in overcoming the primary complaint of individuals with hearing loss: hearing among background noise. Additionally, wearing two hearing aids generally requires less amplification than using only one. This means less potential for sound distortion and feedback, resulting in higher-quality reproduction of sound.
Profound Unilateral Hearing Loss
In cases where there is a total hearing loss in one ear, medical therapies may help recreate some of the effects of binaural hearing. Bone-conduction systems or bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA devices) can transmit vibrations from the non hearing ear to the functioning ear. CROS (contralateral routing of sound) hearing aids can also use a microphone in the non hearing ear to transmit sound to the hearing ear.
Find the Right Hearing Care Solution for You
At Professional Hearing Management, we believe that addressing hearing loss in both ears is crucial for optimal sound experience and improved quality of life. Contact us to discuss your hearing situation and what kind of hearing care solution is right for you. Our experienced hearing specialists are here to help you hear better and improve your quality of life.
To learn more about the audiology services we offer at Professional Hearing Management, contact us today. Our hearing center is located in Valparaiso, IN, and serves the local community.