Another question that people commonly ask is, “Do I have to get two hearing aids; can’t I just get one?” If you have completely normal hearing in one of your ears and a hearing loss in the other, then you can get away with just one. But if you have hearing loss in both of your ears, having a hearing aid on just one side, means depriving the other side of the stimulation it needs. This single-sided setup can cause the unaided ear’s nerve to weaken over time, and so if you ever do decide to get a hearing aid for that ear, it will have a far more difficult time adapting to sound. It is also far easier to localize sound and understand speech in noise if your brain is receiving the correct sound signals from both of your ears.
What if you have hearing aids already? The consistent use of the hearing aids (9 – 10 hours a day) can result in a shorter acclimatization period, a higher chance of success with the devices, as well as better speech discrimination scores. This is because your brain only has to get used to one way of hearing, thus it is given enough time to make sense of all the new sound information it is receiving. People that don’t wear their hearing aids consistently and only wear them when in a social setting, are forcing their brains to constantly jump between two sets of sounds, not giving their brain the time it needs to acclimatize. Therefore, processing the sounds produced by hearing aids can become very difficult and overwhelming.