Hello Andros ENT family! I hope everyone out there is happy and safe. I myself am looking forward to the holiday season! The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend more time with our loved ones. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a source of stress and anxiety for those with hearing loss as they often have difficulty following and participating in conversations, especially in background noise and large groups of people. They may withdraw or avoid social situations all together. Communicating with hearing loss also requires significantly more effort on the part of the listener and can lead to a person feeling drained or worn out during or after a family gathering. So, what can be done about this problem to improve a person with hearing loss’s enjoyment of social events? Hearing aids! Specifically, a hearing aid for each ear affected by hearing loss. A common question I hear from patients considering hearing aids is, “do I really need one for each ear?” When the hearing loss is present in both ears, the answer is “yes, absolutely!” Think about it this way: it is the same for our ears as it is for our eyes. That is, two eyes help us see our best just like two ears help us hear our best. Try covering just one eye with your hand. See how clarity, depth perception, and spatial awareness are changed? So, what aspects of hearing are improved when both ears are hearing well?

  • Speech Understanding: Focus more easily on important conversations and speech, especially in noisy environments or crowds.
  • Localization: Where did that sound come from? Detecting the location or direction of a sound depends on hearing with both ears.
  • Sound Distinction: Did your spouse ask for a flyswatter or a glass of water? Make sounds and words clearer and more distinct with a hearing aid in both ears.
  • Sound Quality: Two hearing aids provide enhanced sound quality, richness of sound, and listening range compared to hearing with just one hearing aid.
  • Brain Stimulation: Auditory deprivation may occur if an ear affected by hearing loss is unaided. Give your brain equal inputs from each side to help prevent this.
  • Listening Ease: Listening with hearing loss can be a lot of work! Give yourself a break and let the hearing aids do some of that work for you. With two hearing aids, less listening effort and strain are needed to hear and understand.

If you are interested in better hearing and would like to speak more with the audiologists about the benefits of hearing aids, please call our clinic for more information.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Madilyn Guith, AuD

Author Madilyn Guith, AuD I am a native of St. Cloud, MN. I studied at St. Cloud State University for my undergrad degree and Central Michigan University for my doctorate. I enjoy exploring the area, spending time with friends and family, and spoiling my two cats. For audiology, I especially enjoy working with geriatric patients and hearing aids.

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