The importance of having two ears

November 16, 2011 by Paul Côté

The importance of having two ears

When you think about your eyes, has it ever occurred to you to only correct one eye? It’s absurd you would tell me? Glasses are adjusted to obtain the best vision possible in both eyes.

It should be the same reasoning for our ears. Two hearing aids (binaural hearing) should be customary, with a few rare exceptions.

The benefits of using both ears

Hearing with both ears is essential for a better understanding of speech in the presence of noise. Take for example, a person with a dead ear driving their car and conversing with the passenger by his side. His hearing difficulties are evident: he will need others to repeat and his comprehension will be bothered by background noise. A person with only one hearing aid will experience similar difficulties.

To preserve and activate the remaining hearing, the ear must be stimulated. We know that in the absence of sound (sensory deprivation), hearing deteriorates progressively.

When we wear two hearing aids, the benefits are numerous: better speech perception in noise, better sound localisation in space and a reduction of communication effort thanks to a more natural and stereo amplification.

Be conscious of your choice!

A person who chooses to wear only one hearing aid must be aware of the sensory deprivation phenomenon. When an ear is not stimulated, it becomes lazy. When the cells in the ear die, they don’t regenerate. The more we wait, the more the adaptation to the amplification will be difficult. Stimulating the ear will slow down or stabilize the hearing impairment.

Try hearing with only one ear!

Next time you find yourself in a noisy environment (restaurant, cafeteria, mall, etc.), block one ear and try to converse with someone. You will rapidly understand that it is not easy. The hearing impaired person with only one hearing aid will be in a similar situation.