Two ears hear better than one
The power of two
One of the most commonly asked questions is if two hearing aids is necessary. We know that the cost of two devices may seem high, which is why it is important that our customers understand what a difference binaural hearing makes in their hearing experience.
Just as correcting vision with glasses works much better two lenses, correcting hearing works much better with two devices. Your vision is composed of information sent from your left and right eye. The images captured by both eyes are similar, but slightly offset so that your brain can generate a three-dimensional image of the surroundings. Seeing clearly with two eyes is more effective than if only one eye receives correction. Furthermore, when only one eye is corrected, the uncorrected eye strains more and it takes more energy to integrate the two different images.
In the same way, normal hearing depends on having inputs from two ears, so that each ear provides a slightly different soundscape to the brain. Having two auditory inputs allows for a wider range of hearing, and for the brain to process the complex auditory signals from the environment into essential information like the location, speed, and direction of movement of sounds in the environment. This allows the brain to react more quickly in situations like being in busy traffic, or in other places where many sounds exist.
Enhanced hearing precision
When we hear a sound with both ears, there is twice as much information to help our brain create a better perceptual image of the sound. For example, sound coming from a source on the right side reaches the left ear later than the right ear, as it has to travel further, and the sound at the left ear reaches with lower intensity because it passes through the ‘head shadow’. With hearing loss, the clarity of the soundscape from each ear is reduced. Wearing two hearing instruments improves the representation of the environment where the sounds are heard.
Improved speech clarity
In complex hearing situations, hearing with both ears helps the brain to give preference to speech sounds over noise. Binaural hearing makes speech seem clearer and louder, and reduces the effort needed to take part in conversations in a noisy environment, making socializing a pleasant experience again.
Wearing two hearing instruments also allows for greater comfort when unexpected loud sounds occur, as lower volume settings are needed as compared with wearing only one device.
In noisy situations with many different sounds coming from different places, hearing with both ears helps our brain to pick out the one sound source we’re interested in, and focus on it. The effect of the ‘head shadow’ is that each ear hears different intensities of frequencies due to some of the sound being absorbed by the head. The brain is naturally able to process this information to tell you how far off from your center a sound is. With hearing loss, this effect is significantly reduced. Wearing two hearing instruments helps the brain to regain the ability to distinguish the location of sounds.
Keep up with others without stress
“At first I was convinced I only needed one hearing aid. But then I compared wearing one device to wearing two devices. With one, some sounds were clearer, but I was still struggling to hear speech in noisy places. When I switched to wearing two, everything became suddenly clearer. I still had to practice wearing the hearing aids for a few days, but now I can keep up with conversations even in crowded places without losing my cool.”See the vibe hearing aid family