One or two hearing aids

Posted by imallears @imallears, Tue, May 28 8:38am

Hi all,

I have a profound bilateral hearing loss…started out with one hearing aid then progressed to 2 because all Professionals tell you 2 is better for balance etc.
That’s true to a certain degree . My right ear is the good one and over the years I have learned that using only the good ear provides a better hearing experience in certain situations.

I try to wear both as much as possible and generally do so in the normal day to day life. However, in noisy situations such as auditoriums, parties and some restaurants I take the left aid out. I can cope with all the extraneous noise better even though I have noise suppression programs. I actually understand better with only the good ear aided. I have been doing this for quite a few years after 40 years of wearing hearing aids and wonder how many others feel about 2 versus 1 aid….or CI.

Regards from FL Mary

Liked by lioness, bookysue

I was doing the same thing… I found that if I took out my left hearing aid in very noisy situations and positioned the person I was speaking to on my right, it was a lot easier to hear them. Then my audiologist and I came up with an idea to put a program in my hearing aids that shuts off the left hearing aid so I don’t have to take it out and risk losing it. It does work wonderfully. I use my both of my hearing aids in every other situation as it adds fullness and clarity to what I’m hearing.

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I was diagnosed with a progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in 1962. I was in college. My parents sent me to the best specialists in the midwest, where I was told that nothing would help me; that hearing aids were a waste of money, and that my 'nerve deafness' would progress to the point where I'd be deaf in my 40s. At that time, my loss was moderate, so I managed. Fifteen years later I had given up my career as a teacher and was struggling socially. I was stressed and frustrated. I depended on my daughter and my husband to be my hearing aids. A friend encouraged me to get tested at the speech & hearing clinic at a nearby university. Since I had been given no hope on diagnosis, I didn't want to go, but she convinced me to try. That was the beginning of getting help. However, I was so resistant to wearing hearing aids in my 30s that I was only fit with one; an analog bi-cross. It helped once I let my short hair grow to cover it and started wearing it. The big mistake then, was not getting 2 hearing aids. I wore only one aid for the next 15 years. By then I was watching people I knew through HLAA succeed with cochlear implants. I started thinking about that option, but wasn't ready. However, I did receive some excellent advice from Mark Ross PhD, who was on the HLAA national board with me. He encouraged me to get a second hearing aid to help that 'inactive' ear to relearn to hear as best it could. He told me about how 'sensory deprivation' could take the ability to hear away from that ear that had been unaided because my brain had become 'lazy' on that unaided side, even tho it was identical in testing when I was originally fitted with the single hearing aid.I found that second aid frustrating. It seemed to distort what I was hearing with the other ear. I didn't wear it regularly. But, I started using an FM system with a neckloop and both hearing aids to listen to audio tapes; also in church, and at HLAA meetings where FM systems was installed, etc. I was able to bring back some of the hearing in that deprived ear over a two year span. When I decided to go for the CI, I had it done in that 'deprived' ear. The CI has been a miracle for me. Hearing out of both ears, as a bimodal user of technology (HA and CI), I feel more balanced. Interestingly, I do not hear well unless I'm using both technologies. Working together they give me balanced sound. If I take one off and use only the other my discrimination drops considerably. I agree with the hearing healthcare professionals that 2 ears are better than one. I also believe that sensory deprivation is an issue for many people who choose to use only one device. Obviously, this is an individual thing. Most important though, I've learned that the brain can make adjustments, and reawaken even after it has become deprived. You can 'teach an old dog new tricks'! 🙂

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Hi Inallears. I was correctly diagnosed at 16 having a hearing loss rather then Askhasic and mentelly chalkenged. But i was incorrectly fitted with just one aid . Why that- finally in my 50’s ( no change in hearing loss level till 63 on… ) I am active bike rider / animal care provider. When I told my then new Ausiologist the aid bit; she flipped out. She made me go outside with a borrowed aid on one ear and the one I have. She told me to ride my bike around with them ( what trust) I did and what a difference it made. My safety riding a bike with two aids is a big gain . She let me to a payment plan ( now will not because it is a business sadly ) My hearing curve improved. My speech became better.
I taught folks that Tcoils can.be used for rev help with no captions available- hear concerts with them-
My aids are 15 plus year old – cannot afford new onesie. But now a candidate for cochlear implants ( next year)

Each person is different, what you do is for different issues than I. You do two aids when you need to and one aid when you must. Continue that way but as I am sure you did already … tell your audiologist that. Nothing wrong what you do.. if down the road you need new aids, try iPhone friendly aids- Resound/ Phonax. It’s seems to help a lot . I cannot go that route because hearing aids companies will not work with me on costs. I do not qualify for care credit. And less hearing aids would work at my level.
Sorry for long bit

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@judysmayo

I was doing the same thing… I found that if I took out my left hearing aid in very noisy situations and positioned the person I was speaking to on my right, it was a lot easier to hear them. Then my audiologist and I came up with an idea to put a program in my hearing aids that shuts off the left hearing aid so I don’t have to take it out and risk losing it. It does work wonderfully. I use my both of my hearing aids in every other situation as it adds fullness and clarity to what I’m hearing.

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@judysmayo

What an awesome idea of having a program just for that purpose! Definitely going to have my Audi try that.

Thanks!

FL Mary

Liked by judysmayo

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@imallers I do the same thing My right ear is worse so remove it in loud noisy places overnight I just cleaned my aides in a dry dehumidifier now recharging them but have to go get them checked way overdo.

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I have always heard that if you don't wear both hearing aids, that the ear not worn gets worse. In my case, I need both, so I wear both, and turn them both off in loud areas.

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@joangela

I have always heard that if you don't wear both hearing aids, that the ear not worn gets worse. In my case, I need both, so I wear both, and turn them both off in loud areas.

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Yes the latest research is indicating that if you don’t use your hearing your brain does lose the ability to hear. I also have a program that will shut them both off in loud (like basketball) venues. I only use the program that shuts off the one side when I’m in a place with background sound and I want to hear to the person next to me.

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This is a very interesting conversation. There are potentially multiple things going on. One is that the left ear is better at dealing with noise and the right with speech. As far as I am aware, this is independent of other factors, such as one's dominant eye or hand. Another thing is the fine timing resolution required for the normal human hearing system to deal with the small delays that correspond to a sound arriving at both ears from varying angles left to right. Another is the difference between a microphone being in/on the ear canal or behind the ear. Those behind the ear do not benefit from the effects of the outer ear, which help one determine, for instance, where a sound is coming from above one. This list could go longer, but I expect that you get my point. An engineer's response to all of this mix of theoretical knowledge versus your own practical experience might be to go with what works for you, at least as an initial solution.

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I'm going to have both aids. I tried it with the one and had it on my left ear and was hearing from my right side but I want to have the implant put in
both sides. I have been losing my hearing every year for some time. But when I had the hearing aid put on my right side I was hearing things I couldn't believe. I will try both but if one will work ok then for a time I will use one. But I will have both them when it comes time to have to

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