When your audiologist suggests that you will hear better with two hearing devices versus one, there is scientific research backing up that recommendation.
Think about it, though. It should make sense. Typically, we have two eyes, two hands, two legs, and two feet. We also have two ears. Biologically we are wired for stereo-like sound. Having two ears assists with hearing in background noise, distinguishing the nuances in speech, hearing from a distance, and locating the direction of sounds.
Hearing loss interferes with all these functions. While hearing devices can’t bring hearing back to “normal”, they can make a difference and help in all these areas.
Another benefit of a binaural fitting (having two hearing aids) is that the overall volume is set lower than if there was just one device. The potential results are less feedback (whistle) from the devices and improved sound quality with less distortion.
Additionally, there is less chance for auditory deprivation, or lack of stimulation to the auditory nerve and associated areas of the brain. When auditory deprivation occurs, it becomes more difficult for the brain to interpret sounds appropriately. Speech can become harder to understand even when it’s loud enough, making hearing even more difficult.