Q. About 20 years ago, I began to notice my left ear could not pick up the same subtle details and soft sounds like my right ear could. Over the years, the hearing in my left ear has continued to become noticeably worse. Is it possible to wear just one hearing aid?
A. One sided hearing loss is not uncommon. And yes, for people with hearing loss in only one ear, only one hearing aid is necessary.
When the hearing loss in one ear is much worse than the other ear, the better ear might feel like it hears perfectly compared to the worse ear. In this case, each ear might benefit from a hearing aid, and the worse ear’s hearing aid would be programmed much stronger than the better ear’s hearing aid.
I encourage you to get a hearing test at a hearing center where they allow you to listen to one or two hearing aids immediately after your test. As you wear the hearing aids during your appointment, the hearing professional can turn the aids off and on, one at a time, so you can tell how much each hearing aid helps you. Perhaps only the left aid makes a significant improvement for you, so you would only need to get the left hearing aid. Or you might notice that you hear much better when both hearing aids are turned on. In that case, you could begin a trial with both hearing aids for a few weeks.
Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a complete and thorough appointment. You will be pleasantly surprised how nice it is to hear more easily and more clearly again. And ask us for a 4-week trial that allows you to fully test out hearing aids before your purchase them.
Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award. Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad. Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.