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Can hearing aids help with hearing loss in one ear?
Posted by Susan Brown Good, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology on July 01, 2019
Yes – hearing aids can help A LOT.
Why? Because we are meant to hear with two ears. Binaural hearing (hearing with both ears) is essential for hearing in noise, maintaining our natural perception of loudness, and it is how we effectively localize or maintain spatial awareness and feel immersed in our surroundings. So even if you feel you can “get by” with one ear, there are challenges you will face that can be helped with hearing aids.
Technology designed for single-sided hearing
There are a few different solutions used for monaural hearing loss (hearing loss in one ear) depending on the specifics of the case. The key factors in determining the appropriate solution are the hearing levels and speech understanding of your ear with the loss, which a hearing healthcare professional can measure and assess.
Sometimes the poorer ear can be helped with one hearing aid. Other times, the ear is unaidable, meaning it cannot be helped with a conventional hearing aid that makes sounds louder. In these cases, a CROS system may be appropriate. A CROS system takes sound from the poorer side and transmits it to a better ear so that sounds can be perceived from the poorer side — to give you the benefits of binaural hearing.