If you have hearing loss in both ears, you probably will benefit from binaural amplification. Binaural amplification is simply wearing two hearing aids. Many worry that they are not getting the value for their money when it comes to the purchase of hearing aids. You may wonder if two hearing aids are really better than one. But, if you have hearing loss in your right and left ear…it probably is better. There are measurable benefits to wearing two aids over one.
One ear (monaural) versus two ears (binaural)
Typically those with bilateral (both left and right) hearing impairment will choose to aid the better ear or the ear that is recommended to be best for amplification if only purchasing one hearing instrument. However, monaural amplification leads to issue with localization, sound quality, and limited improvement in hearing and speech understanding.
If your hearing loss is different on one side, or perhaps you have a normal hearing ear, there are solutions for you as well! Two hearing instruments are still recommended, but they work a bit different. There are specialty types of hearing aids, called CROS and BICROS which allow for some of the benefits of binaural fittings.
In cases where there is normal hearing in one ear and an unaidable hearing loss in the other ear (or dead ear/no hearing) a Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS) hearing aid may be appropriate. For those who have an aidable loss in one ear and an unaidable loss in the other ear, a Bilateral Routing of Signal (BICROS) hearing aid would be more appropriate than a CROS. The CROS and BICROS work in much the same way by picking up sound from the worse ear and sending that sound in addition to the amplified sound being picked up from the worse ear to the better ear. Call your local hearing healthcare professional today to learn about your options and trial periods for your binaural amplification!