‘Binaural hearing’ is the term given to hearing in both ears and, just as we see better with two fully-functioning eyes, there are real benefits to binaural hearing. If you have a hearing loss in both ears you are more likely to benefit from wearing two hearing aids, here’s why…
More natural hearing
Our bodies are well designed and there are many reasons we were made with two ears. Receiving sound to both ears gives more balanced natural hearing and avoids the ear with the hearing aid having to compensate for the other. It also means friends and family don’t have to sit on your ‘good side’ to make sure they’re heard.
Better hearing in noise
Hearing well with both ears can mean the difference between just hearing and hearing and understanding. Do you sometimes have difficulty hearing in crowded, noisy social situations? Hearing with two ears provides help to suppress background noise, making it easier to hear and understand sounds that are important to you, like loved ones talking, hearing announcements or even being able to hear the waiter in a restaurant.
A good sense of direction
The slight difference in pitch of sounds and the time delay between each ear receiving a sound allows your brain to locate the direction sounds are coming from using a method called localisation. This is a fantastic skill when participating in conversation with a group of friends and a potentially life-saving skill when negotiating busy traffic!
Hear for yourself
Most people who suffer hearing loss do so in both ears; in these cases wearing two hearing aids can make a big difference to their hearing experience, but everyone is different so the best way to find out if you experience hearing loss in both ears and would benefit from one or two hearing aids, is to attend a hearing test. Hearing tests are offered free of charge across the UK by companies like Boots hearingcare and will provide you with professional advice on hearing care and if required, hearing aids.