Better Hearing with Both Ears

Why Two Are So Important

Being able to hear with both ears is just as important as being able to see with both eyes.

If you have difficulty hearing with both ears, you will almost certainly benefit from a binaural fitting-that is, wearing a hearing instrument in each ear.

The most important benefits of wearing two hearing aids are:

  • Your ability to localize sounds will improve.
  • It will be easier to understand speech in noisy surroundings.
  • The risk of ‘auditory deprivation’ is considerably reduced.
  • You will experience a fuller, more comfortable sound picture.

Sense of Sound Direction

Why do people have two ears? Because the brain needs input from both ears to tell us which direction sounds are coming from.

Think about a car honking its horn, for example. Your ears alert you to the danger, sending sound signals to your brain. Within a split second, your brain compares the information received from both ears-such as the power and intensity of the sound wave, and how long it took to reach each ear.

This tells you instantly which direction the car is coming from, and how far away it is. This process is called ‘sound localizing’.

Localizing Sound

The reason we can localize sounds is because of the physical distance between our ears. For instance, the sound of a car horn on your right-hand side reaches your right ear a fraction of a second before it reaches your left ear, and with greater power. This is why you know immediately that the car is rapidly approaching from the right. It is nature’s way of keeping us safe and feeling comfortable in everyday situations.

Understanding People in Noise
Background noise makes it difficult to follow what people are saying. For people who don’t hear equally well with both ears, it suddenly becomes much harder to separate individual voices from background noise. The brain needs input from both ears in order to separate sounds effectively.

A Typical Noisy Situation

Imagine an everyday situation, like a conversation at the dinner table. You are trying to talk with the person next to you, but the rest of the family is also talking. The background noise makes it difficult for you not only to hear, but also to understand what is being said.

It is possible to assist some of the brain’s natural ability to filter out background noise by getting professionally fitted with two hearing aids.

Another advantage of wearing two instruments is that you need less amplification, so background noise is less irritating. And with less sound amplification you also reduce the risk of acoustical feedback (whistling sounds).

Reducing the Risk of Auditory Deprivation

Another risk that is considerably reduced by wearing two hearing aids is the risk of auditory deprivation. This is when the brain gradually loses some of its ability to process information from the unaided ear because of a continued lack of sound stimulation.

Auditory deprivation most often occurs when the ear goes unaided over a long period of time-so the earlier you consider wearing two hearing aids, the better your chances are of minimizing this risk.

Auditory Deprivation in Children

Reducing the risk of auditory deprivation is especially important for children with hearing loss. Children have the ability to pick up sounds at a very young age, and it is this ability to hear and imitate sounds that gives them the foundation to develop speech.

If children miss this crucial early learning period it can be very difficult for them to develop good verbal communication skills later on. That is why it is essential to get them fitted with two hearing instruments as soon as possible.

A Fuller Sound Picture

If you hear equally well with both ears, sounds are more comfortable to listen to. You don’t have to strain to hear, and sounds have the kind of clarity and depth that give you a sense of space and location.

Imagine listening to your favorite program on the stereo. It has two amplifiers and two speakers, to give music and speech a natural depth. However, if only one amplifier and speaker is working, the sounds become shallow and flat.

If you should be wearing two hearing instruments but only wear one, you may also perceive sound in this way. Fortunately, your hearing care professional can correct this by fitting you with an instrument in both ears.

Be Good to Yourself

If you do have a hearing loss in both ears, you should talk with your hearing care professional, and follow his advice. Let him fit you with two instruments, and allow yourself the necessary time it takes to adjust to wearing them.

Be good to yourself. By wearing two hearing aids, not only will you enjoy the benefits of a fuller sounds picture-you will also notice an overall improvement in the quality of your life.

*Information source; “Better Hearing with Both Ears ” brochure provided by Oticon.

For more information on our services, call our office to make an appointment.

Office Info

795 Primera Blvd. – Suite 1031
Lake Mary, FL 32746

T 407.829.8981

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We recognize the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has already had and will continue to have on your day-to-day lives. No one knows how long or severe this crisis will be. However, please know that Lake Mary ENT & Allergy will do everything possible to protect the public health, to heal those who are suffering, and hopefully be beacons of hope in our community. We understand that you may be anxious and fearful at this time. As the typical viral season winds down and allergy season ramps up, it may be difficult to tell if your symptoms are due to your allergies or possibly COVID-19. We are here to help you during these difficult days ahead.

We understand the importance of our role as your healthcare provider, particularly for patients with asthma and other allergic conditions who may be at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms with COVID-19. We are committed to helping you navigate through this difficult period. It is imperative that you keep your asthma and other allergic conditions under control during these next few months. This means taking your medications as prescribed to you by Dr Damask, including your allergy shots or allergy drops and if you are on a biologic medication that you keep up your regime with your in-office injections.

Dr Damask and her staff at Lake Mary ENT & Allergy want you to know that we are taking great care to ensure proper sterilization of the instruments used for examination and we are also maintaining a sanitary office environment for all our patients by disinfecting the exam rooms after each patient.

We have rearranged our waiting room to promote social distancing and we have set up a special area just for patients with respiratory symptoms. We also have appropriate supplies for hand washing as well as hand sanitizer for your use in the office. If you are interested in alternatives to in person visits, contact the office about telehealth options. We are now offering virtual visits through a webcam or your phone.

Please follow the CDC recommendations regarding measures such as frequent handwashing and not touching your face. If you are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath AND have had recent international travel/been on a cruise OR have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, please contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-VIRUSHQ or 1-866-779-6121 to speak with a clinical expert about your concerns and receive guidance on the next steps that are right for you.
We will keep you informed if there are any changes to our policies or changes to our office hours. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.