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Can I get by with only one hearing aid? The short answer is “NO”. If you have two ears with a hearing loss in each ear, a pair of hearing aids is recommended in most cases. Although there are exceptions, most people will do better with sound coming into both ears. Just as it it better to see with both eyes, it is also better to hear with both ears. Nature shows us how important two ears are for their very survival. Without two ears working effectively, an animal could not locate danger (localize the sound source) and could not effectively hunt prey. The same comparisons can be made for the human species. Most importantly, two ears send separate input to each side of the brain which actually helps to sort out and process speech- especially in the presence of background noise.   If you talk to anyone who has lost the hearing in one ear (unilateral hearing loss or single-sided deafness)  they will tell you how hard it is to get by with only one ear.   To further illistrate this point, children with a unilatral loss of hearing have a 50% greater chance of failing a grade or needing special services in school.   The best way to know where you stand with your hearing is to be evaluated by an audiologist. Call today for an appointment!
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QUESTION:

I suspect that my hearing may not be as good as it once was. What should I do to find out exactly how I am hearing?

ANSWER: 

Many of our patient's feel that they can still hear fairly well, but are shocked when they learn that they are only hearing a portion of the pitch range necessary for effective communication. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually over time, and often times individuals are not aware that these changes have occurred. It is common for family members, friends, or significant others to be the first to detect or suspect a hearing loss, as they are typically the ones who are having to speak louder or repeat themselves to be heard.

Early signs of hearing loss include:

1. Hearing that someone is speaking,but having trouble understanding exactly what they said or mishearing what was said.

2. Difficulty understanding speech where background noise is present, or with multiple people speaking at the same time.

3. Not catching what is said the first time and needing others to repeat what they said.

4. Turning the TV or radio volume louder than others prefer.

5. More difficulty hearing children and women than men

6. Difficulty hearing people that speak softly.

7. Having trouble localizing where you hear sound coming from.

8. Ringing in the ear(s) when no external sound is present.

If any of the above signs of hearing loss describe difficulty that you or someone that you know is having, it is important to have your hearing thoroughly evaluated. An audiologist has the professional training and experience in accessing the function of the auditory system, and will be able to assist you in evaluating your hearing. 

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Cape Girardeau's largest and most experienced hearing care team.