Let’s start with the bottom line … two ears is better than one. We are born with two ears for a reason; actually for many reason. I can personally attest to the fact that the quality and clarity of sound perceived with one ear is simply not as good as with two ears!
About 2 ½ years ago I experienced sudden hearing loss in my right ear. In spite of aggressive treatment by my ENT and Audiologist, I still have significant hearing loss in that ear. I consider myself very fortunate that the hearing in my other ear is excellent.
Through this experience, I learned that my brain depends on both ears working together for effective hearing. With only one good ear …
- it is very difficult to tell where sound is coming from. For example, when someone calls my name or when my phone rings, I don’t know what direction to look.
- it can be hard to tell how far away some sounds are.
- I experience difficulty separating the sounds I want to hear, like someone’s voice, from random background noises.
- listening takes a lot more work. I have to turn my good ear toward the sound I want to hear, and work hard at intentionally blocking the sounds I don’t want to hear – a process that used to happen naturally.
- talking on the phone has become awkward as I’m right handed and I now have to hold the phone to my left ear. Strangely, that is a big deal, impacting my ability to concentrate on the phone.
- I feel a constant sense of being off balance.
Recently, I found an article on the Hearing Care Centre’s website that confirmed much of I was experiencing and explained some of the science behind it: http://www.hearingcarecentre.co.uk/Info_page_two_pic_2_det.asp?art_id=5857&sec_id=2917.
After two years of struggling and hoping my hearing would bounce back in my right ear, I finally got a hearing aid. It’s definitely a new experience and I’m still getting used to it. So far it has been quite the adjustment. It’s like my brain is having to relearn how to use two ears again to determine direction and distance of sounds as well as to separate sounds. I am confident that with time my brain will adapt and enable me to get the most out of both ears. After all, at the risk of repeating myself, two ears are better than one!
Written By Jeff Bradford, Marketing Director