"I want to hear better but I don't want to pay for two hearing aids."
This is something I hear a lot and so I have my argument prepared. Imagine walking around with one eye covered. Sure, you'd probably get along but you would feel off-balanced, your range of vision would be limited, and your brain would need to work harder.
The ears were built as a pair. While there are exceptions (e.g. unilateral hearing loss), two ears are more effective working together than one ear working alone. Here are a few reasons why:
- Stereo versus mono and a wider range of hearing
- Stronger ability to weed out background noise
- Less strain on your system
- Increased ability to determine from where sounds are coming (sound localization)
- Better understanding of speech in the presence of noise (restaurants, meetings, small groups, etc.)
- More natural, less distorted sound quality
- Prevents the possibility of the residual hearing in your unaided ear from degenerating
- Better tolerance to loud sounds and/or tinnitus
I often advise patients that two hearing aids are better than one. I'd rather a patient dropped down a technology level so s/he could afford two rather than buy one at a higher cost.