Hearing the World Around You

Being able to hear and localize a sound source is very important for...
our ability to communicate as we go about our daily activities. Our ability to determine which direction a sound is originating from is essential – for example when crossing a road with heavy traffic, or having to react to a warning call.

With Both

A major advantage of the physical position of our ears, one on either side...
of the head, is that it allows us to localize sounds. Due to the distance between our ears, an individual sound reaches each ear at a slightly different moment in time and with different sound pressure levels. The brain registers and processes this information, enabling us to know where an individual sound is coming from. The combination of two good ears makes it easier to hear surrounding sounds than with one ear alone. When both ears are functioning optimally, it is not only easier to distinguish sounds in background noise, but the intelligibility of speech, the perception of space and general sound quality are also improved.


Hearing impairment affects our ability to understand speech, as well as...
our ability to localize the sound sources around us. The advances made in hearing aid technology provide us with a wealth of possibilities for maximizing the use of residual hearing with hearing aids. If there is a hearing loss in one ear only, it will often be possible to compensate for the loss by fitting a hearing aid in the ear. With a severe degree of hearing loss in one ear, it may be more difficult to obtain full directional hearing and speech intelligibility. However, a hearing aid will often provide improved perception of tonal fullness and depth. If there is a hearing loss in both ears, it is almost always an advantage to wear a hearing aid in both ears. With two hearing aids, the amount of amplification required from each individual hearing aid can be reduced in comparison to wearing only one hearing aid. This means that background noise is not so heavily amplified and the risk of feedback whistling is reduced. The use of two hearing aids enables the individual ear to hear better, as well as giving the following advantages:

It becomes easier to hear speech in background noise. It is easier to localize sounds. Sound quality and tonal depth are improved. It has long been appreciated that music and speech sound better in stereo. When there is a hearing loss in both ears, it will usually be possible to utilize one’s hearing ability far better in “stereo” by wearing two hearing aids. Your hearing healthcare professional may refer to this as “the advantage of binaural hearing.”

Saying “Yes” to Better Hearing

Most hearing impaired people will – once they become accustomed...
to wearing two hearing aids– experience a renewed quality of life, where they can again take part in conversations and localize and recognize many sounds that they may not have been able to hear for years. It takes time to become used to wearing hearing aids, both because of the physical sensation of having something in the ear and also because of the renewed world of sounds reaching the ears and the brain. It is a new situation that requires both practice and patience.

Becoming Used to Hearing Aids

For some first– time users, wearing their hearing aids becomes...
a normal part of daily life within a couple of weeks. The advantages of the “new” hearing ability quickly offset any physical difficulties. For others, the process can take longer. Many users report that it can take up to six months to become fully accustomed to the new sensation of amplification. It, however, important not to give up. Several hearing aid adjustments may be required before a satisfactory result is obtained. Some people choose to use only one of their hearing aids at the beginning because they feel that their ears are blocked, or their own voice sounds strange when using both hearing aids. Naturally, it is better to use one hearing aid than none at all – but it is still not the best solution. If only one hearing aid is used, the “stereo effect” that gives the ears and the brain the largest benefit is not obtained. Moreover, such “disadvantages” are usually only of limited duration and will most often fade. Nature has provided us with tow ears to give us the best possible hearing. Although hearing, aids do not restore normal hearing, the recent advances in hearing aid technology have given us the possibility of making the most of our remaining hearing. And this works best in stereo!

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