JS came to the Zephyrhills office of Gardner Audiology with longstanding history of hearing loss, right ear worse. His daughter was encouraging him to try hearing aids. His hearing loss was mild to severe in the left and severe in the right ear. After seeing his physician to determine there were no treatable medical conditions causing the asymmetry, he decided to participate in our Field Study to see if new technology hearing aids would improve his communication ability.
JS was fitted with Starkey Z Series i90 receiver in the canal hearing aids. Over the next few weeks he experimented in different listening situations, and also wearing one hearing aid vs both aids. He returned today to purchase the hearing aids. He was thrilled with the improvement and felt he was hearing at almost 100% in all listening situations. He admitted that he was hopeful that he could get by with just one hearing aid in the poorer ear. After experimentation he realized that binaural hearing gave balance and better understanding.
There are two lessons to be learned from this journey. The first is the importance of being given the opportunity to experiment with hearing aids in real life to decide what works best for you. The second is how important binaural processing is in understanding speech, especially in noisy environments. We have two ears for a reason. For most people, balanced hearing out of both ears, when possible, will give better speech understanding, better localization, and better function in noisy environments.