Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Seven Reasons You Hear Better With Two Ears

It is called binaural listening: bi for two; and aural for ears. The human hearing mechanism is the most advanced stereophonic wonder known to man. With all of its amazing accuracy and versatility, it provides the listener with space perception, depth perception and balance.

Hearing does not happen in your ears, it happens in your brain. Your brain requires reliable information from your ears in order to decipher sound. Using just one hearing aid when hearing test results indicate that two are needed reduces your brain's chances of hearing and understanding by 50 percent, as well as removes your ability to perceive depth and space. Here are seven reasons to wear two hearing aids if indicated by your hearing test:

1. Less power needed when two hearing aids are worn. When your ears work together, lower volume settings are required for comfortable hearing. You will experience greater efficiency and clarity with two hearing aids as compared to monaural listening. The reduced need for power saves your hearing from damage caused by excessive amplification. The benefits are that loud sounds are more comfortable and listening is less stressful.

2. Stereo listening gives depth perception. Anyone who has enjoyed music in stereo, compared to mono, knows the difference. Mono makes all sounds seem shallow, flat, and unnatural. Your brain has the ability to hear in stereo but to do so requires that sounds be delivered by both ears. Not only are sounds more natural, they can also be understood more clearly.

3. Detecting sound direction saves embarrassment and saves lives. A one-eared listener is always wondering "where is that sound coming from?" when someone speaks. He can also never tell from which direction the screeching automobile is coming, unless he sees it. Hearing with two ears gives you the ability to know sound direction. Binaural listening gives the listener a sens of location and the ability to locate sounds not only horizontally but also but also vertically, 360 degrees in all directions.

4. Good manners takes two ears. One-eared listeners may be considered rude because they tend to ignore the speaker on their unaided side. In business and social situations binaural hearing aids can be your best ally for being the best listener possible.

5. Give your brain what it needs for auditory intelligence. The two halves of your brain work in harmony to give you an auditory image. Just as your brain converts the two images your two eyes see into a single picture, the same special perception happens with your two ears. It is the different signal each ear sends to your brain that makes this perception possible. The ears' sound signals travel up the brain stem via complicated pathways. Some cross over and eventually stimulate the opposite side of the brain. Other stimulate the same side. These complex patterns of stimulation make up auditory intelligence. If the two halves aren't sharing their signals, auditory intelligence is reduced. Binaural hearing aids help the ears get the messages to both sides of the brain, thus increasing your auditory intelligence.

6. Two ears hear better in noise. Whenever several people are talking at the same time, such as in a restaurant, it becomes more difficult to understand the one person at the table with you. The one-eared listener hears all of the voices blending together. Voice discrimination in noise is difficult with two ears and becomes impossible with only one. Binaural hearing aids give the best advantage to hearing in noise.

7. Quality of sound is better quality of life. The majority of hearing aid users who have worn both binaural and monaural hearing aids report a significant difference in sound quality. The vast majority of people who now use binaural hearing aids will tell you that listening with two aided ears is the only way to fully enjoy the 3D world we live in. The advantages of superior sound over the burden of persistently poor sound should not be underestimated. Seize the opportunity to enhance your listening quality, should your test results indicate two hearing aids are needed.

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