The term binaural means two ears. There are a number of advantages that we have by hearing with two ears. These include by are not limited to:
- Perception of the direction from which sound is coming (localization)
- Perception of sound side within the head (lateralization)
- Improved performance in noise (the binaural release from masking)
- Improved hearing in the opposite ear (binaural summation)
- Still being able to hear if there is complete loss of hearing in an ear
These are several of the advantages that we have by hearing with two ears. Our brains make decisions based upon time of arrival, phase of sound, and intensity of sound in both ears to take advantage of these binaural benefits.
In order to be able to use these binaural benefits, our ears must have similar hearing sensitivity. One of the reasons that many people struggle in noise and other difficult listening environments is that either their ears or their hearing aids have gotten out of balance which causes loss of these binaural cues.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with hearing, particularly in background noise, please contact Kristen Conners at Orland Hearing Aid Center at 708-448-1234 to learn about your treatment options.