Group of older frienda embraxing each other on the beach, happy that hearing aids are fashionable

Fashionable Hearing Aids

Reading glasses are worn for visual difficulties, hearing aids are worn for hearing loss. Yet the two are not entirely viewed the same. When you think of a smart person, you may imagine them wearing reading glasses as there is a view that wearers of glasses are naturally more intelligent. When a person is seen wearing a hearing aid intelligence is not the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, unfortunately, hearing aid wearers are perceived as being old. This is not entirely true, as hearing aid wearers range in age from children to adults and the elderly. Wearers of reading glasses similarly range in age. Despite this, glasses have been viewed as fashion statements, and hearing aids often have been made an afterthought.

In the past hearing aids were large and bulky which was not attractive as the technology often made use of large parts for the hearing aid to work properly. These included large batteries, microphones, and receivers. Functionality was preferred to style, and fashion was not considered in making these hearing aids. Due to this, it was common for hearing aids to be hidden away, as to not draw attention to the wearer.

The evolution of hearing aid technology has given rise to new hearing aid designs. These developments have allowed for function and fashion to be equally considered when designing modern hearing aids. Modern technology has allowed for the development of devices that are much smaller than previous generations. These newer models of hearing aids provided improved performance and for the first time appearance was considered as an important factor. Whilst many hearing aid wearers preferred the functional aspect there was a group of wearers that view their device as a key fashion piece and embraced it as such. This has allowed hearing aids to gain new levels of attraction as the wearer is afforded the ability to look fashionable without sacrificing the core functions of a hearing aid.

What makes hearing aids fashionable?

What makes a hearing aid fashionable is the level of customization it allows the wearer. A variety of changes can be made to a hearing aid to give its own personal identity that the wearer can be satisfied with. This starts with the color. In the past colors were limited to brown, beige, and black. These were not the worst color choices, but there was a lack of individuality as everyone had the same colored hearing aids. Plainly put, the colors were a common sight. The original colors did not showcase the art and fashion elements of hearing aids. In more recent times the color options available have increased. These colors stretch as far as the color wheel will allow, from red, blue, purple, yellow to orange, green, pink, and silver. There is a color for everyone.

If a simple one-tone color is not fashionable enough more personalization can be achieved. For nature and wildlife lovers, the use of animal and plant-themed prints is often preferred. While it is tempting to go with these permanent options, hearing aid covers are another option. These allow you to choose a style that is reflective of your mood daily. Keeping it neutral, as it acts as a canvas to build their style from.

The next type of customization is based on the type of hearing aid you have. Smaller hearing aids that fit in your ear are limited to usually just color and pattern changes. A larger device, like the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, comes with an earmold. The earmold is often in a see-through color. This can be personalized to a color of your choice as well. Similar levels of customization are available for a receiver-in-canal (RIC). The piece that fits into your ear of a RIC, the dome, can have a different color from the actual hearing aid body. What makes a BTE and RIC appealing is the way it allows the wearer’s personality to shine through.

Some bold fashion lover who do not view these changes as enough. A more eye-catching hearing aid is required. With the hearing aid design structure still intact a different element, in the form of jewelry, can be added to it to make it stand out more. You can pair it with an attached hoop earring. This allows you to have another earring on, with the ones of your pierced earlobe. Alternatively, this is a different way to wear your earring without having it pierced through the holes in your ear. This bold design leaves an impression on onlookers.

Recently hearing aids have served more than just a functional role, they have become a fashion statement as well. This is because hearing is not just a science, but an art. Fashion is a creative piece of art that can be expressed in your everyday listening device. A fashionable hearing aid is a hearing aid you would want to wear.

Hearing expert writer Chibuike Okorie

Written byChibuike Okorie

B. Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

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