A great referral partner and former audiologist stopped by Chears yesterday. He showed us a thick notebook of clippings from his days in the hearing aid business, including many ads he had run. One headline caught my eye: “A Hearing Aid is Less Conspicuous than Your Hearing Loss.”
This got me to thinking. We have had many clients who say, “I don’t care what it looks like, I just want to hear!” But we have had others whose first concern is that no one should be able to see that they are wearing hearing aids. They feel that others will think they are old, or weak, or even stupid. I can sympathize with these feelings, having been there myself, but I want to strongly fight against them! No one looks down on anyone else if they wear glasses. Why should wearing hearing aids be any different? Actually, I think if someone has a hearing loss and doesn’t do anything about it, that’s when others will really notice. Constantly saying “what?” or faking it is far more conspicuous than a little device on your ear.
Still, if you have bad memories of the big, beige blobs of yesteryear, I have good news for you! Today’s hearing aids are smaller, sleeker, better-working, and some of them are down-right cute! If your ear and hearing loss allow, some are totally invisible. Most tuck discretely and comfortably behind the ear. I have plenty of hair, so that mine are seldom seen at all, but it doesn’t take much hair at all to hide them. And even if someone happens to notice, what they see looks techno-savvy, and definitely not stupid.
On the other hand, why not embrace the concept and be proud of your hearing aids? All the brands offer a range of blend-in colors, but some also offer patterns like vines or zebra stripes, and colors like hot pink or lime green. Whatever you choose, you can expect that few people will notice, but you will feel more confident and you will hear better!
Martha Takata, audiologist