While many hearing aid users prefer a smaller, more invisible hearing aid over a more eye-catching option, new trends in design may turn colorful and tasteful devices into a fashion statement. Unlike eyeglasses, which come in an innumerable selection of colors, shapes, and sizes, when it comes to hearing aids, invisibility is currently the norm.
Design trends, even with hearing aids, invariably stem from the consumer, so why isn’t there a big push for more fashionable devices? While there is certainly a large section of the hearing aid wearing population – particularly older seniors – that would prefer to keep their devices small and invisible, many young people, and even younger seniors, are itching for a wider range of options when it comes to their hearing aids.
The Benefits of Fashionable Hearing Aids
The most important thing when it comes to designing a hearing aid is comfort and function. If a hearing aid is uncomfortable, or simply doesn’t work, it won’t sell. While color and style are secondary to these concerns, the ability to have a hearing aid that matches one’s personality can be incredibly empowering.
Many hearing aid wearers want to be able to customize their devices to better suit their lifestyles and personalities. Although hearing aids are a medical device, they are also part of a new trend toward wearable technology, which also includes smartwatches and fitness trackers. Thus, having a hearing aid that is colorful and sleek is analogous, in many ways, to having the latest smartphone in a hip, new color.
In addition to allowing both youngsters and older folk to customize their devices to their personalities, having more fashionable hearing aids can achieve a much higher goal: better societal acceptance and awareness of hearing aids. While this may seem like a lofty goal to strive for, many argue that by making these devices more eye-catching and fashionable, people can exude more confidence and positivity about their hearing aids.
A Greater Goal
While some would prefer to make their hearing loss a more private matter, for many, the ability to express oneself through one’s devices can make a statement that doesn’t just say ‘I’m okay with my hearing aids’, but rather that ‘I’m proud of my hearing aids’. This change may seem minor, but it is a big step toward better social acceptance of hearing loss.
If hearing aid use becomes more visible to the general population, it can make people more aware of the difficulties people with hearing loss can encounter. This could help better prepare organizations, local governments, schools, and the like to meet the needs of people with hearing loss. Plus, the destigmatization of hearing loss could further encourage people who might be apprehensive about getting treatment to schedule that initial appointment with a hearing healthcare provider.
Although hearing aid fashion and design will always be a personal choice of the individual wearer, and some will still prefer a more invisible device, an increased availability of fashionable devices can have many positive benefits for hearing aid users. If you’re considering upgrading or changing your hearing aids, a conversation with your hearing healthcare provider can give you a better understanding of what choices are available to you.