When you think about the style of hearing aid, what do you imagine? For many of us, our minds return to the hearing aids we saw decades ago, tan plastic devices that fill the outer ear and are large enough to manipulate with switches and dials. Indeed, many people still use this type of aid, and the size and shape can be convenient for many people. But what about those who would like a more “stylish” hearing aid?
As technology advances in hearing aid form and functionality, many of the features remain remarkably similar. Hearing aids tend in two directions: ever-tinier units that are invisibly placed in the ear canal and high-tech devices that look like (and sometimes double as) Bluetooth units. What seems stylish to you might tend in either direction, and there are even companies that make flashy hearing aids with inlaid glitter, holographic finishes, and tie-dye patterns. Let’s walk through some of the stylish options for hearing aids that capture each of these unique tastes.
Invisible Hearing Aids
In the past, hearing aids had to sit amply in the outer ear, and they were hard to miss. Those who weren’t excited about the look of wearing aids found that they were too obvious to an onlooker, and the hearing aid industry responded with tinier and tinier aids to the point of invisibility. Hearing aids are now available that fit completely inside the ear canal, and others need not know they are in place at all. While this feature might be appealing to many people, they do come with some tradeoffs.
Those with moderate to profound hearing loss might not get enough amplification from these aids, and the tiny batteries can be difficult to change for people with manual dexterity issues or arthritis. Finally, some people experience a muffling effect, and positioning the aids can be quite difficult at times. These issues aside, some people feel that invisible hearing aids are the most “stylish,” making these tiny units the best option available.
Flashy Hearing Aids
Others tend in precisely the opposite direction when they think of stylish hearing aids. Rather than hiding them, they would rather make a bold statement in neon color. Some companies are beginning to introduce these lines of hearing aids with a loud fashion statement to accompany the loud audio volume they supply! Not all people are drawn to the bright colors and funky designs of these aids, but many children have been drawn to these units when they need to wear hearing aids. In addition to plaid, metallic, and psychedelic designs, these models also come in an array of colors, so some people will enjoy the opportunity to select a color for their aids. Not all hearing loss needs and hearing aid models are suited to this style, so it is important to confer with your hearing health professional about the match with your needs.
Futuristic Hearing Aids
When it comes to style, some others are willing to boldly show their hearing aids in another form, demonstrating near-cyborg ability to augment sensory ability. Walking down any street you are sure to pass people wearing cordless earbuds as well as Bluetooth units that make it seem as if they are talking to themselves. The ubiquity of visible technology paves the way for a new world of hearing aids that not only allow streaming of media and audio calls but also are able to amplify the sound of the environment. These devices have a high-tech futuristic flair that many people embrace. As our senses are increasingly enhanced through mechanical assistance, hearing aids are just one more way to integrate technology and the body. Those who are ready to take the leap into this new world of technological assistance will proudly wear hearing aids for all to see.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
No matter what taste you bring to the “style” game, options are available to suit your desires – and more importantly, your hearing needs! To determine the best devices for your hearing needs, the first step is to have a thorough hearing exam. With results from your hearing test, we can help you determine the best devices to treat your specific hearing needs. We can walk you through the process step-by-step, and don’t hesitate to describe what you’d like to see in your aids when it comes to a stylish decision!