There are plenty of hearing-impaired people who prefer to flaunt their hearing aids, not only as a way to make their devices a fashion statement — in the same way as most people who wear eyeglasses spend a lot of time selecting just the right, fashionable frames — but also to make a different kind of statement. One commenter on my April post nicely explained the “flaunt them” point of view:
I marvel at the changes seen in the cosmetic design of hearing aids in the last twenty years. Hearing aids are now “cooler” in design, with fancy Bluetooth and wireless capabilities. They are more appealing than ever before–but the stigma remains. Sergi Kochkin rated fifty-three influencing improvements that could potentially persuade highly reluctant users to seek amplification for their hearing loss within the next two years:
Historically, the MarkeTrak survey has focused on obstacles to hearing purchase. We thought it would be of interest to present the hearing-impaired consumer with a number of improvements in four key areas: financial, hearing aid listening utility, product enhancements, and psycho-social changes.
It’s been 8 months since I picked up my first pair of hearing aids from the audiologist’s office. Of course, as with many other men in middle age, my hearing had been on the decline for several years prior to the Big Day. I just suffered silently during those earlier years as my hearing declined — frankly, in the name of vanity (with plenty of denial thrown in). My wife and daughters suffered not so silently: “When are you going to get your ears checked? That’s way overdue!”
It really was a significant day in my life. I can best describe adding hearing aids to my daily personal accessories for the first time as similar to the day at 15 years old when I donned my first pair of prescription eyeglasses. Walking into my high school the next day, I expected every student and teacher in the building to gawk at me. … What a surprise when hardly anyone paid any notice. Even my friends barely joked about my change in appearance. (I wear eyeglasses to this day.)