Latest posts by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)
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For many of us, our first association with hearing aids was the pair of beige, large, molded plastic units that an older relative might have worn. These units were bulky and anything but stylish. Although this style of hearing aid is still on the market, things have changed greatly from the day of this limited option for hearing assistance. Today, there are a number of options for hearing aids that can either disguise, embellish, or embolden your look, and it is not necessary to feel tied to an old aesthetic any longer.
A New Generation of Hearing Aid Technology
Many who are interested in these new styles of hearing aids are of the millennial generation, which some, such as NBC News, have taken to calling “Generation Deaf.” Young people are experiencing hearing loss at unprecedented levels, and most attribute the loss to exposure to leisure noise. The sounds that young people expose themselves to are much louder, in terms of decibels, and much longer, in terms of numbers of hours of exposure per day. One study even discovered at 15 percent increase in hearing loss among teens in the mid-aughts, compared with a similar demographic in the 1980s. Headphones and earbuds are primary culprits among young people, but sound amplification is to blame, as well. Loud concerts may be damaging, but playing music at extremely loud volumes is more possible than ever due to technological developments. With these things in mind, it will come as no surprise that younger people are looking for hearing aid options in greater numbers. Yet, they may not want to have those beige plastic units that the older generation was known for having.
One possibility for a stylish hearing aid is to get a range of colors and patterns to give your aids personal flair. For instance, Audicus partnered with Advanced Style to offer a limited run of hearing aids in a number of styles, including leopard print, polka dots, glitter, and holographic finishes. Other aids are made in a range of colors, including metallics and neutrals to give a modern and sleek appearance. Unitron offers its earmolds in a wide range of colors, including Raspberry Fizz, Tealicious, and Shimmering Moonbeam. Colors can be combined with up to three colors, adding up to the colors of a favorite sports team or camouflage. The translucent clear option blends right into the mold of your ear with a futuristic spin. With these options for colors and sleek styles, it is unsurprising that young people are flocking to new models to add their own personal pizzazz to hearing aids.
Another quirky option that is popular among the youngest hearing aid wearers is to add a charm or embellishment to the units. Etsy has erupted with handmade dangling charms and trinkets to add to your hearing aids, designed especially for children with hearing loss but available for anyone who wants a little added style to the units. Similar to the charms that can be added to a smartphone case, the sky is the limit when it comes to these quirky add-ons. Imagine a bedazzled hearing aid with rhinestones swinging in step or a cute kitten dancing in the breeze. Those who want to draw attention to their aids will love this option.
Yet, others would rather downplay their hearing aids when it comes to “style.” Sleek and modern styles abound, and the appearance of a cyborg ready for super-powered listening will be easy to pull off with the new range of aids on the market. Others would prefer to hide the hearing aids altogether, and this technology is increasingly available, as well. Receiver In Canal (RIC) hearing aids have advanced to the point that they can be left in the ear canal for a full 30 days, completely removed from sight. Those who need hearing aids but don’t want the units to interfere with their personal style will be glad to know that invisible aids are now readily available. The most important step is to get the hearing assistance you need as soon as you become aware of hearing loss. With these many stylish options for flair or invisibility, the aesthetic appeal of hearing aids should no longer be a hindrance.
Visit Us at South Shore Hearing Center
Are you in the market for a new pair of hearing aids? Have you noticed changes in your hearing but have put off a hearing test? Today’s hearing aids are sophisticated, technological marvels, and we can help you find the best device to match your lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more!