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Hearing aids, unlike glasses, are not known to be fashion-forward or stylish, but that just might be a thing of the past! Because hearing loss is becoming a more recognized, prevalent health condition, an entire industry dedicated to better hearing devices is now flourishing and taking consumer feedback for aesthetics and technology. Technological advances now allow us more options than ever before. The needs of the hearing impaired no longer carry the negative connotations as they have before.
Hearing loss is one of the top three public concerns in the nation, outpacing cancer and diabetes. Barriers that people with hearing loss face are being overcome slowly but surely through public awareness, policies enforced in the workplace and education. Hearing aids usually bring to mind an older generation but that is no longer the case. The market for hearing aids and listening devices are abundant with choices.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
The first step is to consult your hearing health professional at All Ear Doctors. Before we explore how hearing aids have changed both in style and technology the issues concerning untreated hearing loss should be looked at briefly. We need our hearing not only for communicative abilities but balance and cognitive health. Once hearing loss begins if it is left untreated, the damage begins to compound and could result in permanent hearing loss. The more the hearing process breaks down it affects our brains’ ability to translate and interpret sound this then affects our cognition.
How can we change our perception of hearing aids?
Teenagers to young adults need to know that there are different types of hearing aids that are available. The style that people end up using depends upon their hearing condition. Some are practically invisible to the layperson’s eye and others made for children are available in fun colors and designs! The following are some examples of what types are available:
BTE, also known as behind-the-ear hearing aids, has a piece that fits outside and is connected to an earmold that is placed at the entrance of the ear canal.
ITE, also known as the in-the-ear hearing aids, fit into your ear so they are quite discreet.
CIC, also known as completely-in-canal hearing aids, are fitted directly into the ear canal very hidden.
Some hearing aids are fitted with the telecoil which allows us sound clarity in public and private places from pharmacies to auditoriums.
An alternate system that many students and working professionals can use is the FM system. This system uses a microphone for the speaker and a receiver for the user so that much of the background noise is cut out. It’s very effective in classrooms and work meetings.
Tailoring Hearing Aids to Your Needs
Every device mentioned above can be implemented depending on the specific needs and conditions of the user. Additionally, hearing aid users may break through the barriers of initial hearing loss by using progressive tools such as phone apps and assistive devices that are portable, user-friendly and adaptable to our ever-changing sound environments. This is important to highlight, as people who are initially impacted by hearing loss are unaware of how many devices they have at their disposal to stay engaged and productive socially, academically and professionally.
When getting your first hearing assessment, be open and honest about your hearing practices and medical history and that will help your diagnosis. The “stylish” aspect of hearing aids is changing from cumbersome to designs that would fit current fashion trends. The most important part of stylish hearing aids is the fact that a person is addressing their hearing needs first and foremost!
As past perceptions change, as the demographics of hearing loss get younger, the stigma dissipates and the market for hearing devices are here with innovative designs for all. Make sure to address your concerns to your audiologists and they will inform you of cost-effectiveness and uses.
All Ear Doctors
At All Ear Doctors, we understand how overwhelming hearing loss can be. We encourage you or someone close to you to give us a call when ready. Your assessment will be comprehensive and our goal is to enrich your hearing experience and overall well-being.