The High Fashion of Hearing Aids

When people come into Living Sounds Hearing Centre they have taken a big step – and I want to be sure that step is rewarded. Giving them hearing help, when the stigma of hearing aids still exists, can be difficult. It’s often a gut-wrenching and frightening step for people to begin wearing a hearing device.

Recently, one of our suppliers launched a new series of hearing devices that blatantly flaunt what they are: incredibly cool technological devices. These devices are marketed in much the same manner as cell phones – based on features and mobile integration possibilities. Did you know you can link cell phone, an iPod or a TV to a hearing aid? Many of my clients were well ahead of the need to be hands-free!

But these products, and the new designs they are coming in (black and grey and very cool looking) have made me stop and consider. I keep wondering what it’s going to take to rid us of the perception that it’s somehow uncool to hear well? Even if that requires assistive devices?

After looking around a bit I’ve realized that others have been pondering this question for quite a while.

Since the early 1990s Toronto jewelry-designer-to-the-stars Mimi Shulman has been making interesting cases and covers that call artistic and flamboyant attention to her hearing aids. In the UK Kate Cross (http://www.hearrings.co.uk) has designed an interchangeable jewelry approach to decorating a hearing aid.

British design firm PearsonLloyd has decided to make hearing cool with their concept HearWear integrated devices.

The day is getting closer and closer where hearing well can be just as much of a fashion accessory as seeing well. High fashion glasses are a great business, which means high fashion hearing aids can only be around the corner.

And when that day comes? Perhaps the decision to wear a hearing aid won’t worry my clients and maybe it’ll even excite them just a little bit!

Tim Goshulak BC-HIS