Can Hearing Aids Be Stylish

Can Hearing Aids Be “Stylish”?

Olga Lis, MS, CCC-A

Hearing aids have come a long way from the uniformly beige plastic units that used to be the only option. Although many continue to opt for this simple style, a wide array of options have arisen to make hearing aids more stylish. And yet, what counts as stylish is as unique a decision as the individuals who need treatment! The possibilities today can be overwhelming were it not for the wisdom of your hearing health professional. 

Not all types of hearing aids are suited to all needs, so you will want to begin by following the guidance of your hearing health professional on which types of hearing aids will assist the specific nature of your loss. Once you have this range of options in mind, you can begin to explore the many options for stylish hearing aids that have come on the market. Whether you like a minimal, flashy, or high-tech style, each of these will bring style to the device that is your most frequently worn accessory!

Minimalist Style

Some people would rather hide or disguise that they have a need for hearing aids, and the latest styles make it possible to keep your aids undisclosed to the world. Not all forms of hearing loss are suited to these aids, nor are other conditions such as arthritis or problems of manual dexterity. With these possible limitations in mind, hearing aids are out there that fit entirely inside your ear canal, out of sight from the world. Some of these are completely invisible, while others are nestled into the entry to your ear canal in a way that is quite inconspicuous. Those who want this type of hearing aid will likely have to be able to handle, insert, and remove very tiny devices, so keep in mind any challenge you might have with using your fingers to work with small objects. 

Flashy Style

Those who like to express themselves through bold colors, patterns, and shapes used to be left out when it came to hearing aids. The only options seemed to be monochromatic beige plastic aids in decades past. However, in recent years hearing aid manufacturers have learned that their consumers want some variety. Some of the earliest innovations in style came for young children who needed hearing aids. Producing aids with neon colors, tie dye patterns, and glitter inlay made it more fun to put in hearing aids every morning. Now, those same options are available to adults, as well. Not all hearing aids come with these possibilities, so it is important to inquire with your hearing health professional whether your needs are suited to these aids. Yet, the possibilities for color, pattern, and shape are nearly limitless. If you aren’t looking for a psychedelic design, leopard print, holographic optics, or metallic sheen, you can opt for muted shades, as well. 

High-Tech Style

Everywhere you go, people are using wearable technology to assist their lives. With these many assistive devices on the rise, hearing and listening are not alone. You might have seen people wearing Bluetooth headsets and seemingly talking to themselves in public, but we have become accustomed to this possibility more and more. Wireless earbuds are on the rise, as well. With ever-better audio quality and freedom from tethers connected to smartphones and other devices, it is quite common to see people exercising, commuting, and simply enjoying themselves with these tools in place. 

The latest hearing aids blend right in with these other assistive devices that you find everywhere you look. Not only do they look quite similar to earbuds and other listening devices, but some hearing aids actually coordinate the two functions in one. Hearing aids that are equipped with Bluetooth connectivity or other media sync technology can double as earbuds and hearing aids in one. Not only do they raise the volume on the sound in the environment, but they can also stream notifications, phone calls, music, and other audio directly to these devices, as well. 

If you are inclined toward high-tech style, these hearing aids are likely to fit right in with the rest of your look. The first step is to get a hearing test with your hearing health professional and to inquire about which aids are suited to your needs!