Hearing aids and the Stigma. Will it ever go away?
We have been talking about the stigma of hearing loss and hearing aids since I first came into this field in 1995. No one wants to wear them unless they have to, so people hide them. Not only are they expensive, but hearing aids also have a disgrace to them — that if you need one, you must be old or getting old.
How do you make a hearing aid sexy or fashionable?
Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, however, I believe products are not only sexy but can enhance your image and style, fashion, and even political standings. Here are some products that have these types of images even without how you wear them: Large stoned rings, sleek designer cars, lingerie, and fashion designer clothes. We even had masks on our faces recently that made fashion statements and even went so far as a political statement when protecting ourselves from a virus.
This stylish topic of conversation came up last week when I met, over a video call, with a designer in Europe. Inventors, developers, and entrepreneurs are working diligently on finding a product that will fit a style, an image, and a fashion that suits the person who wants to hear better. Will it be called a hearing aid or something else?
It was a fun conversation with this European designer.
He shared with me his thoughts on how some people may want a hearing device that is not hidden, but rather, furthers a person’s style, image, and fashion!
Let me explain more; we all have our style. Perhaps our style is not sexy, but preppy, sporty, grungy, or intellectual. People have preferences for earrings and whether they fit in the ears or the nose. Tattoos that are visible share an image and where you have your tattoo is also a statement of who you are. I notice more tattoos behind people’s ears besides on their arms, back, and shoulders. Simply the clothes you wear and the shoes you put on your feet tell more about who you are. Are you a practical, fashionable, young, old, or artistic person? What you wear on your person reveals a little bit about what you want to portray to the world around you. You dress how you feel comfortable.
Another example is Glasses!
Let’s talk about eyewear glasses. Do they make you look smart, sexy, colorful, and artistic? They frame your face. I love that you can change your look with your glasses. Some people try to hide their glasses with clear frames and wires, while others use contacts. Your choice, lots of choices.
What if there was a hearing aid that showed and not only showed but shared your style?
Can the inventors and entrepreneurs pull it off and make something that not only looks good but sounds good? I can’t wait to find out. There will be a lot of competition in this space. The new over-the-counter law for hearing aids allows for more great competitive products and hence more inventors to come up with a fantastic products that will meet the needs of another group of people. Will the new fashion-styled hearing wear find its way to people who want to show their hearing aids in an image-conscious manner, a fashionable way? Why not make it fun and exciting and sound great?
One thing that I worry about is that there will not be enough exciting new products from new designers, inventors, and entrepreneurs as we know the top 5 hearing aid brands have so many patents and money, and vertical chains that the new entrepreneur might have to choose to work with one of them, making these companies more monopolistic. which won’t help the price point.
Working with these new inventors and sharing their thoughts and dreams with you the consumer may help them. Hears Hearing & Hearables will keep you posted with the latest technology that becomes available in the healthcare market.
Finally, please don’t get me wrong:
What we professionals know is that it isn’t about the device being fashionable or not. What is sexy is what you hear, how you behave, and how well you age. We know that hearing loss is important to treat. We also know everyone has a preference. We at Hears Hearing & Hearables will help you find that preference, even with a bold stylish look!
No matter what, the product will still be an aid to help you hear! Whatever helps you is what we want at Hears Hearing & Hearables. Keeping you in the “hearing” loop.
If you want more information, please reach out to us and ask away.