It’s estimated that in the UK today, roughly 40 per cent of people over the age of 50 have some degree of hearing loss(1).
It’s an incredibly common condition, with many people being prescribed hearing aids.
However, according to a study published in the International Journal of Audiology(2), a surprising number of people choose not to wear their hearing aids. The reason? They feel uncomfortable and self-conscious wearing them.
The stigma surrounding hearing loss and wearing a hearing aid is all too real. It’s easy to understand why. Many people view having to wear a hearing aid as a sign of being old, and they don’t want to be seen as something they don’t feel. Many people struggle with hearing loss before realising that it can get in the way of safety and improved quality of life.
Many of the older hearing aids were bulky and uncomfortable: they protruded significantly from the ear. Having a face-to-face conversation could be even more disconcerting, as that put the hearing aid ‘front and centre’, so to speak. It used to be so hard to wear a hearing aid without feeling like it changed the way people saw you. For some, it still is.
There is good news for self-conscious hearing aid wearers today, however. Like other electronics, hearing aids have been miniaturised. As technology continues to evolve, they’ve become smaller and smaller. Some are virtually invisible, which gives wearers a significant boost of self-confidence.
For instance, the invisible hearing aids we stock are super-compact devices that fit deeply inside the ear canal and are not visible to passers-by, nor are they visible in face-to-face conversations. They fit completely within the ear but do not block the ear canal. The silicone body is designed to fit comfortably while augmenting your natural hearing, and no-one will have to know it’s there.
If you’re unconvinced by completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, you’ll discover a wide range of other hard-to-notice hearing aid styles on the market. For instance, combining the capabilities of rechargeable batteries with modern design aesthetics has allowed the creation of slim hearing aids that fit behind the ear and are almost completely unnoticeable. No more bulky add-ons that made you feel like a robot.
Really, there is an option for just about anyone, whether you prefer a completely invisible in-canal design or would rather go with a slim-line behind the ear design. We even offer advanced rechargeable hearing aids.
The importance of wearing hearing aids
Not wearing hearing aids due to embarrassment or discomfort is understandable, but it can have unanticipated negative consequences. It is important that you wear your hearing aids, we understand the stigma surrounding these devices which is why we have a line of slim, unobtrusive, nearly invisible hearing aids to ensure comfort and eliminate embarrassment, while helping you meet the everyday challenges that stem from not wearing them.
PGCE FdSc RHAD MSHAA
Samantha works in the professional advancement team as national training manager for audiology. She supports Specsavers desire to continue to raise clinical standards through organising… Read more