By Esther Fogel
Not long ago, wearing glasses in public was considered a fashion faux pas. But in the past decade, style guides and fashion columns have been replete with advice about frames that complement your face shape, accentuate your eyes, and accessorize your outfit. Celebrities deliberately don their trendy specs on the red carpet, and the sheer number of available and affordable colors, styles, and brands is dizzying.
Glasses are corrective in much the same way hearing aids are, providing significant functional benefit to those who need them. But for some reason, hearing devices are still considered a less-than-ideal aesthetic. Even with an upsurge in hearing health awareness and celebrity admissions of hearing loss and device-wearing, less than 5 percent of people in the U.S. who would benefit from hearing aids wear them.
Given the range of sleek, comfortable, and customized Bluetooth and direct-to-iPhone hearing devices available today, there’s no good reason they haven’t yet debuted on the runway. With today’s media focus on the importance of meaningful social relationships and healthy communication, it’s surprising how little attention hearing devices are getting.
Today’s hearing device apps not only allow users to control their hearing aids, they also track users’ overall health and wellness, which is a lot more than corrective eyeglasses can do. So it wouldn’t take much for hearing aids to become the next must-have — not just to complete the look, but to optimize a night out with friends or ace a job interview.
Making hearing aids more visible and in vogue should be an important public health consideration. Approximately one in four people between the ages of 20 and 69 reading this article right now have some degree of hearing loss but believe their hearing is fine and are therefore unlikely to get evaluated. But if valences toward hearing devices improve, hearing aids as accessories will encourage people to get regular evaluations, insurance companies to cover them, and fashion influencers to embrace them.
Comprehensive Audiology is located at 261 Broadway in Lynbrook. Appointments can be made by calling 516-387-4000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow CA on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or Instagram @comprehensive_audiology, or visit ComprehensiveAudiology.com.