Hearing aid technology has been researched and developed for over a hundred years. Throughout this time, hearing aid styles have gradually grown smaller, slimmer and less noticeable due primarily to the stigma associated with reduced hearing ability and the demand from those experiencing hearing loss. However, recently there has been an increase in demand for hearing aid accessories and jewelry that help make a hearing loss, which is often concealed, more visible and worth flaunting.
The paediatric sector for hearing aid accessories is probably further developed than the adult sector. Children generally experience a greater level of stigma around their hearing aids in classrooms and playgrounds. We saw a rise in parents accessorizing their child’s hearing devices themselves, often changing the style daily, providing a fashion accessory which contributes to the child’s sense of fashion identity.
A young entrepreneur in the US began making charms for her own hearing aids which created a surge in demand among her school friends. It didn’t take long before this young girl had a website and an Etsy account selling hearing charms and accessories to people around the world.
A powerful project by artist Elana Langer and photographer Hanna Agar, called Tools of Life, aims to challenge the social stigma and discomfort associated with reduced hearing ability.
The photos appearing in this project show a woman in every-day scenarios wearing diamond-encrusted hearing aids and looking enviously glamorous! The shots also feature the same woman with an elaborately decorated walking aid.
“Having hearing aids be just as beautiful as earrings; it felt like a celebration of life and what we can do, instead a reminder of what we lack.”, commented Hanna Agar, photographer.
We love that more people are finding ways to wear their hearing devices proudly and integrate it with their own individual style. In recent years, hearing aids are designed with more personalisation capacity. Combined with the increased popularity of wearing connected ear phones (such as Apple iPods), we are hopeful we will see a rise in people with hearing conditions using ear devices as accessories and an integrated part of their daily lives, much the same as people do with eye glasses.Read more from our blog >