Why does hearing loss stigma linger while other cultural stigmas successfully fade away? Is it because hearing aids are not like glasses and don’t fix our hearing loss entirely? Is it because hearing loss is invisible so it doesn’t get taken as seriously? Or maybe it is the hearing aids themselves? In this article for HHTM, I explore the possible reasons for the stickiness of hearing loss stigma and ask, “Do hearing aids need a makeover?”
An excerpt from the article is below. Read the full post at FindHearing on HHTM.
Would a Change in Look or Feel Lower Hearing Aid Stigma?
What if the world of hearing devices was different? Would a wider variety of options in more interesting colors and designs help us wear our devices with pride rather than chagrin? Would we flaunt the latest design element or communication feature rather than hide it?
Better looking options certainly couldn’t hurt if they didn’t add to the price, of course! At a minimum, breaking the standard mold would allow for more personalization and style. An added benefit: with higher fashion comes lower stigma. More interesting looking devices might improve advertising around hearing aids too, giving the items the panache needed to sell the product the way that stylish frames do in ads for glasses.
A new name—one other than hearing aids—might also help make hearing devices more popular. Some manufacturers—particularly those in the direct-to-consumer space—are already heading in that direction. What if we adopted their terminology for all hearing related devices?
New OTC hearing aids may lead the industry in lowering stigma by adopting a more consumer-oriented tone in their look, feel and name. Better attitudes about hearing devices—whatever their shape, size and use case—will trickle up to more mainstream products over time, benefiting us all. Let’s get that makeover started!
For more information, read the full article on HHTM.