"Tackling the burden and shame of hearing loss"


An overview of where we are in 2019


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I have been wearing hearing aids for over 14 years and and should have been wearing them for at least a decade before then. Maybe it is just me , but it doesn’t bother me to let anyone know that I wear them.
Most people don’t even notice that I am wearing hearing aids, but they darn well would notice if I wasn’t wearing them.

And I don’t see a darn thing to be ashamed of. We are all human and I see no difference between wearing hearing aids and wearing glasses.



I’m young, active and wear hearing aids. I don’t give a rat’s ass about about anyone knowing I wear hearing aids. I wear red color RIC. I like the red color because it it shows that I’m not trying to hide my hearing aids. Also the red color is easiest to find if it falls on the ground.

Now showing up on a first date with a woman I met over over the internet might be a different story. Hey, you gotta play it cool or you might end up being an angry incel. For that it might be better to have a CIC and have just enough hair to cover it. A job interview could also be a good reason to have CIC. Other than that I don’t give a rat’s ass about any hearing loss stigma.



Good grief. That ridiculous saying. Not everybody gets to be the opposite all the time. Grow up and get on with it (not you). There’s no such thing as entitlement to another person.
Trigger apparently.



I have in the past made it a point in my last job interview to let the interviewer know I was hard of hearing and wore hearing aids. And I got the job and was asked what could the company do to make my job easier. I always found it better to be up front and bluntly honest.



Has anybody gone on a first date while wearing hearing aids? If you did, did you get a 2nd date? I got a steady girlfriend so it doesn’t matter (for now anyway). But if I were dating, I would definitely get Signia Silks CIC…especially if I were paying for the diner. You also don’t want to keep asking your date to repeat herself. Of course if you don’t wear your hearing aids you could get her to talk about herself then just sit there saying “yup, ah-hun”…

If I was bluntly honest at a job interview, I would never get the job. For job interviews CIC for sure.

I’m considering getting a pair of Signia Silks from eBay just to use in these 2 situations.



If you feel you cannot be totally honest from day one moment one then the relationship will never work. You are hear it from someone who has over 45 years of marriage behind him and over 50 years of work experience. If being honest gets you in trouble then you are much better off with out the person or job.



Sometimes it’s not about wanting to be dishonest, but it’s about making a good first impression so that the other person looks past your deficiency to see your good qualities first. Once they’re seen your good qualities, it’s more likely that they’ll overlook your deficiency to accept more of the other good stuff that they see in you.

It’s not you, but it’s the lithe person who may be fast to dismiss you if they get a bad first impression of you. That’s why they say first impression is everything.



When I was a kid, back in the dark ages, there was a saying, “boys won’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”. I never understood that. I always thought girls in glasses were cute. I still do. Eventually, we got over that stigma, and glasses became a fashion statement. Now, we need to do the same for hearing aids. Apropos, here’s an article from the NYT suggesting the need to make HAs cool. Opinion | Glasses Are Cool. Why Aren’t Hearing Aids? - The New York Times

I’ve read about “sleeves” [or something] for HAs on this forum. I’m thinking of getting me some, just to make a statement. Tiger stripes, lizard skin, furry sloth-like, whatever sleeves. I bet there’s a way to design a HA sleeve so that it looks like one has an adorable sloth hanging out behind one’s ear. Now what could be cooler than that?

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I totally agree on not giving a rats ass about wearing HA’s… tis a thing of nothing! I for one cannot contemplate ever being embarrassed or ashamed about my HA’s … tis who I am!!! I would easily envisage wearing 2 large bananas sized HA’s if I thought this improve my abilities to communicate with my fellow human beings and indeed my dogs. The only downside I feel about people actually seeing your aids is there is an asumption in most folks eyes that HA’s are like glasses and will restore your hearing as glasses can restore your sight to near normal levels… this is never going to happen with HA’s as they are “assistive listening devices” and as such they assist you to hear much better, but they cannot and never will restore what residual hearing you have left! I find honesty the best policy on every occasion and I am not shy in telling folks that I have a severe/profound hearing loss as I am looking for help whilst trying to communicate with them and clues to any contextual information in our conversation are always greatly appreciated… they cannot assist me if they don’t know!!! Cheers Kev;-)



I’m in the “I don’t give a rats ass” club. As for the first date thing. Trust me I’m not interested in dating the kind of person that would reject me because I wear hearing aids. Just like I’m not the kind of person that would reject dating someone that were hard of hearing or wore glasses or had a scar or had a weird laugh or was somewhat overweight. Much rather have all of those things in someone I’m capatable and share interests with than dating a supermodel and having nothing to talk about and no common interests.

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I think the part that always bothered me about wearing hearing aids, is the tendency to equate hearing loss with mental loss. Maybe its just me, but I often noticed once someone realized I was wearing hearing aids, then they started talking to me like I had a mental loss too.

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That’s exactly right. I would say RIC for everyday use. Then have a cheap pair of CIC for job interviews and first dates.

Maybe a company decides they don’t want to hire you because they think they would be liable for making special accommodations. Or maybe they think you would be taxing on their company health insurance. You are competing against other applicants that don’t wear hearing aids.

For dating a first impression is everything. You can tell her about your hearing loss after a romantic connection has been establish. By then you can also tell how you lost all your money during the 2,007 financial crisis and you had to move back in with your parents.



I can’t confirm that. Maybe it depends on where you are/live.
When I was on holiday in the US a couple of years ago most people I met started to slow down their talking speed as soon as I mentioned my disability. That was really fantastic. In contrast here in Germany people start to speak up as soon as I mention my hearing loss. They don’t realize that they don’t need to shout at me - because I already wear HAs.

I never had a “first date”. All girls knew of my hearing loss before we went out. She always was one of my friends’ friend. Okay, there were no internet dating platform in the 90s. But one don’t really need them nowadays, too.



Hopefully, things have changed for the better over the years. I needed glasses when I was in grade school in the 50s and was called 4-eyes. Kids wearing glasses was not common whether they needed them or not. Sort of stupid really. Nowadays, at least as far as I can tell, kids wearing glasses is no big deal. Hopefully, hearing aids are the same.

I know that hearing aid manufacturers still push the idea of hiding or minimizing the look of hearing aids, but personally I don’t care. It’s no more shameful than having eyesight issues. No one’s perfect. Luckily, in many cases, technology can help.

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Many seem to compare wearing hearing aids to wearing eye glasses. Just another thing you wear, and that’s all. No need to minimize it or make it stylish.

But don’t forget that there are a million styles of glasses out there because people care about how they look with glasses on. It has to fit your face well and look stylish and maybe get the frame minimized and the glasses in high index so they don’t look too thick. Maybe get smooth bifocal and anti reflective lenses, etc.

So people are concsious about what they wear. No exception when it comes to hearing aids. People may not say anything but it doesn’t mean that they don’t form a first impression of you. I know I form first impressions of other people myself all the times, whether I realize it or not.

So for people who don’t care how their first impression come across with respect to them wearing hearing aids, that’s fine if they don’t care. But for people who care about making good first impression, whether it be for an interview or a first date, etc, and because of that they want CIC or small and stylish RIC, that’s OK, too. I think there’s nothing wrong with being sensitive about wearing hearing aids either. As long as you wear them in whichever style you want, when you need them.



Small RICs with hair covering the ears is enough to keep 'em hidden.
Unfortunately I got wavy hair. If I grow it out over my ears, it doesn’t look right. I got Einstein looking hair.
CICs can still be seen from a profile view, but worth the risk and better than asking people to repeat themselves,

For everyday life I’ll be using my bright red color Siemens Pure 7bx RICs and not give a rat’s ass. RICs are know to work better than CICs. Still I plan on getting a cheap pair of Signia Silk CIC for when I know I need to make a first impression.



I keep my head shaved so my hearing devices are there for all to see. I’ve never had an issue with dating because I wear them. It’s a good thing to know if the woman can accept hearing loss right from the beginning. If she can’t, I’d rather know immediately.



Being female, I was always lucky to have hair long enough to cover the UGLY, hard plastic, flesh-toned aids I wore for many years. I think what bugged me was the OLD LADY look of that awful flesh-toned plastic. F’instance, if one needs to wear an ace bandage, why does it need to be FLESH? Not only do flesh tones run the colors of the rainbow, but how about some style, color and youthful pizzazz?

I wouldn’t have covered my aids if they were available in candy apple RED or peacock BLUE or like some of today’s aids had the charms you can hang off of them. But none of that was around when I first put aids on in 1985. I feel that even as the population of those wearing aids GROWS, now representing everyone from small toddlers to nonegenarians-plus, we are still marginalized by the makers of hearing aids.

Few companies even think about the style choices they could offer. It’s like we’re made to feel grateful for having any kind of hearing assistance - and if we’re relegated to FLESH colored molds that’s our prob.

I just ordered Phonak Marvel aids for size 13 batt. Try as I might looking over the color choices, I may as well have been looking at the color chart for BMWs or Mercedes Benzes. SO subdued and tailored to folks with silver hair over the age of late 50s. I ended up picking the silver color - Y A W N ! - but would’ve LOVED to see these in screamin’ yellow or covered in flowers or just about anything but the staid color choices posted. Hope someone from Phonak (and others) are seeing this.

What color is your car? Mine is a gorgeous, bright BLUE the color of the “Reply” button down below. My aids? Boring silvertone.



And most of the manufactures have the colors already, hunt around and see what they offer in their children’s lines. Why can’t those options be available for adults?