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#HearingLossHour: Do you prefer visible or invisible hearing aids?

hearing loss hour visible or invisible hearing aids

 

As a hearing aid or Cochlear Implant user, do you prefer people to be able to see your hearing devices or not?

What do you find are the pros and cons to your hearing aids being visible or invisible? Do you find that people make more of an effort to communicate effectively with you if your hearing devices are visible, or not?

During this month’s #HearingLossHour,  we got to the heart of these matters.

Here’s what our friends on Twitter said:

Q1. What are the pros and cons of visible hearing aids?

Pros:

  • People understand you can not always hear them.
  • Pro is that they tend to slow their speech down or don’t look so irritated when you don’t hear.
  • Visible hearing aids make it easier to bring up the topic of hearing loss with others.
  • Visible hearing aids make the invisible disability a little more visible hence more credible.
  • Receiving recognition that you are hard of hearing.
  • Confidence.
  • I prefer people to see my hearing aids, so they know I’m not ignoring them. Most people don’t notice them.
  • People won’t treat you differently. You’re respected more.
  • My 12-year-old says show hearing aids so that people don’t think you are rude if didn’t respond because didn’t hear.
  • People tend to enunciate more (not always helpful) and peek at the HAs. They’re curious, which is good.
  • Makes interactions easier at stores and such.
  • Pros: I am proud of who I am and my confidence has gone up.

Cons:

  • Sometimes they ask you strange questions, but I always remind myself that it’s better than them ignoring you.
  • You get ignored/asked/told stupid/unnecessary comments that are hurtful. You get asked about them constantly.
  • Worst is when you’re told you’re ‘too young to be deaf’!
  • People saying ‘sorry’. People don’t have to be sorry – I’m fine. They should feel sorry for their lack of knowledge about how to be helpful.
  • Personally, I’ve had no ‘cons’ since making the decision to have them on show.
  • I can’t think of any, given that I like the cosmetic of my own hearing aids.

Q2. What reaction have you had from strangers when they’ve noticed your hearing aids?

  • The most common is ‘Oooh you can hardly see them,’ which I don’t mind. I like people taking an interest.
  • In my opinion, people care less than we think.
  • Most people won’t mention them unless my daughter says do you like my hearing aids lol.
  • My daughter doesn’t care less who knows or see’s them lol
  • Most people don’t see them. Or don’t understand what they can and can’t do.
  • Oh, I definitely explain things if people want to find out more – them being interested means a lot.
  • People often want to know what they help to hear and I always explain they give me 3D hearing.
  • The more I share with others and keep them visible the less I care. I think visibility and sharing is key.

Q3. Do you find that people make more of an effort to communicate clearly if they know you have hearing loss?

  • Some do make an effort. Others don’t. May look to husband to clarify my words.
  • Am also super happy to tell them what my specific needs are as no one size fits all.
  • The stigma attached to them, is what it was like in the 70’s 80’s about glasses, but we are changing it.
  • Yes definitely after initial panic. I just try and be as helpful as I can to help them relax about it.
  • They do. But they forget quickly. The problem is that it isn’t natural for everyone to communicate in a different way.
  • Some do, but I find that they don’t mind repeating what they said and are more patient.
  • Some do, some don’t. IT depends on the person. Those that I know will make the effort, whereas most won’t, especially. People try to communicate clearly, but they may not know what that looks like to someone who is D/HOH.
  • Once people are aware, they’re always keen to know how best to communicate with me, it’s a great thing.
  • Similar to when people read out loud. Start slow and then speed up 3 times as fast. Talking clearly may mean fewer words.
  • Hearing people may not know how to reduce the amount of words they are using to get their point across.
  • I know that they know! You sometimes feel like you’re telling them for the 100th time!
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Phonak hEARo, Angie is a freelance journalist, copywriter, website designer and social media consultant. (www.aspinallink.co.uk) She lives in Scotland with her husband Richard, and their Westie, Tilly. Angie was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in her right ear at the age of 30. In 2011, she suffered sudden profound hearing loss in her left ear. She now uses a Phonak CROS II with a Phonak Audéo V hearing aid. You can follow Angie’s international discussion group #HearingLossHour on Twitter @hearinglosshour.
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Phonak hEARo, Angie is a freelance journalist, copywriter, website designer and social media consultant. (www.aspinallink.co.uk) She lives in Scotland with her husband Richard, and their Westie, Tilly. Angie was diagnosed with Otosclerosis in her right ear at the age of 30. In 2011, she suffered sudden profound hearing loss in her left ear. She now uses a Phonak CROS II with a Phonak Audéo V hearing aid. You can follow Angie’s international discussion group #HearingLossHour on Twitter @hearinglosshour.