I’m always interested to know what motivates people to choose a particular colour of hearing aid. My first one was a flesh-coloured NHS in-the-ear device. My first pair were also what passes as ‘flesh-coloured’ and were the only colour available. But when I went to buy my first pair of Phonaks, there was a choice of colours — but I didn’t get to choose. I was given a pair on loan and when I liked what they did for me acoustically, I just got to keep them.
My audiologist chose the colour closest to my hair colouring, which seemed a logical choice at the time, but the trouble with having chestnut brown hearing aids is that when you put them down on dark wooden furniture, they’re pretty hard to spot.
Also, if they fall on the floor onto a dark carpet, they’re also hard to find. I’ve had this happen when brushing my hair, as the CROS aid can easily be flipped off the ear and onto the floor. (This is because I opted for a tiny retainer rather than a dummy in ear dome/CROS tip fitting to secure the aid.)
Once, when looking for the CROS, which I’d dropped on the floor, I noticed my dog had something in her mouth. Eek! It was my aid!
Luckily, she hadn’t chewed it and it was none the worse for wear. What a relief.
I guess the designers have previously assumed that we don’t want our hearing aids to be too visible and for many wearers, that will be the case, although more and more people are advising that the more visible they are, the better because it alerts people to our communication needs. Granted, many people will want their hearing aids to be as close to invisible as possible when they’re wearing them -– but what about when we take them out?
Perhaps a good solution would be a light and dark aid with one colour or shade on the inside and one on the outside so you could place them whichever side up to make them easier to spot depending on the furniture. This would be great for when you’re on holiday in unfamiliar surroundings and just pop your aids on the bedside table or coffee table. And what about when you want to take a dip in the pool and need to leave them by your sun lounger? How easy are yours to spot then?
Now, I see hearing aids in all different colours, purple, red and even transparent ones and I wonder what I’ll go for next time. I love the ruby red colour but that would clash when I wear something pink or purple and similarly, the purple would clash when I wear something red. I’ve always had the same dilemma with spectacle frames that have a hint of colour.
I think I’d probably go for the silver grey. Not that my hair’s gone that colour just yet -– but I think the colour makes them look more like other gadgets and wearables and I figure they’d be easy to spot on a table or carpet and wouldn’t clash with any outfit.
I wonder if hearing aid manufacturers ever considered selling optional covers in the same way that you can get mobile phone covers. We could have gold for evening wear, red for Christmas, camouflage or glittery for fun: the skies the limit! What do you think? I’d love some super glossy white ones that look like hi-tech gadgets.
What colours or patterns would you like to see – and would you buy click-on covers if they were available? Perhaps you’ve customised yours? Why not share a picture on the Phonak Facebook page?