Hi, I’m Erica. I have hearing loss and I work at HearingLife! I’m in my mid-thirties and have worn hearing aids for about 8 years. During those 8 years, nearly everyone I know had a hearing test! And many have purchased hearing aids – all before I started working for a hearing aid company. Want to know why? Because I think hearing aids are the absolute coolest tech money can buy and I tell everyone who will listen all about them.
When I first started to realize I had difficulty hearing, I was embarrassed. I spent several years faking it and pretending to hear whispers and presentations in large, echoing rooms. When I was first diagnosed, I took a few weeks to grieve and work through the difficult feelings that came with realizing my life was going to be different. Then, I got to work figuring out which hearing aids were the right ones for me so I could get back to hearing everything around me.
My journey started with trying a pair of hearing aids that I ultimately returned. I then met with a different hearing care provider. Then I spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of how hearing aids worked, both from that provider, and from researching forums and hearing loss groups online. I learned to set reasonable expectations for the first few weeks of wearing hearing aids, and I read up on what to look for when buying hearing aids.
I am on a mission to help as many people as possible realize how big a difference healthy hearing can make in their lives – and how hearing aids are so much cooler in reality than they are in your memories of your grandparents!
Here are my top reasons that hearing aids are cool:
- Hearing is important. It’s important for relationships, safety and pleasure. But mainly, it’s essential for your health! Emerging research shows that untreated hearing loss can lead to a higher risk of cognitive decline, dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s. As someone with a significant family history of dementia, and due to my younger age, I knew treating my loss as soon as possible was key to my future health and well-being.
It was also a priority for me because my future plans included being a mom – and I knew I needed to be able to hear the whispers of my child. Now that I have a 5-year-old, though, I turn my hearing aids down when he’s around!
- Hearing aids are high-tech. The technology packed into these tiny devices is some of the most advanced anywhere in our lives. A step-counting watch may monitor your heartbeat and count steps, but hearing aids literally filter every sound in the environment around you and help your brain sort and analyze what’s worth listening to and what isn’t.
An example: every morning when I put my hearing aids on for the day, I hear my hair brushing the microphones on the back of the hearing aid. Within 5 minutes, my brain and hearing aid remembered that the sound of my hair isn’t a sound I need to hear, and I don’t hear it again for the rest of the day. This is what Oticon calls BrainHearing™ – because you don’t just hear with your ears, you hear with your brain! That’s why you recognize old songs and hear all the words fine, but struggle to understand new music – because your brain remembers!
Bluetooth®. I know – everything has Bluetooth® nowadays, so it doesn’t seem special, but after my first pair of hearing aids did not have Bluetooth®, the upgrade to having it was massive. I can listen to videos on my phone – YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, you name it, and I’m there! Before, I relied on captions and the mute button, so I didn’t disturb others around me when I was on my phone. I never used video chat for the same reason. Plus, with Bluetooth®-enabled hearing aids, you can take your regular old-fashioned phone calls on your hearing aids! No more conversations on speakerphone that the whole grocery store can hear.
At the office, I use my hearing aids as headphones so I can listen to music and focus. Plus, you can even call in to Zoom meetings via your hearing aids and phone to be sure you don’t miss anything. Studies show that untreated hearing loss can have a negative impact on career success and earning potential, so don’t delay if you’re still in the workplace.
- Hearing aids are stylish. I know – you’re thinking “no way.” But have you seen today’s hearing aids up close? They are smaller than you think! And they come in a huge range of colors – Oticon’s latest behind-the-ear hearing aid has 9 colors to choose from – you can match your hair or even choose pink (my personal favorite). Plus, for some types of hearing loss, there are even fully invisible options that go entirely inside your ear canal.
Hearing aids are invisible. Some styles, such as the smallest Oticon Own™ hearing aid, are invisible in 9 out of 10 ears.¹ They are truly so small and deep in your ear that you cannot see them. Even the rest – like the behind-the-ear Oticon More™s that I wear – are invisible to others. I was talking to the President of HearingLife after getting my new pink hearing aids and mentioned them and he said, “Are you wearing them now?” And this is a man who knows all about hearing aids and what to look for!
Look, I remember my grandfather’s hearing aids – they were big and plastic and squealed all the time. There was no way anyone ever missed that he had them on. That is not the case anymore.
- Hearing aids come with help. This part is key – especially when you’re getting your first pair of hearing aids – purchasing from a place like HearingLife means you’re buying more than just the hearing aids. It means you get a team of people to help you use them to their full potential! Not only will the expert hearing care providers guide you on which hearing aid model and technology level is best for you, your lifestyle and your budget, but they’ll also talk you through the feelings and struggles of not hearing. Plus, they provide amazing support for all the high-tech features packed into your new hearing aids! We even have a team dedicated to helping you out after hours. You are not alone in your hearing loss, and you are not alone in the journey to better hearing, either.
Hearing aids are hands-down the most wonderful piece of technology in my life, and I have never regretted the money or time spent getting them and making them perfect. Not only do they let me interact with the world around me, but now that they have Bluetooth® built in, I get to interact with the world online with so much more ease, too.
The final thought I’ll share here is – treat your hearing loss sooner rather than later! The sooner you get your brain back to hearing and the sooner you get used to budgeting for new hearing aids every 3 – 5 years, the better off you’ll be in the long run – and the more time you’ll have to enjoy everything they have to offer! Schedule a complimentary hearing assessment today.
1. Rumley et al. (2022). Oticon Own evidence. Oticon Whitepaper.
This blog reflects the opinions of the author and not those of HearingLife, or any affiliated companies.
The author is an employee of HearingLife and did not receive any consideration or compensation for the use of their products, beyond the discount available to all employees.
The author is describing her unique experience with hearing devices, which may not be applicable to everyone experiencing hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.