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Removing the Stigma from Hearing Aids

As we lose the stigma of wearing a hearing aid, what does it mean for the market?

With the meteoric rise in the sale of earbuds, there’s an increasing amount of speculation about what this means for the hearing aid market. Most miss the fundamental difference, which is that earbuds are selling in the hundreds of millions because consumers like them, whereas hearing aids are still seen by many as a product of last resort, because there is a stigma attached to them.  That means that most people with hearing loss don’t go for a hearing test until around ten years after they should.  If we could get rid of that stigma, and make hearing aids as popular as earbuds, life would be very much better for hundreds of millions of people. 

Hearing aids are not the first products to have a stigma.  I’m old enough to remember a similar situation with glasses.  A child with a sight impairment would do everything they could not to admit it, lest they were labelled “four-eyes” or “speccy” by their classmates.  Most children’s books up to the 1960s had a glasses-wearing child as the scapegoat of the story.  Then John Lennon came along and all of a sudden, glasses were cool.  Nobody could quite explain why, but glasses changed from being something you tried not to wear to being a multi-billion dollar fashion industry, which conveniently managed to restore your sight at the same time.  Whilst the arrival of contact lenses threated their existence, glasses resisted the competition and remain immensely popular.  You no longer make a spectacle of yourself by wearing them, and nobody would consider them as a “seeing-aid”.  So how is that changing for hearing aids?

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November 17th, 2020 | Published in eHealth & Assisted Living

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About Creative Connectivity

Creative Connectivity is Nick Hunn's blog on aspects and applications of wireless connectivity. Having worked with wireless for over twenty years I've seen the best and worst of it and despair at how little of its potential is exploited.

I hope that's about to change, as the demands of healthcare, energy and transport apply pressure to use wireless more intelligently for consumer health devices, smart metering and telematics. These are my views on the subject - please let me know yours.

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Removing the Stigma from Hearing Aids

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