Why Are Glasses Perceived Differently Than Hearing Aids?
Phonak today asked the question
“Why Are Glasses Perceived Differently Than Hearing Aids?” and linking to a article saying:
“Without technology, the human body is a pretty limited instrument. We cannot write without a pen or pencil, nor eat hot soup without a bowl and, perhaps, a spoon. And yet, only certain technologies are labeled “assistive technologies”: hearing aids, prostheses, wheelchairs. But surely our pens and pencils, bowls and spoons assist us as well. The human body is not very able all on its own.” theatlantic.com
In the old days when people did not hear and therefore did not answer or answered incorrectly they were percieved and called dumb. When it in fact was the other way arround, the ones calling the not hearing dumb, where the not knowing. Being hearing impaired have since then been stigmatized. It was looked upon as not normal and shameful being hearing impaired and the first hearing aids was big, unpractical and very visible, everything from hearing trumpets to the later big first electrical ones. (Wikipedia)
But well, glasses are very visible too.
But maybe it is a bit like this.. The fashion industry have made glasses not so scary since they have made fashion of glasses in the glasses industry. Hearing aids are still hiding and lurking in the hidden. I think people have a prejudice that hearing aids are strange and maybe such as thinking “people think badly about me if I use it or show them I use it”. I have actually heard a woman say it.
I think one should have a more practical approach to things. You have a hearing aid TO HEAR, not the other way around. Just like with glasses. You have glasses to see, not to be unable to see. I think people are afraid that others will percieve them as deaf and dumb. But what you really have a hearing aid for is HEARING. It is no worse than using a stick for walking.
Hearing aids today are almost not visible. I have been hearing impaired on my right ear since I was about 6-7 years old. I am 48 now and I use a hearing aid from Phonak. I went without a hearing aid for many years, through school, work, private and socially, since they thought I was deaf on my right ear. All this made me struggle unnessecarily. With more modern hearing control audiograph equipment they found I have hearing even though little. So I got a hearing aid. And I say WONDERFUL! I went from only hearing mumbleing in a crowd to actually hear what people said, and hearing much better both music and passengers in my car. It is really MARVELOUS! And the new digital hearing aids do not beeeeep in the ear all the time either, it is silent and leaving the ear and hearing aid to do its job hearing music, speak and what is needed to hear.
My old first beige hearing aid and my new silver one you can see in this photo. The beige one from PerSonic was analogue, and when it losened a bit from the ear it started beeeeeep, it was irritating. But the new kind from Phonak is digital, silent and not disturbing. It is also both practical and comfortable to use. No one should be ashamed of using a hearing aid. It is improvement of life. It is no worse using a hearing aid than listening to music or talking on a handsfree. A hearing aid also help you communicate.
“What’s the difference between using a wheelchair and wearing glasses? Both take advantage of technology to adjust or enhance human capabilities. Yet we tend to consider people in wheelchairs as disabled, and people with glasses as, well, relatively normal. It’s all about perspective.” gizmodo.com
A part of the problem as I see it is that people do not know anything about it. Hearing aids now a day are cool. They come in many different shapes and colors, and even with bling, and there are so many gadgets to get, cool design ang other stuff. I think mine is rather elegant.
And by me it is rather silly preferring sitting not being able to follow a conversation when there is help out there. Being hearing impaired can be a lonely thing. Lonelyness because you can not follow and join a conversation fully. Not hearing mean not to hear all what people say, and you can not join. With a hearing aid you can, and you can talk with friends and family even in troublesome situations like noice, and listen to music.
If Phonak and other producers of hearing aid would be as much in the media as shampo, clothes, music and other stuff I think people would wake up and realise that it is fine stuff and cool too!
I say, if you have a bad hearing, go get a hearing aid!
Please, read the article I read today on the theme.