Holding the plastic color swatches, I was attracted to the ultra blue one. My parents, audiologist, and I were deciding whether I wanted something neutral to blend with either my skin or hair, or if I wanted a snazzy color like this shiny blue. It was possibly the hardest decision I have ever had to make regarding my hearing aids. We had to take several things into account: the fact that I was a cheerleader, where I’d have to wear my hair up constantly, exposing the aids. Blue was certainly not in our school colors; red black and white. The school colors ended up being my choice for my braces. (I have spirit, yes I do.) We also considered whether I wanted my kindergarten classmates to notice this beautiful color upon my ears, or did I want to keep them subdued, and feel that I look more like them?
We finally landed on a dark brown, matching my hair color. Cheerleading was important to me, and I did not want to betray my teammates by unintentionally rooting for the team across town.
However, in my adult life, I find myself wondering: what if I had chosen the blue? Would I have had a different social life? Would my friends have liked them better than the brown? Would the blue have changed the way I hear? My mind enters so many scenarios in which my life could have turned out differently had I chosen the blue. Butterfly effect, much?
Visibility is one of the biggest concerns to a new hearing aid user. It is common for those that find they need them prefer hearing aids you cannot see. I was one of these people, but my audiologist stated that the technology in that size was not available for what I needed back in ‘95. I switched from behind the ear to an invisible aid when I was in college. At the time, I did not realize that I was not getting enough oomph out of them, I just enjoyed not having something obviously behind my ears. I felt they made me more comfortable around fellow freshmen. This was not a time in my life that I wanted to be known as “gal with hearing aids.”
I don’t regret growing up with a neutral color hearing aid, but if someone with a child being fit with them, I hope they are given all the choice in the world for one of the billions of colors the human eye can see. There’s even aids with rhinestones:
Zebra print aids:
Super hero-themed aids!
The possibilities are endless, and I encourage having fun with them, even if it means getting out of the comfort zone.
I’ve branched out from my blended and bland color choices and moved onto these:
They’re white with gold sparkles. I love them! I’ve considered bedazzling, too.
The difference between choosing what color shirt to wear daily and choosing a color for a hearing aid is that the hearing aid takes some more commitment. Some manufacturers make it simple to change the casing, though not all of them have that option. Regardless, I encourage having fun with color choices. Would I have chosen the ultra blue? Absolutely. But I am no Spartan fan.