I used to be a closeted hearing aid wearer. My hair was long enough to cover my ears and hearing devices, so I hid them. In the summer months, when it was too hot to keep my locks down, I pulled them into a ponytail…and removed my hearing aids. Why? Because I hated the way they looked on me, and I didn’t want people to see them.
One day while browsing Facebook, I saw a photo that shocked me. Someone had her hearing aids in, and they were decorated with jewelry. They looked sparkly and beautiful. The photo mentioned a company called Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms. Founded by a teenage girl with hearing loss named Hayleigh, the business makes jewelry charms that attach to hearing aids and cochlear implants.
I purchased my first ear charms last year—silver and turquoise dangling charms. When I wore my hair pulled back, people complimented my ears. No one mentioned the hearing aids attached to the charms.
This year, to celebrate having new hearing aids, I bought more charms. If you are tired of hiding your hearing aids or cochlear implants by a thick mane of hair, bling them up. Besides charms, consider adding sparkly stickers to them or colorful twists to the hearing aid tubes. Hayleigh has those, too.
Remember that the more people who see your decked out hearing devices, the more people who are made aware of your unique self. Hearing loss or not, don’t hide.
Come out of the closet.