Whether we adorn our hair, ears, arms, hands or belly buttons, Americans clearly enjoy personalizing with embellishments. Our eyewear is glitzy, big-faced watches are making a comeback, and some shoes even light up each time we take a step. Why should our hearing aids be any different?
Thirteen-year-old Hayleigh Scott didn’t think they should be. While so many of her classmates at the school for the deaf she was attending tried to hide their hearing aids behind their hair, she was designing jewelry to accentuate them. With the help of her mother, they are now charms that anyone can purchase.
From the elegantly scrolled “Divinity” charms with Sworovski elements to fun, colored tube twists, there’s something for everyone – even boys and men - on her site. Hailey’s Cherished Charms range in price from $10-18 per pair with 10 percent of her profits donated to research for the Deaf and hard of hearing.
The Oto Cool website has similar accessories. An inventive mom created Frame Riders to encourage her young son to wear his eyeglasses. When her husband mentioned they would translate well to hearing aids, too, Tube Riders and the Oto Cool company were founded.
These fun decorations range from flowers, sports gear and animals for children, to breast cancer ribbons, guitars and metallic skulls for teens and adults. They fasten to the tube portion of a behind the ear (BTE) hearing aid or cover the ear hook of a cochlear implant. The price per pair is $6.95
If you’re looking for something fun and functional, check out Fun Stuff on the Adco Hearing Products, Inc. site. There you’ll find a variety of accessories such as sweat bands and brightly colored spandex sleeves with clips and stretch cords to keep BTEs and cochlear implants clean and prevent them from falling during sport-related activities. Most of these accessories range in price from $22.95 to $25.95 per pair.
Oto Cool Tube Riders are available here, along with clever Critter Clips, a lightweight lanyard that attaches to BTE hearing aid and then clips securely to a child’s clothing. Choose from cute animals with names like Croc O’Dile, Cool Cat, Hon E Bear, Wabbit and Dogzilla. The Critter Clips are available in monaural (9” cord) for $9.95 or binaural (17” cord) for $12.95.
More sporty jackets for BTEs can be found on the Gear for Ears website. These water resistant spandex nylon sleeves come in a variety of colors and keep hearing aids dry and free from environmental debris, such as sand or dirt. Not only are these jackets washable, but they are also “acoustically transparent” so they don’t interfere with the sound coming into your hearing aid. The attached cord clips securely to your shirt or jacket to prevent your hearing aid from being lost or damaged if it falls. The price per pair ranges from $25.95-33.95 depending upon your hearing aid size and model.
The website also has an instrument fit list and sizing chart, with a Learning Center and Live Chat option.
Check with your hearing aid center and device manufacturer to find other ways to embellish and protect your investment.