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Decorate Your HAs or CIs!

October 22nd, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

You know we have a long way to go in terms of hearing loss acceptance when you see hearing aids marketed like this…

 

The “Stealth SSA Sound Amplifier” is marketed as a “discrete alternative to a hearing aid”.  You see, it amplifies sounds so you can hear them — but it’s a sound amplifier NOT a “hearing aid” — God forbid!  Don’t worry, nobody will think you’re — gasp! — deaf or hard of hearing, they’ll just think you’re oh-so-trendy with a lame-o Bluetooth headset hanging out of your ear.

 

Give me a break!  It’s time to combat society’s negative attitudes toward assistive listening devices and show pride in hearing aids and cochlear implants.  And what better way to show off your ears than some of these great HA/CI decorating ideas?

 

  • Stickers are available from nearly all HA and CI manufacturers, but you can also buy any regular stickers from a craft store and cut them down to size.
  • Val at Cochlear Kids has some great suggestions for adding flowers and other decorative touches to CI coils.  See parts ONE, TWO, and THREE!
  • CICircle parent Eva runs My Magic Fairy, on online boutique that sells cochlea-inspired jewelry as well as many HA/CI accessories, including BTE clips, which connect the CI to a child’s head with a barrette for an extra layer of protection — and style!  On her site, you can also see great examples of wrapping the CI cable with embroidery floss and beads.
  • Tube Riders are small plastic figurines in a variety of designs that slide onto HA or CI earhooks.
  • Ask your audiologist about specialty earmolds — I’ve seen all different colors, swirl, camo, glitter, even glow in the dark!
  • Ear Gear covers help to secure HAs/CIs and also add decorative covers to the BTE portion of the device.
  • Ear Wear plastic BTE covers come in a variety of whimsical and humorous designs.  My favorite?  The “EAR” of corn!
  • OtoClips attach HAs/CIs to a child’s shirt so they’re not easily lost, even if they fall of small ears!  The clips come in a variety of colors and fun animal shapes.
  • Nail decals can be rubbed onto the plastic portion of HAs/CIs and are just as easy to scratch off when you’re ready for a new style.
  • Stick-on rhinestones (like the kind made for decorating cell phones) can add sparkle to your hearing devices!
  • Super Seals protect HAs/CIs from moisture and also come in fun colors.  (For a cheaper, but less moisture-reducing option, stretch a balloon over the BTE portion of the HA/CI.)

 

NOTE: It is important to make sure that all decorative touches are “acoustically transparent” — that is, they do not cover up the HA/CI microphone(s) and prevent the device from doing what it’s supposed to do — help you hear!  No matter how pretty it looks, it’s got to work as your ears before it serves as a fashion accessory!  Also, various HA/CI companies have different regulations as to what modifications you can/cannot make and still keep your device under warranty.  So read the small print, and decorate at your own risk!

 

Cochlear Implant Online and its contributors are not affiliated with any of the products or services mentioned in this post.  Mention of a product or service on this website does not constitute an endorsement.

Written by

Elizabeth Rosenzweig MS CCC-SLP LSLS Cert. AVT is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist. She provides auditory verbal therapy, aural rehabilitation, IEP advocacy, consultation, and LSLS mentoring for clients around the world via teletherapy. You can learn more about Elizabeth's services on her Website or Facebook.

3 Comments

October 30, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I was just looking at the stickers at Cochlear’s website, but they aren’t to my “taste”, sport-themed or otherwise. Thanks for the links. Will have to check them out. :)

August 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

[...] while ago, I posted THIS about decorating hearing devices, and how adding flair to your “ears” can increase [...]

December 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

[...] Decorate Your HAs or CIs [...]