I Didn’t Expect Hearing Aids at Age 23. Here’s Why I’ve Embraced Them.
llustration by Brittany England

llustration by Brittany England

When I learned that I would need hearing aids at the age of 23, I scoffed.

Hearing aids? In my 20s? The phrase reminded me of my grandma’s elderly friend Bertha, who had tan plastic compartments affixed to the sides of her head.

Silly as it seems in retrospect, I worried that my hearing aids would fast-track me to old age. I figured people would see weird contraptions in my ears and instantly make assumptions. They would feel sorry for me or start shouting their words, enunciating each syllable as though I needed help comprehending their speech.

To assuage my concerns, my audiologist handed me a sample Oticon hearing aid and a hand mirror. I tucked my hair behind my right ear and angled the glass so that I could see the thin plastic tube wrapping around my pale cartilage.

“That is pretty subtle,” I acknowledged to her, making eye contact.