The Royal Wedding — and Hearing Aids?
Breaking the Stereotypes of Hearing Aids One Wedding at a Time
Sydnie Freeman, Au.D.
Clinical Audiologist at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute, Cumming, GA
Much like many people around the globe, I tuned in to the royal wedding of Meghan Markle
and Prince Harry, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The wedding was absolutely beautiful,
with every detail oozing with royal perfection. I re-watched (yes, re-watched!) the wedding with
my sister and mother, and while Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury was speaking to
the couple I said, “Look at his hearing aids!” and both my mother and sister looked at me and
said, “What? Where?” Once I told them who, it was only then that they spotted the hearing
aids of the royal wedding.
This led to think how many times in a day I hear “I don’t want to wear hearing aids because
everyone will see them and it will make me look old/look silly/you name it I’ve heard it.”
Looks are important, and I understand that! Hearing aid manufacturers also understand that
hearing aid aesthetics are important in whether or not someone will wear hearing aids, and
therefore gone are the days of big and bulky hearing aids being the only choice for people. Once
any of my clients are able to see a hearing aid’s actual size, most are stunned by how small they
People so freely will wear eye glasses, but hesitate to put on hearing aids. Seeing hearing aids
on the world’s stage, though it may not have been noticed by many people (which is kind of
the point), is refreshing to see the stereotype being broken that hearing aids are big, bulky,
and reserved for people who are not living active lifestyles. I am sure The Archbishop of
Canterbury is a very busy man, and even he did not let his hearing loss interfere with his ability
to do his job- a job which was witnessed by millions as he married two of the world’s most
famous people. Why should you let hearing loss interfere with your work and lifestyle? You
might be surprised at how a noticeable-to-others hearing loss might become less noticeable
with small hearing aids, even some small enough to become virtually invisible inside your ears.
Don’t let the fear of old, bulky hearing aids keep you from learning about your hearing solution
options. If the Archbishop had been worried about hearing aids being too visible and decided
not to get them based on that notion, he might have never gotten the opportunity of a lifetime
to marry a royal couple.