Hearing management

Updated 28 August 2018

Come again? Hearing aids are hip

Barely visible hearing aids are allowing users to feel less old-fashioned – breaking the stereotypes that link hearing aids with old age.


For many people, hearing aids symbolise old age and decades of deteriorating hearing, but new technology is allowing these stereotypes to be broken.

In the past, hearing aids were highly visible because they were big and cumbersome, but technology has improved the size, functionality and appearance of hearing aids.

In fact, there are now hearing aids which fit completely into your ear and are, for the most part, invisible as the devices are only about the size of a large bead.

Hearing aids aren't as old fashioned as once belie

Paul Crusius, co-founder of Audibene, points out that only about 20% of people with hearing problems actually wear hearing aids.

It is an established fact that many older people need hearing aids because their hearing has deteriorated over the years, but not everyone knows that there are many younger people who need these devices as well. 

Modern technology has progressed to such a degree that people are able to control their hearing aids with an app on their smartphones, and some even allow users to listen to music through their devices.

Image credit: iStock


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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