PCAs: Personal Communication Aids

Kids today have it made. They don’t have to wear the ugly hearing aids and other hearing devices that some of us wore while growing up. Beige, bulky and uncool. It’s not just the Baby Boomers — but many generations that have no problem wearing glasses, but do all they can to hide their hearing losses. Me, too. And I am a Gen Xer.
However, I am not shy about wearing my hair in a pony tail anymore especially since I play tennis. No way am I wearing my hair down for that especially in Texas heat and with thick, curly hair like mine. The “stay comfortable” factor aside, the black-colored implant cover is less embarrassing than the old beige hearing aids I used to wear.
Not only do hearing aid companies produce cool looking ear molds (the ugliest thing of the whole hearing aid), but also hearing aids are now PCAs. Normally I would roll my eyes at this change of name for those things that help you hear better, but PCA does sound cooler than hearing aids. We don’t call glasses “eye aids” or “seeing aids.”
Meet the Lexus, BMW and Porsche of hearing aids: Phonak PCAs. Nice marketing move, Phonak.
Can we stop using “hearing aids” and start using “PCAs?” I don’t like to call my cochlear implant device a hearing aid since it’s not the same thing as what we consider a hearing aid. PCA, however, would be easier to say and understand.


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  1. I’m with you…it took way too long to make hearing aids “cool”…now that I no longer need one, they actually look like fun!! 😉

  2. Thanks for sharing this link.I had no idea what PCA’s were or what they looked like. I am amazed at how things change over time. 20 years ago, when CI’s were just out, they looked horrible! Now, these PCA’s look much like the Blue Tooth phone headsets that hearing people wear. I learned something here. Thanks for sharing.
    ~ LaRonda

  3. I have Bulky aids, and i only got my Bilateral aids last year, before that I had the in ear ‘secret’ ones!! But I dont mind them now! it did take a while though! but I wear my hair in a pony all the time! 🙂

    • Dawn Colclasure on August 20, 2007 at 7:59 pm
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    I’m glad I found this blog. I didn’t know about the PCA thing. With a lot of cool techno gear for hearing people, it would seem the cool new looks of CI’s are becoming more acceptable in society.

    • D D Warren on August 30, 2007 at 10:10 pm
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    would like to hear from ci users that lost their hearing due to overdosing of hydrocodone or similar medications. I lost my hearingcompletely in june2007 . I first noticed hearing loss in Feb. 2007 while sick with flu/bronchitus/double ear infections, all the while abusing hydrocodone. I had ci surgery 8/9/07 and will have my device turned on 9/21/07. Just wondering if there is anyone out there that can relate.

    • Jessica on April 2, 2008 at 12:38 am
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    I have a bulky hearing aids. I really want to get a new pink mini BTE “Behind the Ear”. I wish I would take a Open-Fit-BTE aka PCA. I can’t take it. Because I am profoundly deaf. I really like PCA and cool color BTE for kids. I would like to get a pink. I am not satisfy with my hearing aids BTE’s size. I always being shy to wear my hair pony tail. I always cover my hair down. I want to be more self-confidence to wear a mini BTE or PCA. The earmold look good on me with clear color. It’s not bad at all. But I didn’t like the ugly earmold color like beige, dull, bulky, unmatch on hair & skin for people who wear them. My husband have a bluetooth for cellphone. That’s very cool! CI is cool with new color design more than decade ago. I really love that cool device more than decade ago. 🙂

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