GN has launched a new campaign called The New Norm aiming to tackle the visual misperception people have of modern hearing aids, which contributes to the high level of untreated hearing loss.

Dated Imagery Leads to Untreated Hearing Loss 

Globally, an estimated 344 million people with hearing loss don’t wear a hearing aid, causing them to miss out on the sounds of life, communicating, socializing, and potentially even compromising their future health.(1) Misperceptions around the appearance of hearing aids is a key contributing factor that discourages and delays people from addressing their hearing loss.

Images of people wearing hearing aids available to media and others to use in their reports have been limited, often outdated, and almost exclusively feature older people wearing hearing aids that are obsolete, GN says. In response, the hearing aid manufacturer worked with photographer Gala Ricote—who has worn hearing aids for over 20 years—to photograph six inspiring hearing aid wearers. The result is a collection of free images that GN hopes will help replace the use of outdated and stereotypical imagery.

Revolutionizing Representation: Redefining Hearing Aid Imagery

The New Norm image bank provides access to free, high-quality images that represent the modern era of hearing aids and celebrates life with hearing loss, the company says. Ranging from close-up in-ear shots displaying the latest hearing technology, to fun lifestyle imagery showing real life achievements, the image bank provides a wider selection of positive and representative images for media, academia, non-profits, and others reporting on hearing loss.

The new collection of images went live on World Hearing Day, an initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO), which this year is focusing on changing societal mindsets. The photos featureL

  • Welsh Paralympic athlete Olivia Breen
  • Amsterdam-based comedian Lara Ricote
  • United Kingdom singer-songwriter James Page, known professionally as Sivu
  • New York DJ Julie Slavin, known as DJ Hesta Prynn 
  • U.S. historian and author Jaipreet Virdi
  • Musician Jacob Kulick from Nashville 

The group have come together to tackle societal misperceptions and share their own personal journey of living with hearing loss and the challenges they have faced, GN says.

“As someone who has worn hearing aids since I was young, this campaign from GN is so important to me,” says photographer and life-long hearing aid wearer, Gala Ricote. “I have seen first-hand the advances in hearing aid technology and style change over the years, but the visual representation of hearing aids and what people with hearing loss can achieve has never evolved. People’s perception is stuck in the past. Nowadays it’s hard to spot hearing aids on people so most people just don’t see what the technology looks like, and instead are stuck with an image of what a hearing aid looked like decades ago. Images can be so powerful, I have been able to capture the beauty and diversity of different people proudly wearing their hearing aids, and hopefully helped to create a more positive narrative about hearing loss.”

Promoting Inclusivity with Free and Accessible Images

The varied collection of images is available for free download from Unsplash. The images can be easily found on the website when searching for “hearing loss” and “hearing aids.”

“Until now, image banks have been loaded with outdated imagery of hearing aids,” says Aysel Cengiz, global PR & communications director at GN. “These images inevitably end up in media and in culture and are fuelling the misperceptions which have contributed to over 300 million people(1) with hearing loss avoiding getting a hearing aid. We wanted to create a bank of images that reflected the reality of hearing technology today, real people wearing their own hearing aids and shot by a photographer who also wears hearing aids. The response we had when asking people to take part was overwhelmingly positive, they want to show the world what hearing aids really look like.”

Globally, over 80% of ear and hearing care needs remain unmet,(1) and hearing loss is now recognized to potentially be the biggest modifiable risk factor for dementia(2) and impacts other areas including work and lifestyle. Latest research from GN revealed that 45% of those aged 40 to 49 have noticed changes to their hearing, yet less than 10% of people in that age range wear hearing aids.(3) While some may not yet require hearing aids, the findings reflect an urgent need to normalize hearing aid wearing at younger ages.

Further reading: GN and Soundly Launch Digital Art Campaign for Hearing Health Awareness

The Mission of “The New Norm” Campaign

Through this campaign, GN aims to build the largest and most diverse modern image bank of people wearing hearing aids to change the visual perception of people living with hearing loss and foster an environment where wearing hearing aids is seen as a symbol of empowerment and an integral part of enjoying life on a longer timeline.

Lead photo from Gala Ricote by GN Group on Unsplash


  1. Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization (2022).
  2. Livingston G, Huntley J et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. 396(10248):413-446. Available at: [Last accessed: February 2024].
  3. Survey of 14,000 participants across 7 countries including; US, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Japan and China, 2023