Catherine Crisp

Little Rock, AR

“(My hearing aid) makes hearing better and easier, my tinnitus is diminished when I wear them, and they lead to less hearing loss fatigue.”

How and when did you first realize you were experiencing hearing loss?

May 23, 2016, while traveling, I suddenly heard 3 different tinnitus sounds in my right ear instead of the 1 I usually heard. Two days later, while driving, I heard a lot of static in my ear that did not abate. I had trouble hearing out of the right ear when my wife was in the passenger seat and just a few feet away from me. An ENT diagnosed me with Idiopathic Sudden Hearing Loss in my right ear.

Where did you first go for information or help? Why?

My Primary Care Physician. My insurance requires a referral to specialists, so I had to see her first no matter what I did.

Based on your experience, do you have suggestions for others on how and where to start? Any other important things for them to consider?

Yes. Be patient with yourself and others. Practice lots of self-care. Surround yourself with people who support you. Avoid loud places and places that stress you. See a therapist if you need to.

What was your biggest concern about hearing aids? Did that turn out to be true?

None. I spent hours doing research and learning about them and was confident that they would assist. My hearing aid (I only wear one as I only have hearing loss in my right ear) has dramatically improved my life.

How have hearing aids changed your life? How do they help you at your job, in your hobbies or at volunteer activities?

They make hearing better and easier, my tinnitus is diminished when I wear them, and they lead to less hearing loss fatigue. I am a college professor and they enable me to continue teaching and doing the work I love. Because of my reduced fatigue, I can continue doing the things I love to do.

What would you tell someone who is considering hearing aids?

Get them! Have no shame about wearing them. I know the data (70% of adults who could benefit from them don’t wear them) and I encourage people to purchase them. They will make your life easier.

Who is your hearing care professional?

Arkansas Otolaryngology Center