“Hearing aids have given me so many opportunities. If I did not have hearing aids, I would be a completely different person.”
How and when did you first realize you were experiencing hearing loss?
I was born with a bilateral mild/moderate hearing loss and over time, I have become profoundly deaf. Both of my parents are hearing. I have always struggled to find my place between the Deaf and Hearing worlds. I went to a public school and grew up mostly in the hearing world. I have had to learn to advocate for myself as many people, teachers, coaches, and community members, do not understand the true impact of hearing loss. I do not hesitate to seek care, my parents have always taught me to reach out for help when I need it.
Based on your experience, do you have suggestions for others on how and where to start? Any other important things for them to consider?
I suggest to accept your hearing loss. I always laugh when adults begin to lose their hearing and shy away from hearing aids because they don’t want to take that step or accept that they are ageing. I always think that is silly because it is better to accept help then to miss out on conversations and memories because of fear or pride. On the other hand, if you are a parent of a child with hearing loss, I ask that you support and expect their hearing loss. Empower them to seek help and advocate for themselves. Teach them to teach others about their hearing aids and challenges. Get involved with their education and seek accommodations if needed.
What was your biggest concern about hearing aids? Did that turn out to be true?
I have always had hearing aids, so it is all I know. Hearing aids have given me so many opportunities. If I did not have hearing aids, I would be a completely different person. I would, most likely, communicate through sign language. I would not have gone to a public school and would not have had the same opportunities that I currently have. I am grateful for ReSound and hearing aids as they have given me the ability to connect with the hearing world.
What would you tell someone who is considering hearing aids?
One thing that I have found about getting new hearing aids is that while it is exciting, it is very stressful and takes some adapting. You definitely have to give yourself time to adjust before saying no to them.