My Experience Wearing Hearing Aids
My parents were absolutely shocked when my preschool teacher told them that she thought I wasn’t hearing in class. They refused to believe it. They took me to see a variety of specialists until one of them told my parents that I indeed DID have a significant hearing loss.
I started wearing hearing aids at the young age of four. Yep, that’s right. Hearing aids aren’t just for “old people.” I remember I absolutely HATED my hearing aids when I first started wearing them. I was fitted with just one hearing aid to start with. I wasn’t even in kindergarten and I wanted nothing to do with my new hearing aid. One day, my mom told me that I would be going back for ANOTHER hearing aid. I was so mad. I remember I flat out yelled at her and told her, “No, I don’t want another one! I hate them!” Now, I look back and laugh at me saying that because my hearing aids are in my ears the second I wake up until the second I go to bed.
After I got the second hearing aid, the rest was history. I was IN LOVE with hearing everything. I realized that songs actually had words in them. All along, I had thought they were just sounds to hum along to. I was able to play and communicate with my younger siblings and the kids at preschool. It was like a whole new world had opened up to me.
When I got to grade school, one of my teachers ordered me a device that I could use that hooked up to my hearing aids. The teacher had to wear a microphone like device and I had to wear a device, too. This helped me tremendously. My classmates were drowned out and all I could hear was the teacher and what she was teaching. My classmates and I had a blast with my new little device. It was like a toy! They would take the teacher’s microphone and go out in the hallway and talk to me. Then, when they came back in, they would ask me what they said. I always got it right! They thought that this was the coolest thing!
When I reached middle school, I needed an alarm clock that actually woke me up. A normal alarm clock did absolutely nothing for me because I take my hearing aids out at night. My parents bought me a special alarm clock that hooks up to my desk light. When the alarm goes off, the light flashes, the sound is extra loud, and a small vibrator that is placed under my pillow goes off. It’s a pretty neat alarm clock, especially if you’re hearing impaired!
By high school, I was pretty well known in my class. The kids I grew up with knew that I had trouble hearing and looked out for me. My classmates left the teacher know if I didn’t hear something or they hollered at me. They also helped me hear at cheerleading practice. It worked out pretty well.
College was a different story because nobody knew anybody. It’s all new. It was time to grow up. My classmates and friends that looked out for me all throughout school were nowhere in sight now. Nobody even knew that I had a hearing problem. I still had a microphone system that I gave to my professors, but a lot of times I didn’t use it. I always felt as if I could hear very well with my hearing aids. Although, this required me to be proactive and ask more questions when I didn’t hear anything.
I graduated from college and I now work for Beltone PA Hearing Aid Center as the Vice President. In a way, I am indirectly helping the hearing impaired. Functioning in life with hearing loss has not been easy, but it could’ve been worse. There are a lot of everyday struggles involved with hearing loss.
Thankfully, hearing aids have made my life absolutely amazing. I would not be anywhere near where I am today if I didn’t have hearing aids. If I would’ve been born a hundred years ago, I would’ve never been able to function in normal society with other kids or people. The technology in hearing aids has taken off and they are only getting better every day.
I was able to go to college and graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, which is something I’m very proud of by the way! Hearing aids have also made the lives of my family and friends easier. They don’t have to scream at me so that I can hear them. There are still times when I can’t hear, but most of the time I can hear very well. Most people tell me they forget that I have a hearing problem.
For more than 75 years, Beltone has been significantly improving