When Your Hearing Aids Catastrophically Fail

I love my hearing aids. I wear them every morning, afternoon and evening. Even overnight since they are extended wear. They help me hear the sounds around me, keeping me safe and allowing me to communicate with the people I love.

But what happens when your hearing aids catastrophically fail — on an overseas trip thousands of miles from home and your audiologist? You cry, you yell, you suffer and then you get on with it — turning to alternative forms of assistive listening technology. It was quite a learning experience.

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Hearing Loss And Loud Sounds Are A Bad Combination

“Welcome to Old Lahaina Luau. Have you visited with us before?” the hostess asked as she led us to our table. “Yes, a few years ago,” my husband replied. “Well, you will notice a big difference. “We just installed a new sound and light system which should really enhance your experience,” she told us. “Super,” my family said in unison.

Except for me. I started digging around in my purse for extra earplugs. Sound systems are only heading in one direction and that is louder! I figured we were going to need them.

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Do You Have Hearing Loss Friends?

A few weeks ago I attended HLAA’s annual convention. It is always a treat. Several days of hearing accessible workshops, learning about new products available for people with hearing loss in the exhibition hall, and just plain fun, hanging out with my hearing loss friends. It is a great mix of people — some with more severe hearing issues, some with less, but each has something to teach me in terms of coping skills and tricks of the trade. And simply friendship. I can’t wait for next year.

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The Gift Of Hearing: Joy, Hard Work and “Ba Ba Ba”

Thank you to Rayovac Hearing Aid Batteries for sponsoring my participation in this hearing mission. All opinions expressed in this piece are my own. To read my other post about this mission, click here

My advocacy work typically takes the form of writing or speaking. I focus on breaking down barriers for people with hearing loss, crushing stigma and promoting self-advocacy. I want people to live their best lives despite struggling with hearing loss and tinnitus. But I had never given the gift of hearing itself, until recently.

Rayovac Hearing Aid Batteries invited me to participate in a Starkey Hearing Foundation mission to Dominica. Rayovac supplies all the batteries for these missions. I was there as a hearing health advocate, volunteer, and writer, with the goal of capturing the mission experience in words. I thank Rayovac for this memorable opportunity.

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My Tinnitus And The Power of Suggestion

Since we got our new hearing loss friendly TV, my husband and I have been watching a lot more television. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but watching TV is definitely more fun now that I can better follow the dialogue. We have gotten ourselves particularly addicted to one show on Netflix…

Last night, we were watching an episode where a character was experiencing periodic ringing in his ears as a result of a head injury. A high-pitched sound would play and the character would wince in pain, losing his ability to concentrate or converse. Tinnitus was never mentioned by name, but the signs were unmistakable. The sound played repeatedly through the episode and by the end of the hour, my ears were ringing too.

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