Welcome to Living With Hearing Loss, a blog for people living with hearing loss. I have a genetic hearing loss that I first began to notice in my mid to late twenties. It has gotten progressively worse since then and I now wear hearing aids every day to hear better. I am lucky to have only mild tinnitus so far. I don’t want my hearing loss to define me, but I find that being open about it can help relieve the pressure of always having to hear everything perfectly. I hope this blog will serve as an outlet for my experiences as well as a community for those dealing with similar issues.

I am active as a hearing health advocate and write and speak frequently on hearing loss topics on this blog and elsewhere. I recently authored an E-book, Person-centered Care from the Patient’s Perspective, detailing my experience with hearing loss. I hope it will provide audiologists with valuable insights they can use to make their practices more person-centered.

I serve on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America and was the Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation from 2012-2015. In 2015 I was named a HearStrong Champion for my work to combat stigma surrounding hearing loss.

Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with me. I look forward to hearing from you!

You can reach me (Shari Eberts) at shari@livingwithhearingloss.com. You can also find me on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

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40 thoughts on “About

  1. I am 44 years old and knew for many years that I was not hearing well. It was frustrating and beginning to affect my job. However, when I realized that I wasn’t hearing my five-year-old son, I knew I had to do something. I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about four months now. It has been adjustment. I am dealing with some . . . I hate to say shame, but it’s just that I hate the thought of being treated differently. After reading several of your blog posts, perhaps I will be more up-front with others about my hearing loss. Thank you very much for sharing; I am really looking forward to reading more.

  2. Thanks for all the work you are doing to help the hard of hearing. I am a 69 years young rubella gal. It has been pretty hard for me to deal with the hearing loss. I just finished reading “Alone in the Mainstream” by Gina A. Oliva. A very good read! 🙂 Also, Shanna Groves, the Lip Reading Mom, has a good website. How did you meet your girlfriends?

  3. I’m glad I came across this. I’m about to be 23 and just got diagnosed with bilateral sensioneural hearing loss-most likely genetic. I’ve known a while something might be up. They want me to get hearing aids but I’m feeling pretty lost at the moment as they didn’t explain much to me.

    • What degree is your hearing loss? There are many different types of hearing aids that could help. Do you have an audiologist that you like? Have you looked into HLAA? They have chapters in many local markets that could connect you with others in your situation near you.

  4. I am 23 and just got diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss, likely genetic. I’m glad I stumbled across this because I’m just unsure of what to do now and don’t know anyone in the same position

    • Hi Alex, I have bilateral reverse hearing loss too. I got diagnosed at age 12 and nobody knows how I got it. Most likely because I got hit by a shovel on my left eyebrow. I blog about my hearing loss journey, feel free to message me for tips or guidance. My blog is http://www.embracehearingloss.com

      One thing I learned about having hearing loss is to never let it define who you are. Learn to embrace and don’t get depressed about it. You will need to be patience and never make anyone be patience for you. They have to be patience for you, they have to repeat words for you without any annoyance.

  5. So glad I found this. I’m 23 and was just diagnosed with pretty substantial genetic hearing loss as well as severe tinnitus. Any resources you know of to help pay for hearing aids or of quality hearing aids that aren’t terribly expensive? I’m currently looking for some but can’t afford many of the options.

  6. I cannot express the feeling I had when I read what you said about how any other disability would not be met with such humiliation. I thought surely I was not the only one who recognized that!
    I am a retired middle school teacher who was experiencing a lot of teasing from both students & other teachers. I would ask my students if they would laugh at someone who could not see, or someone who could not walk. You should have seen the look on their faces as it showed the horror of even thinking such a thing! Then I would ask “Why then would you laugh at someone who could not hear?” The room always became quiet as I hoped my message had gotten across. We must relate to everyone that respect is due to everyone whether they have a disability or not but certainly those with ANY disability. We have a long way to go!

  7. I have just come across your blog after reading your article about the stigma of hearing loss in Hearing Loss Magazine. I am looking forward to reading more! I am 27 and just been diagnosed with complete Bilateral loss for low tones (I can hear high pitches just fine unless it is a very noisy environment), severe tinnitus & fullness in my ears. My MD has tested for Meniere’s, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, all with negative results as well as a good CT Scan showing everything operating normal. Have had hearing aids the last 8 months & they help tremendously, but still struggle with the constant tinnitus that varies day to day, even up to 3 different tones at a time. Is it normal to be frustrated with nothing showing what exactly is going on causing all of this? The only thing we have chalked it up to at this point is genetics, but my hearing test was completely different from my dad’s & his mother/grandmother who showed losses all over the place, nothing as specific as mine.

  8. My name’s Addy, I’m 13 and have 30% hearing loss due to a hole in my ear drum that was left from a ear surgery. I’m starting to struggle in school and I hate lunch now because I can’t hear anything. My mom is taking me to get my hearing tested soon, but I don’t know if hearing aids are an option because my mom doesn’t want me to get them because I’m still growing. How can I cope?

      • Hello. I just thought it would seem right to share the rest of my story. This is something I wrote that I want to share with the world.


        I was born normal. I lived normal, no hearing loss whatsoever, until I was five. Then, I had a surgery. I had my tonsils and adenoids taken out, and tubes put in my ears. The tubes are eventually supposed to fall out, leaving a small hole in the eardrum, which usually heals naturally. The one in my left ear went fine, but the one in my right left a hole in my eardrum. I now had hearing loss. So, when I was seven, I had another surgery. They were going to take cartilage (the stuff the part of the ear you see is made of) from my right ear and use it to “patch” the hole. The blood vessels are supposed to grow over it, restoring my hearing. It was an all or nothing deal. They did the surgery, and it wasn’t all or nothing. Blood vessels grew over half of the patch, and not the other. My hearing was restored. However, six years later, a corner of the patch started to droop or “dog ear”, resulting in hearing loss. So, I got another surgery, to snip off the dog ear and patch the tiny hole left behind. The surgery failed. Now, more than a year later, I still have hearing loss.
        I try to hide it. Only my teachers and friends know I have hearing loss, and even fewer know how. After all, hearing loss is for old people, who always cup a hand around their ear and say, “Eh?”. Hearing loss isn’t for teenage girls. But, soon everyone will know. Some people probably have pieced it together by now. I sit in the front of the class, I don’t talk much, I’m shy, and the list could go one. I can’t communicate easily. In loud situations, I can’t hear anything. This leads to me staying away from those situations. I don’t go to school dances, I don’t talk at lunch, I refrain from social situations. It’s lonely, but it’s how my life works. Someday, they’ll all know. They’ll learn who I really am. Will they accept me? I don’t know. I’ll find out soon enough.
        After all, hearing loss is who I am. It’s what shaped me. It’s what I’ve been brought up with. I’m a Phoenix, emerging from the ashes of hearing loss at age seven, burning up into ashes at age twelve. When I get an aid, I’ll probably struggle with who I am. Finish the next sentence for me. I am… What? What are you? I am hard of hearing. In those five words, is me. In those words is a lot of pain, a lot of loneliness, and a lot of missed words. Is it horrible? Yes. But it’s who I am. I am hard of hearing.

      • Hi Addy. Thanks for sharing more of your story. I am a hard of hearing too, but it is not all that I am. Same for you. You are so many other things too. Make sure you remember all the other wonderful parts of you. I wish you all the best!

  9. Hello. I have issues at the cafeteria at my school. There’s so much background noise, I can’t hear a thing. I just met the people I sit with this year, and I didn’t tell them I had hearing loss. Now I wantto, but feel like I can’t. I try to lip read, but they cover their mouths a lot, and I guess you know how hard it is to read lips when someone’s chewing. How can I cummonicate?

  10. Hi Shari, thank you for writing inspiration words related to hearing loss. I know exactly what you have to deal with. I am currently blogging too about hearing loss. I have bilateral hearing loss and write blogs to help others embrace their disability. I would love to add you as a guest blog if you would give me the opportunity. Please follow my website at http://www.embracehearingloss.com

    Thank you,

    Alicia Castro

  11. Hi Shari ,
    I have just found your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences – you have inspired me ! I have a high frequency hearing loss in both ears and have juggled and managed quite well choosing a profession which suited me in interest and my hearing loss . But since having my gorgeous children I have found it so challenging . I am inspired to step out of the closet more with more confidence and to even write about my own experiences also – so thank you ! I look forward to reading more ! All the best Amy (uk ) x

  12. Just found your blog…I am 77 years old and for the first time in my life, I feel totally isolated because of my lack of hearing. Until this past January, I have worked since I was 16.never had a problem. In later years I worked with an investment company and spent 13 years taking calls with a headphone on my right ear. I then “retired”, and automatically went to work again in retail.Sickness forced me to “retire” earlier this year and I never thought about all the benefits I “gave up”..primarily health care. I am now living 100% on my Social Security..no health insurance, barely paying the rent. I could be on a deserted island for all the contact I now have…Just a warning to younger people,,NEVER TAKE YOUR HEARING FOR GRANTED.

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