Don’t Let Hearing Loss Keep You From Your Dreams

She took the stage shoeless, her back slightly turned to the audience as she used visual cues to coordinate with her band. She smiled slightly in anticipation of her performance, as if she were about to share a secret with the audience. The music started and she began to sing — her voice sweet and lyrical, gaining in strength as the song built energy. I couldn’t believe her skill and finesse — especially because she was doing it all without hearing a thing.

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Hearing Loss — The Forgotten Problem

This week I share a school project written by my son. The assignment was to write about a cause that is important to you and then deliver a speech about it to the class. He is in 7th grade. While not every detail is perfect in his talk, his experience growing up with a mom who has hearing loss shines through in bright detail. I am so proud of his efforts to raise awareness about hearing loss and love his suggestions for how his peers can help. 

I share his speech below, lightly edited.

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Partners In Hearing Workshop – Developing Tools To Better Navigate Hearing Loss

I recently attended a workshop hosted by The Ida Institute in Skodsborg, Denmark. Ida is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and integrate person-centered care in hearing rehabilitation. Ida is funded by The Oticon Foundation and collaborated on this workshop with Hearing Loss Association of America, The Ear Foundation, and Action On Hearing Loss.

Since its inception in 2007, Ida has periodically brought together groups of audiologists and related professionals to better define what patient-centered care means and to develop strategies and tools that audiologists can use to implement patient-centered care in their own practices. In the past year, Ida began inviting people with hearing loss into these discussions — a wonderful idea!

The workshop I attended, called Partners in Hearing — Learning Together, contained a mix of people with hearing loss, leading audiologists and representatives of patient organizations. I was thrilled to participate and hope that Ida will continue to include the patient perspective in future workshops.

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Yoga For People With Hearing Loss

Yoga combines physical poses with the philosophy of patience and self-acceptance. Its health benefits include developing stronger muscles, better balance, and increased flexibility. A robust yoga practice can also help people cope with the day-to-day frustrations of living with hearing loss. When combined with meditation, it can also help minimize tinnitus symptoms.

People with hearing loss may be skeptical about trying yoga. They wonder if they will be able to hear the instructor well enough to follow along in a class or if their devices will fall off when performing different yoga poses. These are real concerns, but the following tips should help you enjoy your yoga practice even when you have hearing loss.

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Will Hearing Loss Soon Be The New Normal?

Can you imagine a time when hearing loss would be commonplace? When it would be more prevalent than not in a social setting? When it would be the new normal? Given demographic trends, we may be rapidly approaching such a time. This is driven by three important factors — (1) the median age of the US population is increasing, (2) people are living longer, and (3) the higher incidence of hearing loss in older adults. We have the Baby Boomers and improved health care trends to thank for most of this.

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