The Day My Hearing Aids Made Me Feel Like a Queen

Do you feel like hearing aids are everywhere in the press these days? First it was the groundbreaking launch by American Girl Doll of Joss, its 2020 girl of the year that not only enjoys surfing, but also wears a hearing aid. Then it was the Queen of England spotted in public for the first time wearing a hearing aid. It is exciting and inspired me to share my thoughts on the subject for HuffPost Personal. 

Hopefully one day soon, someone wearing a hearing aid, no matter their age or occupation will no longer be newsworthy, but until then, the more press coverage the better. Building awareness is the best way to break down stigma, promote hearing aid and assistive listening device usage and build awareness about the ways people with hearing loss are breaking down communication barriers.

Click here to read the story on HuffPost. If it resonates with you, please share it widely to help build momentum for articles about hearing loss in the mainstream media.   

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Hearing Loss: Why Audiologists Should Recommend Peer Support

Support is important for anyone facing a new challenge. Hearing loss is no different. Audiologists are often the first place people with hearing loss turn when searching for information about their condition. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I encourage audiologists to understand that the emotional aspects of hearing loss are equally important to treat. They can help do that by encouraging patients to seek out a hearing loss support group. I include an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Hearing Loss Can Be A Solitary Pursuit

Like most people, I began my hearing loss journey alone, weighed down with stigma and unsure how to best navigate the world with hearing aids. I didn’t know any other people with hearing loss that I could ask for guidance. My father, bogged down with stigma of his own, was no real help. I often felt like I was on my own with this huge challenge, increasingly disconnected from family and friends that did not understand my struggles. Once I found my way to a hearing loss support group, this all changed.

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Hearing Loss & Thanksgiving: A Recipe for Success

Thanksgiving is a time to join with family and friends to express gratitude for the many joys in our lives. For people with hearing loss, it can also often be fraught with anxiety. Will we be able to follow the dinner conversation and partake in the merriment? Will we be exhausted from all the listening fatigue? Will we remain a relevant and important part of the family dynamic?

My family usually heads out of town for Thanksgiving, but this year we are hosting! Sleeping all eight of us in a Manhattan apartment will make for tight quarters, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have ceded control of the cooking to my mother-in-law, so my focus will be on setting the table, arranging the seating, and creating the perfect hearing friendly atmosphere — a great role for someone with hearing loss.

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How A Gratitude Journal Helps Me Manage My Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be frustrating and annoying, but what if expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of life could help offset some of those negative feelings? In my latest post for Hearing Tracker, I share my experiences using a gratitude journal to help manage my hearing loss. See an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Living with hearing loss can be incredibly frustrating. You might miss the joke at a social gathering and stand staring while everyone else laughs or you may try to enjoy a dinner out at a restaurant, but the background noise blocks out the voices you want to hear. Sometimes your friends and family are supportive, but other times they wave off your requests for a repeat with the dreaded “never mind.” Your hearing aids are wonderful in certain situations, but not in all. There can be a lot to complain about.

But what if expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of our life could help deflect some of the frustrations we live with every day because of our hearing issues? Many research studies suggest that gratitude can help enrich your life through increased patience, better sleep, improved health, higher self-esteem and more resilience. And the benefits are long-lasting. It seemed worth a try.

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How To Survive A Cocktail Party When You Have Hearing Loss

Cocktail parties are a fact of life, but with hearing loss, they are also a challenge. In my latest post for Hearing Tracker, I share my tips for surviving a cocktail party when you have hearing loss. See an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here

Cocktail parties are tough for most people, but when you have hearing loss, they can be brutal! The constant buzz of conversation bounces around the hard surfaces of the room, making it difficult to pick out the important sounds — the voices of your conversation partners. When music is playing in the background, it is even harder. The whole experience can be frustrating, embarrassing, and incredibly exhausting. Many people with hearing loss would prefer to avoid cocktail parties like the plague. But cocktail parties are a fact of life and we must face them head on.

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Surviving A Cocktail Party When You Have Hearing Loss

When approaching a cocktail party, people with hearing loss may opt for easy fixes — dominate the conversation or nod, smile and hope your responses are appropriate. While I admit utilizing these crutches in a pinch, the following list of strategies provides a more authentic and satisfying experience.

1. Arrive rested. Hearing at a cocktail party requires significant concentration and brain power. Arrive rested and having eaten something. An empty stomach makes it harder to concentrate.

2. Find a good position in the room. Upon arrival, scope out the best possible acoustics within the setting and set up shop. A corner location often works well because it limits the background noise behind you. Areas with carpet, drapes or cushions are also good choices since soft surfaces help absorb excess sound.

3. Advocate for yourself. Let people know about your hearing difficulties and ask your speaking partners to move to a quieter part of the room if possible. Or invite them to step outside for a breath of fresh air and respite from the cacophony. If possible, ask the host to turn down the music in at least one part of the party.

For more tips, please continue reading on Hearing Tracker.

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