It’s Time To Walk4Hearing!

It’s that time of year again — Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) annual Walk4Hearing in New York City! This will be my third year walking. Like last year, my family and I will also be Walk volunteers, arriving early to help set up and to man the registration tables. It is a great way to get the whole family involved.

Walk4Hearing is one of my favorite advocacy events of the year. To find or support a walk near you, click here.

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How Can I Keep My Family Safe When I Cannot Hear The Danger?

What is that noise?” my son asked me one lazy afternoon this summer. “I don’t hear anything,” I replied. “It sounds like someone is coming up our driveway. The motor is revving. Can’t you hear it?” he practically shouts in an increasingly worried voice. He was nervous that danger was approaching. I didn’t hear a thing.

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The Day I Found A Hearing Aid On The Sidewalk

Walking home yesterday, I almost stepped on a hearing aid. It was lying in the center of the sidewalk, deserted. I zigged quickly to avoid flattening it with my heel and stopped dead in my tracks. My heart sank, crushed for the person who would soon find his lifeline missing. I imagined the panic and chagrin when he noticed it was gone, the self loathing for losing something so important, and the despair at having to find the funds for a new one. Hearing aids are incredibly expensive. I was as devastated as if it was my own hearing aid that had been lost.

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Suddenly, I Was The Deafest I Had Ever Been

When my two hearing aids died on a recent trip overseas, I was plunged into silence. For several years, I have worn hearing aids 24/7 so I was not prepared for the sudden absence of external sound or for the ringing from inside my head that overtook the quiet, a cacophony of unwanted noise and disruption.

I had forgotten how the external world would start to recede as I became lost in my own internal musings. How I would begin to feel disoriented, confused, and alone. Since my hearing loss is progressive and I have worn hearing aids for the better part of 20 years, I realized this was probably the deafest I had ever been. And it was to stay this way for the better part of two weeks. Despair momentarily took hold.

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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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