When Dinner Includes A Decibel Reader

Certain members of my family are very hard for me to hear. Part of it is no fault of their own — their voices are in the frequency range where my hearing loss is greatest. But I do often wonder if there isn’t more that they could do to project and enunciate their speech to make it easier for me to hear.

In fact, I think other people often have trouble hearing them too. But when I ask them about it, they say they are speaking at a normal volume and sometimes ask me if maybe the batteries on my hearing aids are getting low. Lovely.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

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Your Hearing Loss Is Unique, And So Is Mine

Every hearing loss is unique. Each like a snowflake with its own nuances and sharp edges. Its own beauty and challenges. Some of us hear high frequencies better, while others detect only low sounds. Certain of us lipread or use sign language, but not all of us do. We all have different tolerances, lifestyles, and capacities. And varying degrees of residual hearing. This diversity makes hearing loss difficult to explain, and very hard for people without hearing loss to understand. 

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When College Students Take an Interest in Hearing Loss

I was recently contacted by students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to learn more about my experiences living with hearing loss. Specifically they were interested in my thoughts on moderating the volume of my voice. They had seen a blog post I had written about the difficulty people with hearing loss often have knowing if they are speaking at the right volume in different settings. You can read that post here.

The students had a friend with hearing loss, who had explained to them the difficulty he had matching his voice to the ambient environment during interviews and other important academic and professional meetings. He said he was often intimidated to go to an interview for fear of embarrassing himself by speaking too loudly or too softly. This inspired the students to design a product to solve his problem.

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When Wearing Earplugs Turned Out To Be Cool

He had on his new suit and shiny shoes. The card and gift were packed, and so were the earplugs. He was heading out the door to his first fancy school party. For weeks we had discussed the appropriate outfit to wear and the fact that he would need to use earplugs when the band played. Given my genetic hearing loss, I won’t take any chances with my children damaging their hearing. They need to have as much of their own hearing left in case problems arise later through no fault of their own.

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When You Find Captions At The Airport

Not only is Hawaii extraordinarily beautiful, it is also hearing loss friendly! Several months ago, my family and I were lucky enough to visit Hawaii. You can read about our luau adventure here.

It was a wonderful trip so it was with a heavy heart that we headed to the airport for our flight back home on Hawaiian Airlines. But while we waited for the flight, something amazing happened. Every time the desk agents played a pre-recorded announcement (like the ones that announce boarding procedures), the screen displaying the flight details transformed into an open captions screen! You can see it in the two photos below.

Now that is what I call a hearing loss friendly airport!

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