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JAN

Posted on Friday, January 04, 2013

Hearing Aid Reviews: A True Story

Connie Cross of Casco Maine tells reviews her hearing aids.

Stereotypes of people with hearing loss define those who wear hearing aids as out of touch. Studies have shown, these stereotypes are not true. People who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids feel and act younger, and as the true story of Connie Cross shows are seen as more in touch.

People who wear hearing aids have less problem understanding conversations, are more relaxed in social settings, and because today’s hearing aids are so small, they are rarely spotted. As Connie Cross says in her review of her own hearing aids, "Few people notice I have hearing aids."

“Excuse me?”
“Pardon?”
Or to my spouse, just a rude “What?”
These were the most frequent words in my vocabulary.

But I was in denial. I told myself I just didn’t care for those silly sit-coms I could no longer understand, and I blamed the rest on people who didn’t enunciate clearly. Hearing aids? I considered them a crutch for old people. I laughed heartily at deaf jokes, like the one where the doctor tells his patient that he has a heart murmur and to be careful. On his next visit, the patient, looking quite invigorated, says he’s followed doctor’s orders—he got a hot mamma and was very cheerful. Little did I know that I was often making similar auditory errors, though none with such “cheerful” results.

One night I attended a meeting where I was invited to record the minutes. As the meeting progressed, I realized I couldn’t make out what people on the other side of the table were saying. That night was a turning point. On the way home, I gave myself a talking to. How could I be an effective participant at the frequent meetings I attended if I couldn’t hear what was going on? Who was I fooling when I asked my friends to repeat all the time? Why were hearing aids any different from wearing glasses, which I had done for years? The next day I called an audiologist for an appointment.

Now I hear the rain on the roof, the loons calling across our Maine lake, the breeze blowing through the trees. Listening to music is once again a joy. I watch television and movies and rarely ask people to repeat. Best of all, I attend meetings without fear.

Once I was afraid that wearing hearing aids would mark me as an old person. But I’ve realized that what really marks an old person is withdrawal from life. Ironically, wearing hearing aids has made me feel younger. Now I can hear, as I did years ago, what is going on around me. I listen, and respond, and laugh, and enjoy. More than anything, hearing again has helped me defy my 70 years. I may not be young in years, but I feel young in spirit again.

Thank you, Connie, for sharing your heartfelt story with the People Hearing Better community. Your youthful spirit is more than evident, and your determination to forgo past stereotypes of hearing loss to live a full and happy life is admirable. We know your story will touch many people, and that your determination will inspire others to follow your example.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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