Posted on Friday, November 18, 2011

Hearing Loss: First Steps to Improved Hearing

Connie Cross smiles after learning she has won a new Kindle!

“Few people notice I have hearing aids.”

Anyone who openly faces their hearing loss and does something about is to be admired. Connie Cross of South Casco, Maine is no exception. In Connie's winning entry for The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest, she shares her determination to overcome her own individual fears in order to achieve a fuller and more engaged lifestyle.

Her story is a shining example of how life can improve once hearing loss is recognized and dealt with. To find out more about Connie and how hearing instruments have benefited her, please read on.

“Excuse me?”
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 can usually catch most of what is said in a movie or a TV show, though usually I’d rather be talking happily with friends. I rarely have to ask people to repeat, and 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.

Connie Cross is one of the winners of The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest. The Sweet Sounds of Life Contest invited people to share how a hearing instrument benefited their lives or the lives of loved ones. The three winners Ellen Cole, from Albany, NY, Connie Cross, in South Casco, Me, and Stanley Katz, of New York, NY. each received a Kindle™ Reader and accessories bundle valued at $500. People Hearing Better would like to wish Connie the best of luck and congratulate her on her new Kindle!

If you'd like to learn more about hearing loss, hearing heath, and hearing aids click HERE to DOWNLOAD our free guide to hearing health!

This guide will teach you:
▪ The 3 different types of hearing loss
▪ How to help a loved one hear you
▪ 8 different hearing aid styles
▪ Advances in digital and wireless hearing aid technology.


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