Caitlyn is a beautiful, smart, loving and strong little girl. When she was born she failed her newborn hearing test. That's where our journey began with another hearing test and a visit with an audiologist. Caitlyn was diagnosed with severe sensourineural hearing loss. In this type of hearing loss the root of the problem is in the cocchlea or inner ear. Without hearing aids the doctors say Caitlyn can't hear a door close, but she can feel it. They say she might hear some loud noises such as: a lawn mower or maybe fireworks. However, the quality of sound is so poor that speech can not be understood. Next we met Dr. Grindle(Caitlyn's ears/ nose/ and throat doctor). He sent her for an EKG, an MRI, and to the eye doctor to rule out the possibility of a medical condition causing her hearing loss. All of her tests came back normal. Caitlyn was diagnosed early so we are beyond excited for the opportunity to help her learn speech. She was fitted for hearing aids at 3 months old and has adjusted well.
She celebrated her 3rd birthday on January 24, 2017 with her twin brother Owen who can hear. We've met lots of people and doctors, and have spoken to parents of children with hearing loss. We have also met many children who have benefited from cochlear implants who were implanted at different ages. Sean and I have decided it's the best choice for Caitlyn.
She had her left ear implant surgery on May 5, 2015. The implant was turned June 3, 2015. We were so nervous, but very excited for Caitlyn. We are thankful that she was a candidate and have welcomed her to the hearing world! On July 5, 2016 Caitlyn had her second surgery and her right ear implanted. The second implant was activated about 6 weeks after. About four months after the surgery we noticed Caitlyn's language had doubled! She loves to sing, play with stickers, play with playdoh, draw circles, eat pancakes and drink chocolate milk.
Caitlyn is now in preschool and loves her teachers and friends. At this point in her hearing loss journey we there are no limitations for her to learn along side her peers. We have been blessed and pray that she continues to excel with her language.
We are learning more everday and still have a long journey ahead of us. However, we are very determined to do what we can to help our little angel. Sean and I have a goal to educate ourselves, our family, our friends and Caitlyn about hearing loss.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing increases awareness about hearing loss, helps to eradicate the stigma associated with it and raises funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Since 2006, the Walk4Hearing has raised more than $7.7 million and has become the largest walk for hearing taking place in cities across the United States.
We walk because hearing loss is a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
- 48 million people have some form of hearing loss
- 26 million people have noise-induced hearing loss that could have been prevented
- 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children are born deaf or with a hearing loss
- 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings
Hearing loss affects one's ability to communicate every day in different situations - from a dinner conversation at a noisy restaurant, on the phone, to not hearing alarm clocks and smoke alarms. For people with hearing loss, these situations can be become obstacles without the right information and support. HLAA provides the assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
For more information about HLAA, please visit www.hearingloss.org.