Recently, our family has come to appreciate what it means to have hearing loss. Lucy went to a routine well child visit, last year, where we learned that she did not pass her hearing screen. Come to find out, she had trouble with the previous hearing screen. We scheduled her to see an Audiologist, where we identified that she has Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL) and is known as "cookie bite" as the audiogram graph results look like someone took a "bite" out of the middle, where normal conversational hearing frequency would be. The use of hearing aids is the best intervention to this permanent condition. There were some emotional moments, but Lucy found her inner bravery, Skinner Power. She also sought comfort with her new found friend, Dotty, the dalmatian newborn pound puppy that has been with her through every appointment.
We came to understand that this SNHL is genetic in nature and tends to become "active" after language and speech is already learned. Research has been unable to pinpoint when the "switch" is flipped and the hearing loss kicks in exactly. Lucy is so resilient that she has been able to overcome her hearing challenges socially and academically thus far. Understanding that this is genetic, Michelle had felt for some time that she may have a hearing issue. Dustin had expressed his concern for Michelle's hearing over the years.
Michelle was compelled to have her hearing screened. The results revealed SNHL and our audiogram graphs were almost identical! Knowing these results, testing Penny was a priority. Luckily Penny was not affected.
As a family, we have all leaned on each other as we embraced this diagnosis and sought out to obtain hearing aids quickly. Friends and family have been so supportive. Both Lucy and Michelle have been motivated to be a part of the deaf and hard of hearing community! Using hearing aids has been life changing and enabled us to hear and focus words and conversations with much more ease than ever before. This family is committed to give back and be a part of something big. The Walk4Hearing is a great way for us to do something positive and influence others by sharing our story and building new relationships. Please join us in bringing awareness about the importance of screening and supporting those that are experiencing hearing loss.
48 Million People
1 in 6, about 15%, or 48 million people – no matter how you look at it, there is a large amount of people in the United States who are living with some degree of hearing loss. Today’s society continues to get louder - with construction, traffic, sporting events, concerts, even lawnmowers and leaf blowers - and it’s affecting our hearing health.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. HLAA strives to give people the tools they need to live more successfully with hearing loss and to show them they do not have to face it alone.
Hearing loss is permanent, but people with hearing loss can, and do, live rich and fulfilling lives. I want to help make it a little easier for them to do so. It starts right here in my own community with generous people like you, who are willing to step up and support me.
I’m participating in the Walk4Hearing to help raise awareness and funds to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. I want to help others realize they are not alone and they can live well with hearing loss. The funds I raise provide national and local services that are dedicated to supporting those individuals.
Although hearing loss can’t be cured or reversed, it can be screened for and treated; in some cases, further loss can be prevented! It’s not too late to take care of your hearing health. Still, it’s estimated that on average people who suspect they have hearing loss wait seven years before seeking treatment.Hearing loss can be very isolating and if left untreated, it can have a profound and negative impact on your life.
So if you think you may have a hearing loss, I’m going to challenge you:
Don’t wait! Get your hearing screened!
A hearing screening is quick, painless, and easy, and its benefits can last a lifetime! I’m asking you to take control of your own hearing health and encourage your family and friends to do the same. In fact, I want you to let everyone know about it! Follow HLAA Walk4Hearing on Twitter @Walk4Hearing and tweet using #screenURhearing to let people know you got your hearing checked and/or encouraged someone else to do so. Don’t forget to “like” the Walk4Hearing Facebook page and follow @hearinglossassociation on Instagram. Utilize all of your social media networks and spread the word!
Can I count on you to support me?