Hearing Loss Stories
“I was missing out a lot.”
It’s been thirty years since Peter first realized he had a hearing loss. Yet he recalls the moment as if it were yesterday, saying, “My wife told me I was missing out a lot.”
Although he knew he had to do something about it, one concern weighed on his mind. He remembers worrying “that it hearing aids would make me look old.”
Fast forward to the present, and Peter is grateful he sought hearing care. He says his hearing aids have helped him “very positively.”
Peter Dykstra, Sr.
“A whole new world.”
Acknowledging hearing loss can lead to many questions about what the future holds. It can also provoke different emotions in individuals.
Joyce recalls, “When I first came to realize I had a hearing problem, I was scared. Scared of wearing a hearing aid. I thought everyone would categorize me as being old.” She was also concerned that if she sought treatment “that I would be pushed into wearing a hearing aid, even if I didn’t need it.”
As it turns out, Joyce decided that hearing aids were the best way forward for her. She doesn’t regret her decision, saying they’ve helped her “big time.”
She says her devices have “opened up a whole new world” for her, and as a result, her future is looking bright. Joyce also notes that she is now “hearing things I wasn’t or didn’t realize I wasn’t hearing.”
“I am able to hear so much better.”
June realized she had a hearing loss “when my family kept telling me I was saying ‘Pardon?’ without me realizing it.” She didn’t have any particular concerns about seeking help, and she soon made an appointment to get her hearing checked.
The devices June was prescribed have made life easier for her. She says, “I am able to hear so much better without being embarrassed asking to have things repeated.”
Hoping others who are in a similar situation will also seek treatment, she encourages, “Don’t hesitate, go for it!”
“You’ll be surprised what you’re missing.”
While working at an automotive dealership, Karin says, “I found it hard to understand clients with masks and the acrylic screens blocked sound.” Not wanting to struggle anymore at work, Karin decided to seek hearing treatment.
She is happy that she didn’t wait and says her new devices have “made a tremendous difference” to her life. Karin hopes others who are struggling with their hearing will not put off their hearing care, saying, “Don’t delay. You’ll be surprised what you’re missing.”
“Facing that possible truth seemed a little intimidating.”
When Sofia considers her hearing, she is conscientious about how her actions today will affect it in the future.
“As a young person listening to music through headphones, I worried about the consequences of disruption to my eardrums,” she explains. “The first time I found concern, I was in my late teens-early twenties. I was worried that I may have already done permanent damage to my hearing and facing that possible truth seemed a little intimidating.”
The good news for Sofia is that she doesn’t need hearing aids now, but she intends to have her hearing check regularly to catch any signs of hearing loss early. “I would say to anyone that getting your hearing checked is the same as going to your family doctor or dentist,” she remarks. “It helps to understand your hearing and what you can do to prevent future hearing loss.”
“I didn't think I needed Hearing Aids”
When Helen had her hearing tested, the outcome was not what she expected.
She says she “could not believe I needed two hearing aids” and adds, “I didn’t think I needed hearing aids.”
However, now that she is wearing her hearing aids, the difference is obvious.
Helen says her devices have “totally helped me,” and she wishes she would have had her hearing tested sooner than she did.
“I cannot live without them.”
Alan’s hearing loss was causing him lots of frustration. “I could not understand what people were saying on my phone and TV,” he recalls.
He also remembers his concerns about treating his hearing loss, referring to “the cost and what do I want to hear.”
Since getting hearing aids, communication is much easier for Alan. Referring to his devices, he simply says, “I cannot live without them.”
“It’s important to get it looked at early.”
Sal became concerned about his hearing following an unsettling experience at work.
He recalls, “I was in a meeting, and I had to ask certain people to repeat themselves, and I was embarrassed that I was unable to pick up certain sounds/voice pitches.”
Not wanting to leave this issue unresolved, Sal decided to get his hearing checked despite his fears. “I was worried that I would be diagnosed with permanent hearing loss,” he says.
Sal was diagnosed with a hearing loss, and hearing aids were prescribed for him. However, with his new devices, Sal is thriving. He says, “They have made a positive impact in my hearing and conversations with people. I don’t get joked about anymore for missing details of a conversation from my family.”
To anyone in a similar situation, he stresses, “Hey, it’s important to get it looked at early. You never know the reason why it is happening … and it’s important to you and those most important to you to know what you are dealing with and support you through this.”
“Don’t have to keep asking people to repeat what they just said.”
Irene didn’t think she had a hearing loss, but her husband certainly thought so.
“My husband kept bugging me for about five years before I went and got my hearing checked,” she says. In the end, she decided to have her hearing tested “just to shut him up.”
She approached her upcoming appointment without any fears, mainly because “I thought I was fine.”
It turns out Irene did indeed have a hearing loss.
According to Irene, her hearing aids have made a “big difference” to her life. “I don’t have to keep asking people to repeat what they just said. The radio and TV volume are way lower now,” she says.
Irene encourages others to investigate any hearing issues they may have. “Get your hearing checked,” she says. “It does not hurt at all, and you could be fine.”
“I can hear much better.”
Although Gail had known for some time her hearing was declining, it was “during Covid when we were all wearing masks” that made her even more aware of her hearing loss.
Gail proceeded to have her hearing tested, and now as a hearing aid wearer, the world around her is much clearer. “I can hear much better,” she says. “Saves wear and tear on the TV volume button.”
“They got sick of me saying, ‘What did you say?’”
Marlene knew she had a hearing loss for many years, but she says she “just ignored” it. Eventually, her hearing loss reached the point where it not only bothered her but her loved ones as well.
This prompted her to look for information on hearing care. As she recalls, “The kids were driving me crazy about not hearing properly. They got sick of me saying, ‘What did you say?’ ‘Pardon?’ or just me giving them a dumb look which meant, ‘I did not hear you. Can you repeat?’”
After being fitted with hearing aids, Marlene is overall pleased with the results. She notes that her devices have “made things not perfect but much better.” She also shares, “Fine tuning a hearing aid takes a little time and adjustment, but with the right people it is much easier.”
“The aids play a very important part of your life.”
Kathy has worn hearing aids for most of her life. Her hearing loss was discovered when “I was in grade 3. The teacher noticed the difficulties I had hearing. I really did not understand at the time.”
Opting to wear hearing aids that “work best for my home and work environment,” Kathy is grateful for the daily assistance her devices have provided over the years. Because of hearing technology, she says she doesn’t miss out on important events. Her hearing aids have helped her “in communication with family and friends.”
She encourages anyone with a hearing loss to get it treated, saying, “Go for it. The aids play a very important part of your life. You are not missing out on important aspects of your life, personal and at work.”
“It’s easier for me to have a conversation.”
Oftentimes, hearing loss happens gradually. The changes happen so slowly that it remains unnoticeable until many years later when communication becomes challenging.
Lawrence knows this all too well.
“I cannot remember the exact moment; for me, the realization took place over a long period of time,” he says. “I was concerned I was missing out particularly when it came to conversations with my family and friends.”
However, he notes he also had another concern before seeking help. “Probably one of the biggest concerns would have been the cost of treatments and the hearing aids,” he shares. “Not knowing what options, if any, would be available to help cover the cost if needed would have been top of mind.”
Lawrence is relieved that he opted to wear hearing aids and says his devices help him in so many ways. “My hearing aids give me the ability to adjust to the environment I’m in using the settings provided in the app. It’s easier for me to have a conversation with a person who is soft spoken,” he explains.
“In a meeting or a group setting, I am able to hear all of the participants, not just bits and pieces of the conversation in the room. It has also made it more comfortable for others i.e., when watching television, it’s not necessary for me to have the volume way up.”
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, and prior to wearing hearing aids, Lawrence struggled with the persistent ringing daily. His devices have helped greatly in rectifying this.
Lawrence continues, “But probably one of the best things is my hearing aids have helped to reduce the ringing and buzzing I experience; therefore, I’m able to relax and sleep better.”
He encourages anyone with a hearing challenge to pursue treatment and not wait. “I would say if you think you have issues with your hearing not to put it off, as you may be unnecessarily risking further damage to your hearing.”
“Such an improvement.”
Alan had been living with a hearing loss for “quite a number of years.” Eventually, he decided to seek help, as “one of my concerns was I had to ask people to repeat themselves” on a regular basis.
As it turns out, Alan’s brother also had a hearing loss, but he had been treating it for some time. It was his firsthand experiences with hearing care that prompted Alan to finally take action.
Alan is grateful he listened to his brother. He says his hearing aids “are a godsend to me, as one of my hobbies is listening to music and it’s such an improvement.”
He encourages others to get their hearing checked, adding, “Do not hesitate to go, and your worries will be over.”
“I am much more confident.”
Several instances made Ingrid question her hearing ability. She recalls, “I was straining to hear the dialogue in movies we were watching, which upset me, and I noticed I was missing parts of conversations in a group situation. I realized I needed to get my hearing checked.”
Ingrid continues, “We all do annual physicals but tend to neglect having a thorough hearing test.”
Prior to seeking hearing care, she says, “My concern was adjusting to my hearing aids.” However, the process went smoother than expected. Ingrid says she “quickly found that wearing them became a part of my daily routine in the morning!”
Now, with her hearing aids, she shares, “I’m much more confident with all my daily interactions with others, watching my favourite TV shows is easier and I no longer feel stressed about my hearing.”
Ingrid concludes, “Our hearing is one of the things we can be proactive about.”
“Just do it.”
Ludo can’t pinpoint an exact moment he realized he had a hearing loss. “It was coming gradually, no particular moment to remember,” he says.
However, he says he did experience the “typical” signs that something was not right. Ludo found himself “not understanding what was said” and “constantly having to ask to repeat what was said.”
Hearing aids have helped Ludo to get back on track with his hearing, and he advises anyone who is struggling to “just do it” and get their hearing checked.
“I can use lower volume on radio and TV.”
Karen decided to have her hearing tested after her “adult children were noticing some ‘not heard’ questions and conversations.”
When she started to look into today’s hearing aid technology, she was amazed and “didn’t realize how far styles and quality had progressed.” Prior to getting her hearing assessed, Karen’s only concern was that the “cost was not known.”
After being prescribed hearing aids, Karen continues to be impressed with what her devices are capable of. She says, “I can use lower volume on radio and TV and can hear much clearer in church (sermons).”
Karen advises anyone who is struggling with their hearing to not delay treatment any longer. “Go and get an assessment,” she says.
“I feel less insecure in social settings.”
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges of hearing loss for many people – including Michelle.
She recalls, “At the beginning of Covid, I realized how much I needed to read people’s lips and with everyone wearing a mask, I couldn’t.”
This revelation prompted Michelle to seek help, even though it unveiled feelings of uncertainty from within her. “My fear was my own insecurity,” she explains. “I am under 40 years old and felt too young to be having hearing problems, but it was debilitating and affecting my daily life.”
Michelle is relieved that she went ahead and found the help she needed. Referring to her hearing aids, she says, “It has helped me so much! I don’t need to ask people to repeat themselves over and over again, and I feel less insecure in social settings.”
Summarizing her experience, Michelle shares, “I was already so sad about finding out I had a significant hearing loss, but I was given hope and solutions.”
“I don’t have to ask for the question or statement to be repeated.”
Don was unaware that he had a hearing loss. However, he says, “A family member mentioned that I should think about getting a hearing test.”
He soon learned that his hearing was declining, and this resulted in a prescription for hearing aids.
Don is grateful to his loved one for pointing out their concern, and he is pleased with his hearing aids overall. “I don’t have to ask for the question or statement to be repeated,” he says.
“The reward can be life changing!”
Greg decided to get his hearing tested when he found himself “not understanding what was being said.”
Once his hearing loss was confirmed, Greg was fitted with hearing aids. He says the biggest difference in his hearing now is “not having to say, ‘Sorry, what did you say?’”
He notes, “Getting tested is harmless, but the reward can be life changing!”
“I knew it was necessary to get it looked at by a professional.”
Hearing healthcare isn’t only about hearing aids. There are numerous conditions that may warrant a hearing checkup.
Kemal shares his recent situation as a prime example:
“I had a blockage in my right ear that persisted for weeks. I had a history of ear infections growing up and was concerned that there may have been some sort of damage to my eardrum as a result. It was a very alarming situation since it was so prolonged. My main fear was that this was permanent, and I would have to live with it. As much as I wanted to avoid any bad news, I knew that it was necessary to get it looked at by a professional.”
“I can engage in conversation much easier.”
Noelle says she “found it very upsetting” when she realized she might have a hearing loss. “I felt very old,” she adds.
The more she considered her situation and the options available, the more she thought about others also facing the prospect of hearing aids. “My biggest concern was the cost not for myself necessarily but for people who cannot afford hearing care,” she shares.
Noelle now wears hearing aids, and she finds her devices well worth the investment. She says, “I can engage in conversation much easier as well as enjoy concerts and lectures, etc.”
She hopes others will follow in her footsteps, saying, “Go and have your hearing tested!”
“Just do it!”
Mario’s first sign of hearing loss came in the form of tinnitus.
“It started with ‘buzzing’ in the ears, not constant, and gradually progressed to a constant buzzing over a couple of years,” he recalls. “My biggest concern was that I would need hearing aids at my early age.”
Mario is now a hearing aid wearer, and he says his devices have changed his life “for the better.”
He encourages others to get their hearing tested, saying, “Just do it! It is not worth the aggravation of putting it off, for you, your family and your friends.”
“Family and friends no longer have to raise their voices.”
Reflecting on his hearing loss, Ron says, “I don’t recall the moment, but I knew my hearing was getting worse until I finally realized I needed aids.” He adds that he didn’t have any fears about seeking treatment, but he “just kept putting off doing anything.”
Hearing aids have made life easier for Ron. Pleased with his devices, he says they “have improved conversations; family and friends no longer have to raise their voices.”
“My hearing improved immediately”
Sometimes hearing loss isn’t permanent, and it can have other causes such as earwax.
Lea says, “I noticed that I could not hear well out of my right ear. I thought it might have been water, but the hearing did not improve. It made conversation and using the phone difficult.”
This is when Lea decided to seek help rather than let the situation get worse. As it turns out, Lea’s ear had compacted earwax, which was causing her muffled hearing.
Once the earwax was cleared out, Lea says, “My hearing returned to normal immediately.”