As many of you know, I lost my hearing at age 44 and am a bilateral cochlear implant recipient. Receiving a cochlear implant gave me back something I took for granted. Even today I continue to hear new sounds. Sometimes it’s a bird chirping and sometimes it’s more complexed like hearing the words and melody to a song.
May is better hearing and speech month. Statistics show approximately 20 percent of Americans, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss. Raising awareness about hearing loss and possible solutions is something that I hold close to my heart. Hearing loss is not selective, it holds no prejudice and anyone can be affected by it.
Being able to hear is important to me for so many reasons. I was born able to hear and at 44 years of age, I was shocked to learn that I was losing my hearing. I quickly educated myself on what I needed to do to gain back my hearing. From the time that I lost my hearing to the time I received my cochlear implant and onto to present day, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of better hearing and speech. Hearing allows us to more easily socialize, interact and in some ways it also helps to keep us calm. Being able to hear things such as alarms, sirens, and verbal warnings helps to keep us safe.