A new sound

Sophomore adapts to life with hearing aids


Photo by Ayla Sozen

Story by Emily McMaster, staff writer

Many may say some sounds are indifferent, annoying or just taken for granted throughout the day. Keys typing on a keyboard, birds singing in the distance and pencils tapping on desks to name a few. Sound familiar?

I was robbed of my ability to hear such sounds as a young child. These sounds did not exist, but to me, they did not have to. Visiting teachers after class to review the parts of the lesson I did not hear and having supportive friends help me along the way was getting me by fine.

Just as many other kids, I had tubes put in my ears at a young age, yet for some reason they did not work for me the third set around, ending with two busted eardrums. Over the years I have accumulated many operations and doctors in hopes what had happened could be reversed. After my latest operation in December 2014, still with no luck, I continued to think life would be fine the way it was.

Yet as time went on I noticed my lack of socializing, the faces staring at me after the teacher had called my name for the third time and never hearing the music for a dance in drill team. Friends started not wanting not to repeat statements and left me out of the group. However, through the storm I was able to find out who my real friends were. I also gained a unique talent of reading lips.

Knowing that lip reading was not going to lead to my success, I opened my mind to the idea of hearing aids. Although I was never too fond of this idea, I believed this was my best shot. The first few weeks of my new sound consisted of headaches and astonishing moments of randomly hearing sounds unheard in the past.

With time, my “new ears” seemed to disappear with my senses, I forgot I even had them on. I was soon able to hear the whispers in background, music in drill team and the “annoying” sounds. I no longer had the anxiety of possibly being called on and not hearing what I was told.

Along with not feeling as isolated, although some friends will never change, I gained a few tricks with my new tech. My hearing aids, worn behind my ears, connect to my phone allowing me to control the volume with an app. With this I can listen to music without anyone knowing and talk on the phone without listening into my phone.
I believe having hearing aids has become one of the turning points of my life. I may not have wanted them at first, however, I, along with many others, can now clearly see the impact they have made. I have found a new love for my new sound.