“Being able to hear better and communicate with more people makes for a better quality of life. It’s not fun being left out and isolated. Hearing better would give those with hearing loss so much more opportunities to make their lives richer and fuller. It can allow them to participate in more activities and not miss out on the fun and important things in life.”
Living with Hearing Loss
Emily was born in the time before routine newborn hearing screenings were set in place, so her hearing loss went unidentified for the first year of her life. Finally, her pediatrician became concerned that Emily was not developing any vocabulary yet, so he referred her parents to an audiologist. At 15 months old, Emily was finally diagnosed with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.
Shortly after being diagnosed with hearing loss, Emily was fit with hearing aids. However, growing up she struggled to understand speech and began to rely on lip-reading instead. As a result, her parents had her fit with cochlear implants when she was 8 years old. Ever since then she has been hearing well and experiencing a better quality of life.
“A life with hearing loss is all I can remember. Once I received my first cochlear implant I was able to understand speech much better and hear many sounds I would have never heard with my hearing aids.”
The Importance of Better Hearing
Cochlear implants have allowed Emily to better communicate with those around her. She has been able to excel at her career and in her personal life. Emily is currently a pediatric audiologist, and she acknowledges that she wouldn’t be able to be in this profession without her cochlear implants.
“Because of my personal experience with hearing loss, I can relate and empathize with my patients and their families. I feel my success in life can be an encouragement to my patients and their parents. It shows them that hearing loss does not have to limit their future accomplishments.”
Cochlear implants have enabled Emily to have better relationships with the people she communicates with. With hearing loss, Emily always had to pay attention to people when they spoke to her, which has helped her develop relationships in a positive way because she genuinely cares and likes to connect with others.
Why Emily is a HearStrong Champion
Emily is a HearStrong Champion because she is passionate about helping those with hearing loss. Emily wants those who have hearing loss to enjoy a better quality of life through hearing aids and cochlear implants. Emily is a strong advocate for herself and for others.
Emily has volunteered in her community, helping those with hearing loss and even chose a career that allows her to help people directly through her audiological skills. While in graduate school Emily was involved in activities such as giving free hearing screenings, participating in Celebrate Sound walks, and mentoring younger kids with hearing loss. Emily’s dedication to her community and helping those with hearing loss illustrates her inspirational role as a HearStrong Champion.