“My fight will not stop until hearing aids are covered under insurance. It is not a luxury or cosmetic. It is essential! We need to reduce the stigma with hearing loss / wearing aids!”
Discovering Hearing Loss
Meaghan has had hearing loss for as long as she can remember. Her father also has profound hearing loss in both ears, so this was not a surprise to her family. In middle school, during sleepovers with friends, she realized that she relied heavily on lip-reading because she couldn’t hear what any of her friends were saying once the lights went out. As she got older, her hearing loss got progressively worse. She never mentioned it to her parents because at the time she didn’t realize everything she was missing.
When Meaghan was in graduate school, she and her parents decided to get her hearing tested because she was having trouble following along in the classroom. She could only hear her professors when she was upfront and they were facing her. At her first audiology appointment, it was confirmed that she had significant hearing loss in both ears. Although, due to the high cost of hearing aids and the lack of coverage by insurance, she was only able to afford one aid at the time.
Importance of Hearing Better
After she graduated, Meaghan was hired as a broadcast meteorologist. Three years into her job, she was accepted into a program that allows people to apply for financial assistance for hearing aids. She was then fitted with her first bi-lateral hearing aids and her life changed for the better. She quickly realized how many simple sounds and conversations she had missed out on before she was bi-laterally aided.
“Truthfully, it was slightly overwhelming as I had never heard some of these sounds before and it was sensory overload. Once I got used to them, it was amazing! I could now hear the car blinker, crickets, and birds and didn’t have to turn the volume up high on the TV!”
Meaghan is extremely grateful for her hearing devices. Because of them, she feels more included in conversations and can enjoy simple pleasures more often. They even make her feel safer on the road because she can actually hear sirens approaching from behind and she is able to get out of the way. At work, her hearing devices have helped her hear and connect better with other anchors which improves their chemistry on air.
Why Meaghan is a HearStrong Champion
Meaghan is a HearStrong Champion because she is passionate about giving back to the hard of hearing community. She uses her platform to share her own personal story about how hearing devices have benefited her. When she is not on television she devotes her free time to fundraising for the HLAA Walk4Hearing Nashville Chapter and working with Songs for Sound, another local nonprofit. She is also in the process of creating her own nonprofit called, “The Heart of Hearing.” She wants to return the favor she received and help others who are in need of financial assistance for hearing devices. She even wrote a children’s book with the same name to show children they are not alone in their hearing loss journey.
Meaghan is an incredible role model. She’s been successful in her career on television despite having hearing loss in both ears and actively speaks out about how being unique is a beautiful thing. Meaghan wants to encourage anyone with hearing loss to not be hesitant about getting their hearing checked. She believes the quicker someone gets screened, the quicker they will be able to hear the wonderful sounds they’ve been missing.
“Hearing better has changed my life for the better! It brings me to tears when I realize all the sweet sounds I missed over the years.”