“It is SO important for everyone to do whatever they can to improve their hearing. It is human nature to communicate with each other and want and need to be heard in our own way, and everyone deserves to be able to communicate. The difference in my hearing when I’m not wearing hearing aids vs. when I put them in is literally like night and day. I wouldn’t change getting hearing aids for anything! It was the best decision I made.”
Melinda has had hearing loss her whole life. When she was younger it was mild, and she was told she didn’t need hearing aids. But in her early twenties, her hearing loss worsened. While working in a noisy salon, her coworkers pointed out that she was often not hearing them or her clients. Before she addressed her hearing loss, she made excuses by convincing herself that it was normal because everyone has trouble hearing in situations with background noise. She found herself smiling and nodding to her clients when she could see that they were talking to her, but she couldn’t understand them. She also realized that she was heavily relying on lip-reading. She then followed her coworkers’ advice to get her hearing tested. After being told she had moderate hearing loss in both ears, she received her first pair of hearing aids.
At the beginning of 2021, Melinda woke up one morning and put on her hearing aids like she had every morning for the last 10+ years, but this time she couldn’t hear anything out of her right ear. She initially thought there was something wrong with the technology. She was then diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss in her right ear, and after multiple steroid injections, she accepted that it was permanent. Melinda then researched other treatment options and decided that a cochlear implant was the best solution for her. She is scheduled to receive it in the December of 2021.
Importance of Hearing Better
For years, Melinda was self-conscious about her hearing loss. She avoided talking about it and wore the most petite and discreet hearing aids possible. Then a few years ago, her attitude changed. Melinda began to feel more comfortable and confident discussing it with others. She realized how important it was for her to talk about it in order to advocate for herself.
Socializing is a huge part of both Melinda’s work life and personal life. She is grateful that her hearing instruments allow her to communicate better. Because of them, she has built strong relations with her clients and grown her clientele large enough to start her own independent salon business. Melinda believes getting hearing aids is the best decision she has ever made because they have tremendously improved her quality of life.
Why Melinda is a HearStrong Champion
Melinda is a HearStrong Champion because she is a fighter who has overcome every obstacle that has been thrown her way. Around the time Melinda was diagnosed with hearing loss, she was fighting thyroid cancer. About a decade later, she was diagnosed with a second form of cancer, Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia. After undergoing chemotherapy, she came out on the other side a different person with a deep sense of self-love and appreciation. She is an incredible role model who remains confident, selfless, and positive despite her struggles.
Melinda believes it is important to share her story and discuss the benefits of seeking treatment for hearing loss to demonstrate that hearing loss comes in all shapes and sizes. Melinda uses her vast social media following to raise awareness and share her story. She has inspired many others who are deaf or hard of hearing to come forward about their own experiences.
“Everyone deserves to hear and be heard, and I hope this helps more people feel comfortable advocating for themselves and sharing their own hearing loss journey.”