“It is so important for individuals to seek treatment for their hearing loss as it can come with negative aspects if not treated. If people don’t seek help for their hearing loss, they will become more isolated, frustrated, and fatigued. Getting treatment definitely improves your quality of life and confidence.”
Experiencing Hearing Loss
When Rachel was born newborn hearing screenings were not yet mandatory. As a result, her hearing loss went unidentified for 2 years until Rachel’s parents noticed she was not responding appropriately to sounds. It started with little things like not reacting to toys that made sounds. But there were bigger things too—like when Rachel couldn’t hear her sister who was yelling. Determined to find an answer, Rachel’s parents took her to multiple doctors and she was finally diagnosed with severe profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
“My parents spoke with Summit Speech School in New Providence, New Jersey. They helped my parents through the process; finding audiologists, learning how to speak, and so many more resources. I’m so glad they provided me with hearing, and I will never take it for granted.”
Growing up, hearing aids helped Rachel tremendously, but as she got older she noticed her hearing aids weren’t allowing her to hear as well as she wanted. She recently noticed that she was having difficulty understanding others, feeling exhausted from listening, and began to feel more isolated. Rachel began the process of receiving cochlear implants and after her surgery she has been hearing better than before.
The Importance of Hearing Better
For the past 19 years Rachel’s hearing aids have helped her hear better and effectively communicate with her friends and family. Being able to hear has helped her with her education where she is pursuing a career as a teacher so she can work with students with disabilities.
“I think it’s important to educate others so they can learn how to help others with hearing loss that come into their lives. Both my hearing aid and cochlear implant have truly helped improve my quality of life by being able to navigate conversations with others and has created the person I am today.”
Cochlear implants have improved Rachel’s quality of life by allowing her to enjoy all of her favorite sounds in life. She can now engage more actively in conversations and feels confident, happy, and less tired because she can hear better. Rachel is a resident assistant and enjoys helping residents with any conflicts they may have. In this role she often gives advice, and acts as a reliable person to talk to. Rachel’s leadership skills have improved immensely since she received her cochlear implants and she is grateful to be able to communicate effectively.
Why Rachel is a HearStrong Champion
Rachel is a HearStrong Champion because she is strong, independent, helpful, and an advocate for those with hearing loss. Rachel loves talking to others about her hearing loss and educating them in order to reduce the stigma around hearing loss and hearing aids. Rachel has spoken at multiple HLAA Chapter events and has been teaching others about hearing loss since she was 10 years old.
“It is important for every individual to access sounds. Everyone should feel included and accepted for who they are. I know I am more confident after receiving my first cochlear implant and completely accept my hearing loss.”
Rachel believes everyone should receive treatment for their hearing loss because it will lead to an overall increase in happiness and enjoyment of life. She has worked diligently educating people and advocating for herself and the hearing loss community. Rachel is also a part of the Essex County Chapter for the Hearing Loss Association of America as well as a Cochlear America’s Volunteer where she talks about cochlear implants.