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Who knew that being sick could help you relate to your end user?
You see, germs have invaded my house. Everyone (except for the cat) has been battling various forms of sickness. I had a viral infection which turned into a double ear infection (with a perforated ear drum), double pink eye, strep throat and sinusitis. Thank goodness for modern medicine and an understanding employer who allowed me the time of to recover.
I’m feeling much better, but I am left living in a “bubble”. While I’m not contagious anymore (don’t worry co-workers!) I still have fluid in my middle ear which causes everything to be very muffled. When someone is talking to me, it’s like my ears are under water. I can hear bits and pieces, but not the crisp details.
Even as I sit here at my desk, I’m amazed at how quiet things are. Normally I can hear the buzz of conversations all around me. One look shows me that things are still hopping; it’s just that I can’t hear it as I normally do.
Here are some of the things I notice:
  • I am more introverted as I need to strain to hear what is going on around me – I feel disconnected with my surroundings
  • I worry that I will miss something that is said to me and offend that person
  • I catch about 1/2 of what is being said and try to piece it together (helps if I can look at the lips)
  • One on one conversations are much easier to follow than group conversations
Hearing loss is an invisible handicap as it’s usually difficult to tell by looking at someone that they have a hearing loss. Many times people don’t have patience to deal with those who have hearing loss or worse they assume the person with hearing loss is a little “slow”.

Better Hearing Institute
reports that studies have linked untreated hearing loss to:
  • irritability, negativism and anger
  • fatigue, tension, stress and depression
  • avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
  • social rejection and loneliness; reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety
  • impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
  • reduced job performance and earning power; diminished psychological and overall health.

Here at Listen Technologies, we offer several lines of products designed to help people that have hearing loss. I realize now more than ever just what an impact these products can make in the life of a person living with hearing loss. Here’s what Chelle George had to say about her first experience with a hearing loop, “Before the actual workshop started, a lady reminded us to turn on our T-coil because the rooms are looped.  I did and WOW!!!  I never experienced it before this and I was totally amazed at the clarity of sound coming through my hearing aids at the push of the button.”


How would things be if we each walked a day in their shoes? In fact, that’s just what Ken Wood, CEO/President of Upstate Hearing has his employees do. All staff members are required to complete a hearing loss exercise as part of an orientation to their new positions, which entails wearing a customized set of earplugs while continuing normal daily activities. He said, “Hearing loss is very difficult to understand, Wood said. Most people kind of understand blindness, or being with limited use of a leg from having a cast etc. but unless you have experienced hearing loss or lived with someone with hearing loss it is hard to understand the frustrations and energy required to communicate easily.”


Luckily I know that my hearing will return, but I appreciate the perspective that I now have.
Three separate ListenTALK receivers in a row with different group names on each display screen.
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