Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others

Welcome to the Hearing Loss group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
This is a welcoming, safe place where you can meet people living with hearing loss, and friends and family supporters. Whether you were born deaf or hard of hearing, experienced hearing loss after birth or with aging, it helps to connect with others. Together we can learn from each other, support one another and share stories about living with hearing loss, coping with challenges and celebrating milestones.

Let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself? What is your hearing loss experience? Got a question, tip or story to share?

The online sign language class I took was offered by a local vocational high school called SmithACE for $115. It had some instructor feedback, but no way for the instructor to see you sign and give you feedback on your technique. On web at Smithace.org. The website is hard to navigate (the search doesn't work well until you get close to what you want), so here are the details. On first screen that comes hit "online classes and career training" in the white area midscreen. Then, at left, select "Browse online classes". Then at left select "languages and arts". Then on menu mid-screen select "Languages". You will see list of classes come up. "Discover Sign Language" is the one I took. It took me a lot longer than 24 hours. The phone number for SmithACE is 413-587-1414.

Some Community Education organizations offer ASL either in person or online sign language. In person might help you find people to practice with. Someone else on this site also mentioned tips on lipreading. I'll see if I can find that again and send it.

And there are at least two free or inexpensive websites, Signing Savvy and Lifeprints.com.

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So there's another HLAA in Northborough, MA – is that too much further for you? It meets on Saturdays at the Northborough Public Library. I've gone a few times and it seemed helpful, but I settled on a Connecticut group because it was closer.

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Hello – I just just joined the Mayo Clinic Connect and within minutes I see a post about a Northborough, MA HLAA chapter! I am very involved in HLAA Central, MA (Northborough) and our blog is http://www.hearinglosscentralma.org. We have a gathering next Saturday, March 16th 2:30 – 4:30 pm.

I have view of the question asked here, but I see the answer that there is a group in Northborough, MA. Amazing! If anyone has questions about our chapter, reply in this group and I will get an email notification. Just getting started – Margaret

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@dollyh

@jkVoloteeember
Thanks I would be interested in the class resource you mentioned.

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@dollyh Hi Dolly. I heard back from the audiologist I know through the Facebook group on Oticon Opn hearing aids. Here is what she said:
LACE. By Neurotone
Listening and Communication Enhancement. You have to do all 16 sessions. Not just one here or there.
There is a charge for the sessions, it appears to be $79. I haven't signed up yet but think I will. I did sign up for email updates.
https://www.neurotone.com/
I also just purchased the book "Smart Hearing: Strategies, Skills, and Resources for Living Better with Hearing Loss" by Katherine Bouton. I haven't gotten far into it yet but if I find it valuable I will mention it on here.
JK

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@contentandwell

@dollyh Hi Dolly. I heard back from the audiologist I know through the Facebook group on Oticon Opn hearing aids. Here is what she said:
LACE. By Neurotone
Listening and Communication Enhancement. You have to do all 16 sessions. Not just one here or there.
There is a charge for the sessions, it appears to be $79. I haven't signed up yet but think I will. I did sign up for email updates.
https://www.neurotone.com/
I also just purchased the book "Smart Hearing: Strategies, Skills, and Resources for Living Better with Hearing Loss" by Katherine Bouton. I haven't gotten far into it yet but if I find it valuable I will mention it on here.
JK

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I purchased LACE and found it worthless. Anything written by Katherine Bouton is excellent. 😀

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@mmyatt01757

Hello – I just just joined the Mayo Clinic Connect and within minutes I see a post about a Northborough, MA HLAA chapter! I am very involved in HLAA Central, MA (Northborough) and our blog is http://www.hearinglosscentralma.org. We have a gathering next Saturday, March 16th 2:30 – 4:30 pm.

I have view of the question asked here, but I see the answer that there is a group in Northborough, MA. Amazing! If anyone has questions about our chapter, reply in this group and I will get an email notification. Just getting started – Margaret

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Hi @mmyatt01757 you may have noticed that I removed your email address from your post. I did this because we recommend not sharing personal contact information in a public online forum. We don't want you to get unwanted spam as a result. Instead we recommend using the private message functionality. However, I would like to point out that by sharing on the forum, your messages benefit many and we can all learn from each other.

Back to you @mmyatt01757 what is your story? Why did you get very involved with your local HLAA chapter?

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@asklar02492

So there's another HLAA in Northborough, MA – is that too much further for you? It meets on Saturdays at the Northborough Public Library. I've gone a few times and it seemed helpful, but I settled on a Connecticut group because it was closer.

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@asklar02492 I think this response is to me. Yes, Northborough would be even further than Wakefield, unfortunately.
Thanks for suggesting though.
JK

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@mmyatt01757

I purchased LACE and found it worthless. Anything written by Katherine Bouton is excellent. 😀

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@mmyatt01757 Thanks for the input. It was recommended to me by two very well regarded audiologists but they don't have hearing problems themselves.
As I said, I have not read a lot of the book yet, but I did see the section on hearing aids and was quite surprised that she leaves out Oticon! That's one of the most popular brands I believe.
I just checked out her websites and she also gives some leads on other books that sound potentially interesting. I had assumed she was involved with CHC in NYC but when I read her bio I discovered that she is not. I read about her book on one of their email blogs.
JK

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@contentandwell

@asklar02492 I think this response is to me. Yes, Northborough would be even further than Wakefield, unfortunately.
Thanks for suggesting though.
JK

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Hi – You are in New Hampshire? I am in MA but I spend a lot of time in Maine. I am working on building an HLAA chapter in Portland, ME. I will be attending the HLAA conference this spring and will be going to all the chapter workshops. I plan to meet with an audiologist at Maine Medical to start strategizing. Would you be interested in working together – you in NH and me in Portland – sharing ideas and tactics? Giving each other ideas and encouragement?

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@ethanmcconkey

Hi @mmyatt01757 you may have noticed that I removed your email address from your post. I did this because we recommend not sharing personal contact information in a public online forum. We don't want you to get unwanted spam as a result. Instead we recommend using the private message functionality. However, I would like to point out that by sharing on the forum, your messages benefit many and we can all learn from each other.

Back to you @mmyatt01757 what is your story? Why did you get very involved with your local HLAA chapter?

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I am 61 and have worn hearing aids since I was about 30. In recent years, my hearing got worse, and I wanted more strategies, technology, ideas and camaraderie. I asked my audiologist (a bad audiologist, I now know….) if there were any support groups out there and she said no. I googled and found the local chapter. I went and it was like I died and went to heaven! People wearing hearing aids! People struggling! People advocating for themselves in a hearing world. It was wonderful. I have been active for about 5, 6 years. Thank you for asking, Margaret

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@davekoh

I am a 72 year old man with a profound hearing loss in one ear and a total loss in the other. I wear a Resound aid in the one ear. I function okay with family as they speak loudly and I lip read somewhat. But I am basically deaf outside the house.

Other than that I function predominantly by the written word…captioned tv and caption apps for Cell and land phones. I tried tv streaming directly to the aid, but it was not of any major benefit. I am now looking into speech to text apps.

So I am basically just reading posts, looking for any ideas I can use.
Thanks.

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@davekoh You sound like you're ready for a cochlear implant. My loss was severe to profound (in other words, off the chart). My speech discrimination went from 40% to 90-95%. Such a miracle. I use a hearing aid in my other ear. Medicare pays for most of it and if you have a supplement, you're all in. You will find it to be one of the best things you've done in your life.

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@frozsquash

I've had a hearing loss all my life and with a sibling with a more severe hearing loss than mine, we owe the lives we have now to our parents. My mother was a teacher and recognized our hearing loss long before the doctors would confirm it. My sister went to an oral deaf school to learn to speak after she got her first hearing aid at 3 1/2 years old (I was 5 when we each got a hearing aid) and I was mainstreamed, and she joined me in being mainstreamed when she reached second grade. We never experienced the kind of bullying I've heard others have experienced, and our parents never made us feel there was anything we couldn't do. We are both retired now, so that gives you the perspective that all this was set in the 1950s which was even more a credit to our parents. Thank you James and Rita Miskimen.

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@frozsquash Your story reminds me slightly of my daughter's. I recognized her hearing loss before the doctor would confirm it or send her for hearing tests. Her loss at that time was not severe though so her speech and language had not been compromised, she was actually above age level — I guess I was compensating by speaking a bit louder when I was talking to her. She got hearing aids when she was 4.
She was great about them through grade school but did suffer from some bullying in middle school and HS, and started wearing just one aid so she could push her hair back on one side. When she started college she knew she had to be able to hear everything so she did resume wearing two aids.

@mmyatt01757 How would we work together? Are you thinking of a chapter in NH too, that would be great. Portland is almost two hours from me, we were just there overnight on Friday. Let's PM to discuss further.
JK

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@contentandwell

@frozsquash Your story reminds me slightly of my daughter's. I recognized her hearing loss before the doctor would confirm it or send her for hearing tests. Her loss at that time was not severe though so her speech and language had not been compromised, she was actually above age level — I guess I was compensating by speaking a bit louder when I was talking to her. She got hearing aids when she was 4.
She was great about them through grade school but did suffer from some bullying in middle school and HS, and started wearing just one aid so she could push her hair back on one side. When she started college she knew she had to be able to hear everything so she did resume wearing two aids.

@mmyatt01757 How would we work together? Are you thinking of a chapter in NH too, that would be great. Portland is almost two hours from me, we were just there overnight on Friday. Let's PM to discuss further.
JK

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Hearing these encouraging stories about cochlear implants is giving me so much hope that I can do something if my hearing loss gets to the profound stage. Thanks.

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@contentandwell

@asklar02492 I think this response is to me. Yes, Northborough would be even further than Wakefield, unfortunately.
Thanks for suggesting though.
JK

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It's unfortunate that Northborough is so far but it sounds as if you could be working on something closer! Should I be doing something different in my email replies? – I've just been hitting the reply button

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@mmyatt01757

Hello – I just just joined the Mayo Clinic Connect and within minutes I see a post about a Northborough, MA HLAA chapter! I am very involved in HLAA Central, MA (Northborough) and our blog is http://www.hearinglosscentralma.org. We have a gathering next Saturday, March 16th 2:30 – 4:30 pm.

I have view of the question asked here, but I see the answer that there is a group in Northborough, MA. Amazing! If anyone has questions about our chapter, reply in this group and I will get an email notification. Just getting started – Margaret

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I'm glad I mentioned the Northborough chapter! It was the first HLAA meeting I visited and it was very inspiring. You've been doing a lot of good work. I've been travelling to Connecticut lately because the drive is a bit easier for me, but I'll probably show up again in the late Spring. Ann

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