People often ask me, "how did you get into studying hearing loss?"
I have a mild to moderate, bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss. Despite learning about my hearing loss at a young age and getting my hearing tested every year of my life, I did not begin wearing hearing aids until I was seventeen years old and a junior in high school. Not an ideal time to be different. I consider the day I first started wearing hearing aids to be the day that I actually lost my hearing.
People generally assume that I am comfortable with my hearing loss because I have been wearing hearing aids since 2007 and because the majority of my academic research centers on hearing loss. I am not.
And while it has not always been easy to research a subject that raises so many emotions in myself, I continue to study hearing loss because I believe there are other people like me out there who want to know that we are not alone in our experiences.
On my tenth anniversary of wearing hearing aids, I got my American Girl doll a pair of hearing aids. I may not play with dolls anymore, but it was a big step for me in acknowledging my hearing aids as a major part of my life.
But I want to be clear about one thing:
My research is not
My personal experience with hearing loss certainly informs my research, but it is not the only thing driving my interest in the topic.
The rest of this page is currently a work in progress, but let me at least tell you the goal:
In the age of technology and information at our fingertips at all times, researchers often struggle to get relevant information out of journal articles and into the hands of those who need it the most. In this space, I want to share the research I read about and conduct on hearing loss in a way that is accessible to people who do not read academic journals.
While my career prospects hinge on my ability to publish rigorous scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, I think it is incredibly important for research to reach the public. Through this process, I am hoping to chip away slowly at the stigma associated with hearing loss.
In the meantime, check out my Twitter feed for interesting research.
Books on Hearing
I have read a range of books about hearing loss that might be of interest to others. Let me know what you think of the books below and if you have suggestions for me to read! I will update the list whenever I have a new book to add.
Click through for personal stories about hearing loss
Click through for research books on hearing
Click through for fiction books on hearing
The website, hearinghealthmatters.org, has a list of books about hearing loss for children.
Click here to see the list.
Image from Jane Madell's blog post.