Even as a five-year-old, before her hearing loss was diagnosed, she was terrified of getting her hearing checked by the school speech pathologist, she says.
And for good reason. Brittany was so skilled at lip-reading that it wasn’t until that dreaded hearing test that her parents even knew about her hearing loss. For years following, Brittany faced numerous audiology appointments, but she never understood why. By the time she was in third grade, she was fit with hearing aids.
“I was completely devastated,” she says, “I did not want anything to do with them.”
Now 25, Brittany says she was likely born with her moderate-to-severe hearing loss. Her lip reading allowed her to go undiagnosed for years. When she received her first pair of hearing aids she hated them, but soon after her perspective changed.
“After receiving my first pair of hearing aids, a whole new world opened up for me to hear things that I’ve never heard before like birds and telephone,” she says.
Brittany has been through three pairs of hearing aids so far, but she says her current pair of Phonak Naida hearing aids are her favorite.
“They have more sound clarity than my past hearing aids,” she says.
But even more than that, her hearing aids allow her to live as she desires. Her life is full of activities such as biking, yoga, and dance.
“I remember standing at the barre interested in what I was hearing because I could finally hear the high pitched tones in the classical ballet music,” she says. “My friends were confused why I was giving a confused look and had to explain to them that was the first time I heard the extra sounds in the music.”
By opening up a world of sound, Brittany’s hearing aids allowed her to enjoy her hobbies that much more. Enough, even, to do it professionally, as a dance teacher for the past 10 years.
Additionally, her technology allows her to connect better with friends and family.
“As I am a very active person between #dancing, #running and #yoga, today I went for my first #run with my #Compilot! It was wonderful not having to wear earbuds where they would have kept falling out! Sometimes being #hardofhearing has its perks, when everything can be directed right into your ears! 😊” Thanks to @britttkaplan for sharing! #lifeison #Phonak #hearingaids
Brittany says she uses her Phonak ComPilot regularly to help her in loud or busy situations where she just needs to focus on one sound, such as during bike rides with her sister.
“She wears the microphone piece and we can have a conversation if she is in front of me,” she says. “Even if I can’t see her face to read her lips. It helps so much!”
What activities do you do with your Phonak Compilot? Let us know in the comments below!