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This NFL executive is talking about hearing loss to break down stigmas

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Vice President of the Chicago Bears is speaking out about his hearing loss, in hopes of inspiring others to address their hearing troubles and reduce the stigmas around hearing aids. 

Brian McCaskey, who lost his hearing due to complications from Meniere’s Disease, told the Chicago Tribune of his struggle with hearing loss, and how technology “saved him.”

“My hearing was gone, and what’s gone is gone — it’s not coming back,’’ McCaskey said in the article. “Birds can restructure their hearing. Fish can restructure their hearing. Humans cannot. Once there is hearing damage to the cochlea and the hair cells inside the cochlea — a structure the size of the tip of your pinkie — there is no going back.’’

McCaskey says he now wears hearing aids, which most people don’t even notice. 

Read more: 4 deaf NFL players you probably didn’t know about

“At a Super Bowl XX reunion, for example, former Bears fullback Calvin Thomas was speaking too softly for McCaskey to pick up his voice, according to the Chicago Tribute. 

“I said, ‘I’m sorry, Calvin. I can’t understand what you’re saying because I have hearing aids,'” McCaskey says in the article. “He said, ‘You do not!’ So I took them out and showed him.’”

Today, hearing aids come in all kinds of different colors and sizes. Long gone are the big, beige, squealing banana-sized devices of the past. Hearing aid technology is more advanced than ever. 

Read more: NEWSFLASH: Hearing Aids are cool!

The latest hearing technology even includes Bluetooth connected devices, which allow users to stream phone calls and music to their hearing aids directly from their cell phones, and rechargeable hearing aids, which diminish the need for batteries. 

“I have 48 million brothers and sisters who have experienced hearing loss,” McCaskey says in the article. “It touches everybody, so just encourage people to get help and break that stigma that it’s for older people. It’s not. Reach out, get help and take care of your hearing.’’ 

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.