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“My hearing loss made me want to help others hear”

phonak employee with hearing loss

Kirsten is a 23-year-old marketing intern at Phonak US. She has moderate hearing loss, and wears Phonak Audéo B-R hearing aids. She will regularly contribute to

Although I was born with a hearing loss, it wasn’t discovered until I was five years old.

When I was in preschool, my parents were told by my teachers that I rarely participated in class or interacted with other children. My preschool classroom was loud and disorganised, so my parents assumed I was probably overwhelmed by all the craziness of the classroom. They weren’t too concerned about my teacher’s remarks, and didn’t consider the possibility of me having a hearing loss because when I was at home I responded well to sounds and my speech level was normal for a child that age.

Eventually, however, my mom had a gut feeling that my hearing needed to be tested.

After months of confusion, numerous hearing tests and on-going doctor appointments, it was confirmed I had a moderate hearing loss – with my left ear more severe than my right.  Shortly after that, I got my first pair of Phonak hearing aids.

Growing up with hearing loss

With the help of accommodations I attended a mainstream school like the rest of my peers. It was challenging, but I was able to overcome the obstacles with help and support from my family and speech pathologists.

Read more: Choosing a School for your Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Child

After high school, I attended Saint Louis University, where I majored in communication and graduated with honors.

As graduation rapidly approached last year, I was frantically trying to decide what to do with my life – as most college students do. I knew I wanted to do work that would change other people’s lives.

Working at Phonak 

As I was thinking, I looked over at my desk, saw my hearing aid case with the Phonak logo on it and suddenly it occurred to me that I wanted to help others hear. Now, I work at Phonak and am so grateful to be able to come to work every day knowing that the work I do contributes to giving people better hearing.

“I looked over at my desk, saw my hearing aid case with the Phonak logo on it and suddenly it occurred to me that I wanted to help others hear.”

I look forward to sharing more of my experiences with hearing loss and am excited to be a part of the HearingLikeMe community!

Author Details
Kirsten is the managing editor of Hearing Like Me. She has a moderate hearing loss and currently wears Phonak Audéo B-R rechargeable hearing aids. Outside of working for Hearing Like Me, she can be found exploring new cities, trying out new recipes in her kitchen, or hiking. She loves learning about different cultures and languages.