“My hearing loss made me want to help others hear”
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 HearingLikeMe.com
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.
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!