School is hard enough, but when you add hearing loss into the mix, there can be a variety of communication and cognitive issues that arise. Hearing well in school is important to making sure students get the most out of their educations. For those with hearing loss, hearing aids could be a great asset in the classroom.
Runar Werningsen Jenssen, a student in Norway, says his newly minted degree would have been a lot harder if not for his hearing aids. Using hearing aids at school, he says, helped him achieve his dreams.
Jenssen has just completed his university studies in public health at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Ås, Norway. He has a hearing loss in both ears, and hears very poorly in the mid-frequencies. His hearing loss could have had a negative impact on his studies if not for his hearing aids.
“I wouldn’t have been able to complete my studies without my hearing aids,” Jenssen says. “In fact, I am completely dependent on them.” He adds that they have been a prerequisite for successful studying. Without them, he had to concentrate so hard on listening to what was being said that his energy and stamina simply ran out.
“Without these aids, I would come home from school with a headache every day, because that is exactly what happens when I sometimes forget to charge the microphones the day before,” Jenssen says.
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Hearing aids are excellent when it comes to hearing up close. Further away than 1.5 meters, they don’t do enough. Since teaching often takes place in large classrooms, there may be a considerable distance between the teacher and the students. For Jenssen, it was clear he needed more than his hearing aids to allow him to fully follow in class. He chose wireless microphones and receivers that give him the ability to hear in environments with background noise and when the teacher is some distance away.
“I have a Roger microphone that the teacher attaches to his or her jersey,” Jenssen says. “I have two desk microphones. The best part is that I always catch everything that is said in the lessons. I don’t have to devote my energy to just listening to what is being said. Instead I can concentrate on the teaching itself and on learning, just like my fellow students.”
Jenssen thinks that more people with hearing loss should have the opportunity to use modern hearing aids. These hearing aids that have been developed using new technology make them so much more than just hearing aids, he says.
“I have met other students with hearing impairment and on many occasions they wish they had access to the same aids that I use,” says Jenssen. He adds that there are many who feel unwell because of it. He thinks that this is a shame when the solution is close. Using these products, every day life becomes much easier.
“When I was a teenager, it was hard living with a hearing impairment,” Jenssen recalls. “At the time it played a very big part in my every day life, but now it’s something I don’t think about.”