How I turned hearing loss into one of my greatest strengths with digital hearing aids

I am Garima Sharma, 27 years old. I was diagnosed with a severe hearing loss when I was mere 3 years old. My parents had me fitted hearing aids on both my ears soon after that. I was wear from very young age, I remember to be throwing tantrums about it.

I just didn’t want to look different from my cousins. Having grown up in a joint family, I always felt a certain kind of inferiority complex because I could see where I was different. But as time and years passed by, I realized that wearing hearing aids is a need that I cannot compensate upon. I have to wear them in order to listen to various sounds and have a better and effective communication with people around me. I have been an analog hearing aid wearer for most of my life but in the past 4 years, I made a shift to digital hearing aids.

Since then I have observed a change, the sound quality has been clearer as compared to earlier and I sometimes feel like a child again when I hear a certain sound that wasn’t as clear before but is now incredibly clear and understandable. Like, the chirping of birds, or the jingling of the keys. It won’t be wrong to say that these hearing devices have practically changed my life…

It is a huge deal for me as I am having severe hearing loss. And have relied on hearing aids all my life. Even while driving I can now clearly hear the horn of a bike coming right behind me. Earlier I could hear this sound only. When it was too loud or had to see who’s behind me in the near view mirror.

My friends have also observed the change in me and tell me.  I don’t ask them to be a little louder or repeat themselves. The reason why I am sharing my story here is to eliminate the negative image. That hearing loss and hearing aids carry in general mostly on people living in India. The mentality is still kind of ill for people in our country. As they think that a girl having something like hearing loss are “less marriageable”.

Some families consider this a mark of disgrace to their family. And all this is SO WRONG. We as a society need to grow up and remove these barriers. Yes, there is definitely a section that accept people like me with open arms. And does not make us feel any different from others. Taking an example of my own husband, he says hearing loss is no different from people wearing glasses. It is as small a deal as having a weak eyesight.

I am a school teacher by profession and I’d like to step forward and bring this change.  Want people around us to not discriminate each other on the basis of as minor a disability as hearing loss. I don’t see hearing aids as a symbol of my weakness, I rather consider it to be my strength.  Now I am confident person, someone who has achieved what she wanted to in life without any difficulty. I’d like to inspire more and more people to take life in a positive stride. And let nothing become a barrier in the way of their dreams.

How I turned hearing loss into one of my greatest strengths with digital hearing aids
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