Today's guest post is from Molly Loe. Molly is a Product Marketing Manager at Starkey and a long time hearing aid wearer. She was one of the first of the lucky few to test out Halo - our new Made for iPhone Hearing Aids. I asked her to write about her first few weeks with the product and she eagerly accepted!
I live a good life, all things considered. I am hearing impaired and though my world is quieter than everyone else’s, that doesn’t stop me. Never has, never will. Sure, I’d say I live a good life.
At the age of 3, I was diagnosed with a severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss and unbeknownst to me, my everyday life was about to become a bit more challenging. Here I am, 27 years later, and thanks to Starkey’s dedication, focus and unending work on the next breakthrough, I’m doing remarkably well.
The introduction of Halo, Starkey’s Made for iPhone hearing aid was an exciting moment for me, and perhaps, one of the most profound. As mushy as it sounds, Halo is everything I’ve ever dreamed a hearing aid could be. It is Starkey’s state-of-the-art technology I’ve come to know and rely on combined with my iPhone, which I also rely on (rather heavily, as my close ones would say – I’m sure you understand), all rolled into the simplest, most personalized hearing aids ever.
To put it simply, Halo connects me to my world and what’s important to me.
Every relationship teaches us something valuable about others and ourselves
Via the TruLink app, I can stream YouTube videos, Instagram videos, and movies without needing to employ my master lip reading skills or turn on the captions. Heck, I can even stream Siri’s sassy voice. That’s cool, but the best part? I can now stream phone calls and FaceTime video calls. The days of being shamed and feeling hesitant to pick up the phone and make even the simplest calls (to order a pizza, or schedule appointments) for fear of not being able to hear are long gone, my friends.
Oh, my friends. My family! I can connect with them again and they have noticed the difference, too. I used to seriously struggle holding a phone conversation with my husband during the drive home from work. It often went something like “What? Hold on, wait, what?!” “Sorry, I’m on the road I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” Frustration on both ends would set in until, ultimately, “Ugh. I’ll just talk to you when I get home.” End call. Now, I just gab away because I can actually hear. Every. Word. THIS, I imagine, has taken some getting used to for him.
My sister, who lives out-of-state and I therefore don’t get to see often, said recently “I feel like you can hear and follow along really well now”. Well YES, I CAN! Let’s be those sisters who talk everyday because, if I had normal hearing, we so would be. We should be. Now we CAN be! It’s also thrilling to not feel that excessive texting is my only option for staying in touch and instead be able to tell my friends, “Call me!” These relationships, my relationships are important to me.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything
With Halo and the TruLink app, I’m able to press play on my iPhone and in an instant, be jammin’ - the music streams directly into my Halo hearing aids. Music is important to me because it carries me through my training runs, it keeps me alive throughout those sometimes tireless days at the office. It gives me inspiration and hope for the day ahead during my morning commute. Mostly, music brings me happiness and just makes me feel good. Music is there for me.
It’s funny because many times, those around me don’t notice that I’m streaming. It’s become quite the joke around the office since these days, I’m always rocking out! The clever move my co-workers have adopted is to come over and press pause on my phone before attempting to speak with me. This way they don’t have to listen to me shout enthusiastically while motioning/pointing to my ears, “I’M STREAMING!” They’re quick learners, they’ve heard it, they know better by now.
Enjoy the little things for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things
The TruLink app features several other little (BIG) things that help simplify and enhance everything I do. I can now use something as convenient yet discreet as my iPhone as a remote to adjust volume, change memories, and uh…MUTE. For all anyone knows, I’m reading a text, checking email, catching up on Instagram or Twitter – they don’t need to know that in some cases, I’m actually (gasp!) muting my hearing aids. It’s a noisy world out there!
I can also create custom memories using SoundSpace. It’s a way for me to personalize and optimize my hearing depending on the environment I’m in. I grin inside when I hear my hearing aids switch to the memory I’ve created and assigned for my favorite local watering hole. That means I'm closer to that much-deserved adult beverage! TruLink automatically switches to a car setting when it recognizes I’m moving at driving speed. This car mode further reduces the distracting sounds of road noise and focuses more on what I want to hear (like that Mumford & Sons CD I’ve had on repeat for the last year).
So here I am, 27 years later, and my hearing experience has never been easier and more enjoyable. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an even better life to live. I’ll just be doing my silliest happy dance (while streaming, of course!)