Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

Marissa - a temporary farewell

My life has changed a lot over the past year and a half. I am beginning to feel more and more a part of the hearing world.


My hearing aids are very important to me – especially in my work - and I am at the stage where I can hardly operate without them. I am not sure whether I have just got used to having them or whether it's just from habit! It's wonderful to know that that I can hear what's happening around me and not to be so cut off from everything.

Even though it is now winter, I still occasionally have problems to get my ears dry, as they tend to sweat. I have to take out the hearing aids every now and then. I am also very careful not to get an infection in my ears, because it really puts me at a disadvantage.

My speech is improving, according to all my friends and family. I am trying much harder to communicate with my hearing clients and I enjoy talking to them. I am also busy with a course to give me more self-confidence and to use my potential to the fullest.

It is wonderful to be able to hear and to be aware of the fact that I have just as much as a right to be here as anyone else. Even though I have always known it, it's difficult to know that on an ongoing basis. It is difficult when you are disabled in some way not to take some people's insensitive reactions personally. And one day you realise that it has affected your self-confidence.

But I really feel that I have made great strides in the past year with speech therapy, with becoming accustomed to the hearing world and to entering the working world. In this, my last column for a while, I would like to thank all of you for supporting me, and I would also like to thank Widex, without whom none of this would have been possible.


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Hearing Expert

Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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