Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

Marissa's journey into 2005

We're well into the New Year and I am very excited about all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Last year ended on a high for me thanks to Widex.

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We're well into the New Year and I am very excited about all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Last year ended on a high for me thanks to Widex.

I am, however, still having problems with my ears. The ear pieces are now fitting perfectly, but my very sensistive ears are still not happy. I so looked forward to wearing my new hearing aids at the sea and hearing all sort of new sounds, but it wasn't to be. Just before we left, I took a course of antibiotics – I've been through so many this year – and my ears weren't quite back to normal by the time we left.

Holiday blues
This resulted in my not being able to wear my hearing aids for much of the time during the holiday. I tried every now and then, but they became sore again. I have now given my ears a proper chance to heal, even though it was very frustrating to live in silence again. But from two weeks ago, I have been putting on the hearing aids again for short stretches of time, so that my ears can get used to them again.

I learnt a new sound this holiday – the "ch"- sound as found in the name Charmaine. I stayed with wonderful people who went to a lot of trouble to help me with my speech.

Hearing important at work
It is very important for me to wear my hearing aids and be able to hear while I am working. While at work, I look down onto my hands all the time, so I don't hear when the clients are talking to me. When I am wearing the hearing aids, I can hear when they are talking to me and I can look up in order to lip read. So the hearing aids are really helping a lot.

I don't actually know if my ear problems will ever disappear, but the hearing aids of Widex have been great, and has fuelled my desire to be able to hear. But because my ears aren't comfortable being so closed up by the hearing aids, and they perspire a lot, I started making enquiries last year in order to try and find a permanent solution which would enable me to hear without wearing ear pieces at all.

Possibility of cochlear implants
I landed up with Professor Swart and his team, who do cochlear implants. At the beginning of December I went for X-rays to see whether my cochlea would be at all suitable to receive implants. According to the X-rays everything looks fine, but I am now waiting anxiously to hear what the doctors have decided about my case, and whether they will be prepared to do the operation.

At night I dream that I can hear and talk properly, and in my dreams I communicate with those closest to me in the manner in which I would like to communicate with them. Communication is still often a problem for me and my confidence regarding this still needs a lot of work, but thanks to Widex and the fact that I can hear when I am wearing the hearing aids, things are progressing slowly, but surely.

I really missed my speech therapy these holidays. My speech therapist has finished her studies and left, so I will probably get a new therapist this year. We will have to get to know each other and take the time to adapt. But I don't expect problems. I enjoy doing speech therapy and it makes me feel that I am progressing.

I have decided to make speech and hearing a priority in my life this year. Last year I started doing this, but there were many other things that demanded attention from me, but I was proud of the progress I made with regards to hearing and speech therapy. There were people who thought it would be useless, because my level of deafness was so high, but I have learnt in my life that where there is a will, there is a way. And with a wonderfully supportive team like that of Widex, it becomes even more 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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