My Story of Hearing Loss @cochlearUS #IwantYoutoHear #ad

This post made possible through the support of Cochlear. All opinions are my own.

When you're a teenager, the whole world is in front of you. There's nothing that isn't within your grasp and you feel like you can conquer anything. The above picture was taken when I was seventeen years old after my family moved to Georgia. I had my entire life ahead of me and I was just starting to apply for colleges. If someone would have told me that a lot would change quickly, I would have never believed them.

Then I was diagnosed with hearing loss a year later when I was eighteen. From then on, everything was a lot different.

It all started when I was a child. I always had horrible ear infections as a child and later on, my parents told me that I really had needed to get tubes in my ears. But since they didn't want to go that route when I was young, I just ended up having double ear infections all the time. Even into my teenage years, I always was in the doctor for ear problems.

Then after a series of problems, I ended up seeing an ear, nose and throat doctor for the first time when I was eighteen. After talking with me for a bit, he told me he wanted to send me to have further testing for ear problems along with having a hearing test. I had never had a hearing test apart from the one given at birth so I didn't think I would have a problem.

That is until I had it and obviously couldn't hear as well as I thought I could.

When I went for my hearing test, it really was very simple. I went into a soundproof room and put a pair of earphones on. Then the audiologist started talking to me through the headphones and I would have to put my hand up when I heard something. Eventually I didn't hear anything at all.

When my results came back from all the different tests I had that day, I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease which effects the inner ear and I also had hearing loss. The doctor also told me I might not be able to hear by the time I was in my forties too.

Right now I am in my late twenties and even though my last hearing test came back great, I still take extra care of my ears. I no longer swim or get any water in them. I don't wear headphones of any kind and don't listen to anything loud. I don't want to make the problem any worse than it is already. And last year I started taking ASL classes with Mary as well. It was a bonding experience for us but also it's super useful too. Sometimes I notice that my hearing goes in and out and I still want to be able to communicate. I have grown to love ASL and my husband has asked me to teach him as well. If it ever came down to it, at least I could still communicate without writing down on paper.

There are a lot of different types of hearing loss and there are lots of solutions as well. Back when I was diagnosed, I thought the only thing you could get was a hearing aid. Now there is so much more. One of the solutions are cochlear implants. Depending on the type of the hearing loss you have, they could be a possible solution for hearing loss.

To obtain a hearing implant, you must be a candidate and qualify for the device. A medical professional such as a hearing implant specialist, an audiologist or doctor will determine candidacy and answer medical specific questions. You can find a hearing implant specialist by clicking on “Find a Hearing Specialist” at the top left of the page.

In operation for over 30 years, Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, providing products (cochlear implants, bone conduction, and acoustic implants) that are designed to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Cochlear has helped over 450,000 people worldwide have access to sound.

Being able to hear is something a lot of us take for granted. And it's also something a lot of new parents don't really know how to watch for either. A lot of babies pass the hearing test at birth but then later start having hearing loss. I am one of them. If you're a new parent, make sure to check out all the milestones your child should be having at their age when it comes to hearing.

Cochlear knows communication is the crux of everything in parenting, and an essential step in every parent’s journey is working on speech, language, and developmental milestones. According to Thirty Million Words, each child should hear thirty million words by the time they are four years old. If you want to check out all the milestones for children's hearing, check out Cochlear's site,

Also on June 1, Cochlear is hosting a Facebook Q&A -- Building Your Child’s Brain, One Word at a Time -- with the Thirty Million Words team. Ask a question at the chat!