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Living with Hearing Loss
(NC)-Hearing loss is a significant issue in the lives of many Canadians, but one study suggests that stigmas about hearing aids still persist. In a recent survey conducted by The Canadian Hearing Society, nearly one in four respondents reported personally experiencing some hearing loss. But one in six people polled responded that they would rather live with some hearing loss than wear a hearing aid-a number that jumps to one in five among those who actually report experiencing hearing loss.

"People who suspect they suffer from hearing loss often do not want to admit it," says Gael Hannan, a 48-year-old advocate for The Canadian Hearing Society who has lived with hearing loss since age three. "For many, hearing loss is a sign of aging. People often don't want to acknowledge that they can't understand conversations for fear it will make them seem old or weak."


However, there is little question that hearing aids can improve many people's quality of life.


"The day I got my hearing aid was a day I'll never forget," says Hannan. "I received my first aid at age 20. My world exploded into sound and the streetcar with its clanging and screeching sent me through the roof. Getting a hearing aid changed my life. It has connected me to the world in a wonderful way."


Gael Hannan's successes as an award-winning community theatre actress, playwright and mother demonstrate that individuals with hearing loss lead full and active lives. Clearly, negative stereotypes about hearing aids are misinformed and outdated.


Canadians living with hearing loss and deafness have a place they can turn to: The Canadian Hearing Society. It provides services and support to hard of hearing and deaf people and has recently launched a public awareness campaign to dispel the myths and stigmas associated with deafness and hearing loss.


Information provided by The Canadian Hearing Society. For more information, visit www.chs.ca or call 1-877-347-3427 for voice service and 1-877-347-3429 for TTY service.