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Brittany’s Borders (or lack thereof)

Hello there, I’m Brittany Ann Daniels, Audiologist Assistant, at Wolfpack Hearing Clinic. We believe that everyone deserves to hear, and be heard. I wanted to share my story.

I was four years old when it was discovered I had hearing loss. It was difficult to diagnose because my speech was far more developed than it should have been for the loss I had. My family was at the lake, and my dad decided to put me on the yellow banana that you can pull behind the boat. Good lord, did I SCREAM. I did NOT want to be on that thing. My father tried to explain to me that it was going to be so much fun, but I was not having it. They pulled me back into the boat, and I continued to scream. They decided I should head back to the lake trailer, where my grandmother was preparing dinner. She sat me on the counter and spoke to me. She remembers that I did not have much to say. Around dinner time, we were gathered around the table and was about to pray. I was sitting at the kiddie table, and was already eating.

“Brittany, stop eating, we are praying.”

“Brittany.”

“Brittany!”

I did not look up, I just kept eating my delicious mashed potatoes. That was the realization for Dad: “I think she may not be hearing me.” Kids tend to be disobedient, so it can be challenging to determine whether they have a hearing loss or not. My parents were referred by my speech therapist to an audiologist. I got a hearing test, as well as an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), which is a test that determines how fast sound takes to reach the brain. There are three types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and a mixed between the two. I have a mixed hearing loss. Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (EVAS) is the cause, and what that means is that the part of the ear that extends to the brain is too large, in sum. You can read more about EVAS here.

I was fit with hearing aids in 1995, and from my parents’ and audiologist’s memory, I was resistant to them. There were certainly tears. As a four year old, what can you expect? It was new, and I was an impatient child. I can certainly say I am not upset with them now, at 25 years of age. Hearing aids are my gateway to mainstream life. I have done several musicals, I have sang onstage solo, and I never once was concerned that I couldn’t do it based on the fact that I have a hearing loss. If I was concerned about anything, it was hitting the right notes. Hearing aids and music finally jive!

I never had to bring up the fact that I have hearing aids unless it was absolutely necessary. For instance, at the pool. Every time I am at a pool I am in fear that friends will joke around and push me in. Otherwise, I have always been comfortable doing what I want to do.

Hearing loss has it’s inconveniences, but there are solutions. What we at Wolfpack Hearing Clinic want is for you feel you can trust us to treat your hearing. It’s completely normal to feel scared, anxious, or hesitant towards hearing aids. Believe me, my parents and my audiologist from the time do not forget how hard it was for me. With some patience, trust, (and fairy dust?) we can get you flying on your way to living life without borders placed by your hearing loss.
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Brittany will continue to thrive with better hearing. You can too. Call today at (479) 957-9300.

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