Real HEARoes

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A Silent Battle: The Elephant in the Room

As told by Michele Ahlman, President and CEO of ClearSounds

dad military with me as baby (1)

This is a story about my father, the Executive Director of Americans for Better Hearing Foundation, and my personal hero.  He is a hero in so many ways, but today I want to talk about his HEARoic battle with hearing loss.  You see, my dad was not born with any hearing problems at all.  

In the late 60’s, my dad was an Army officer stationed in West Germany. One day, during a live fire tank gunnery exercise, one of the guns misfired, and the tank exploded. For my dad, everything went dark and silent.

He explains, “…when I came to, all I could see were the faces of my men–I heard nothing. No sounds. No ringing. Just silence. I had little damage to my body, but I continued to struggle to hear.”

Years passed and dad’s hearing impairment became the “elephant in the room.” It had become a communication barrier that affected the whole family, but dad didn’t like to talk about it. Like so many folks with hearing loss issues, we all were expected to accommodate his needs, deal with his frustration and pretend it wasn’t happening. It didn’t get better. There were times my father would just leave the room during family dinner, because not being able to participate was too frustrating. As a child, I remember not understanding and not knowing what to do.  We needed help. We needed ClearSounds.

Unfortunately, this story is familiar to many. But, your family doesn’t have to learn the way ours did. It’s why my mom and I  created ClearSounds, so we can help your loved one to hear more clearly and fully participate in your family’s joys and experiences.

ClearSounds® strives to creatively, stylishly, and economically meet the needs of people with hearing loss. For over 30 years we’ve led the way in designing, developing and manufacturing award winning products that change people’s lives.

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