Admitting to yourself that you have hearing loss and making the decision to get hearing aids can be difficult. While challenging for people of any age, this can be especially difficult for teenagers who don’t want to stand out or feel different from their peers.
Lana Stengert is one teen who isn’t ashamed of her hearing loss. Though she wasn’t born with hearing loss, Lana noticed she had difficulty hearing a couple of years ago. Today, she’s proud to embrace her hearing aids and thrilled with how they help her hear. Although the 13-year-old encounters some “haters,” Lana encourages any kid or teen with hearing loss to rock their hearing aids, just like she does.
Signia recently interviewed Lana to find out what it’s like to be a teen with hearing aids. Her responses are honest, inspiring, and encouraging for anyone dealing with hearing loss, regardless of age.
When did you realize you had hearing loss?I realized when I couldn’t hear my friends or family that well. When my friends were whispering a joke or stuff, I would ask them to repeat it like a million times.
Tell me about your hearing aidsI have Signia Pure® 312 Nx hearing aids in a crystal white color. I use hearing aid apps like myControl™ and myHearing to control my hearing aids from my phone. At night, I have a box where I put them so they are safe and dry.
What do you like best about your hearing aids?I like best that I can hear music without anyone knowing (hehehe) and obviously that I can hear better.
Do you have a favorite activity/hobby that hearing aids make easier?Talking is easier because I didn’t realize that I wasn’t really listening to others and always reading lips until I got hearing aids. I was like, “Whooooaahh! These make it soooo much easier!!”
What’s the biggest challenge?To rock my hearing aids because there are days that people hate on them, which is something no one should do! And honestly, I may not look like I’m offended by it but I am and often take it personally.
How has your life changed since you got hearing aids?It changed a whole lot because even though I was a pro at reading lips, I never really got 100 percent what they said, which often made some wrong answers slip out. But my life changed positively!
What do your friends and classmates think about your hearing aids?Some need time to get used to it. Some are cool with it. Some are hating it, which isn’t really cool because, like deal with it, I am this way. Honestly, if someone’s bringing you down because of your hearing loss, then ignore them, because you rock!
What would you tell another teenager or kid who just discovered that they have hearing loss or someone who is embarrassed to wear hearing aids?I‘d tell them to honestly rock their hearing aids because YOLO [“you only live once”], right? So, if you have hearing problems, make the best out of it and rock them with all ya got!!
Click here to read the next part of this testimonial, where Lana’s mom Riina Stengert tells her story of parenting a child with hearing loss.