It is quite an experience to hear for the first time

It is quite an experience

Lately there have been a lot of posts on social media sites as well as news stories showing what it is like for someone to hear for the first time.  Usually this is a cochlear implant activation.  It is one of those stories that warm your heart.  

As I watch these videos, I see them from a different point of view compared to someone who has never worked with people with hearing loss.  As an audiologist we see this many times.  Though I am not a cochlear implant audiologist or a pediatric audiologist (they get to experience this a lot more) I still get to be present in the room when someone “hears for the first time”.

This past week I had a patient and his wife in my office due to him having hearing loss for 10 years.  He stated that it was finally time he did something about it.  After the hearing evaluation and explaining the hearing loss, I fit hearing aids on the patient so he could hear the benefit that the hearing aids would provide him.  The moment I turned on his Resound LiNX2 hearing aids, a huge smile broke across his face and he replied in broken English “It’s perfect!”.  His wife and him spoke together in Spanish for a few minutes before she immediately stood up and hugged me for a very long time while tears streamed down her face.  At the end of the visit he said, “Thank for helping me hear a whole new world”.

What is it like to be in the room when someone experiences hearing things for the first time?  What is it like to be the Audiologist and professional who helps that patient hear for the first time?  The answer is two words:  PURE JOY!


It is that feeling you experience when your future spouse tells you “I Love You”, it is that feeling that parents experience after meeting their new child, it is that feeling when you’ve accomplished something great.  It is that feeling that is so hard to describe to anyone, yet is that feeling you want everyone to experience in their lifetime!

We as audiologists are so blessed to get to provide this feeling to so many of our patients.  What have you done that gives you the feeling of pure joy and happiness?


About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.

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