Born to a deaf mother, twenty eight-year-old Des Moines resident Stefanie Meersman herself was diagnosed with hearing loss at age six and struggled with progressively stronger hearing aids her entire life to the point where she received little benefit. Less than nine months ago, Meersman completely lost the remaining two percent of hearing she had, leaving her in total silence and in danger of losing her job. A Cochlear Implant gave her life back to her and she has since regained 93 percent of her hearing. Now she enjoys simple things such as talking on the phone and is a staunch advocate to spread awareness of advanced hearing options.
She is joining the Des Moines hearing loss community to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the invention of the cochlear implant at a FREE Hearing Health Seminar taking place from 8:30-11:00 am on Saturday November 10 at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. The free event is part of a larger awareness initiative aiming to educate the public about implantable hearing solutions and bring hope to children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss. For more information and registration, visit: www.hearinghealthseminar.com or 877-HEAR-THIS (432-7844) toll free.
Hearing loss is becoming a large public health issue in the United States. In fact, it is the third-most common physical condition (after arthritis and heart disease). Approximately 1.2 million people with hearing loss are candidates for cochlear implants, yet fewer than 6 percent have been treated. While hearing aids provide solutions for many of these people, they may not be enough for those with severe to profound hearing loss and a cochlear implant may be their only option. Unlike a hearing aid, a cochlear implant is an implantable hearing solution that delivers sound straight to the auditory nerve.