Partial hearing loss became “normal” to Jeannie for three decades. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, she reassessed the impact of her hearing loss when she could no longer read lips during conversation. See what she is looking forward to this holiday season now that she can hear better.


“When I was 16, I noticed that I could no longer hear on my right side. I had a history of ear infections, ear tubes and ear drums that had both ruptured a few years earlier. It was determined that I had both a nerve loss and conductive loss in the right ear. I remember being told that for all practical purposes, I was deaf in my right ear and that a hearing aid (at that time) wouldn’t help. I never thought much about it; I just went on to live my life, not hearing on one side was just a part of me. I learned to position people on my left side, read lips, sit in the front of the room etc.

Making do with partial hearing loss

Jeannie, who has partial hearing loss, readingLoud social events could be awkward and avoiding them was my easy out. Getting groceries was difficult because the checkout clerk was on my deaf side and I worried about hearing what they were saying to me. Wearing headphones completely blocked the outside world. I would hear the music with my good ear and nothing else around me. Being a runner, it made me nervous to be on the road. I didn’t like phone calls because I was anxious about not hearing what was said, I would push the phone hard to my good ear in hopes I wouldn’t miss anything. I work in childcare and the kids all knew I had a good ear and a bad ear. When they would whisper to me, they had to make sure it was the good ear.

I heard about the Cochlear™ Baha® System and checked into it. I was apprehensive about getting hearing back. I hadn’t heard on my right side in over 30 years; would I be overwhelmed and overstimulated by all the sounds? I work with children. Would all the noise be too much? I decided not to pursue it at that time.

At the end of 2019, I started hearing about the Cochlear Osia® System. I liked what I was reading about clarity and understanding what was being said. I felt like the people that were talking were the same as me! It wasn’t just amplified sound; it was what I needed: better understanding and clarity.

The impact of COVID-19 and finally deciding to do something about my hearing loss

Jeannie who has partial hearing lossIn 2020, COVID and masks came into play. The masks took away my ability to read lips and facial cues. I didn’t want to be out at all. In December 2020, I found out I was a candidate for the Osia System. The surgery was in July 2021 and activation in late August. I LOVE my Osia System.

I marvel at all the sounds I hear but they are not overwhelming at all. I can hear what the kids I work with say no matter where they are in the room. I can stream music1 or take a phone call using the Osia System and still hear what is going on around me. I can go out for walks on the road and still hear the environment around me. I work out and can hear all the instructors and cast comments. I feel whole again, no good side or bad side. The device is so comfortable I don’t even think about having it on.

Looking forward to this holiday season and many more in the future

Jeannie, who has partial hearing loss, with her familyBecause COVID is still such a big part of our lives, I haven’t been out in a lot of loud social situations but when I am out, I am so comfortable and not anxious about missing something. I am very much looking forward to the holiday season. Being with my family and being able to feel like I can enjoy all of the conversation, not just with the person next to me.”

Are you struggling with partial hearing loss and feel you are missing the sounds of the season this holiday? Don’t let another year pass. Click here to find out more about Cochlear’s hearing solutions today.

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Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Cochlear Americas. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.