When Pretending to Hear Is No Longer Acceptable

Robb Boss believed he was doing “just fine” coping with his conductive hearing loss. A successful oncology sales representative with a leading pharmaceutical company, Robb’s personable and intelligent communication with colleagues and clients has led to much success and satisfaction for the 41-year-old. But, a brief conversation with a co-worker helped Robb see the downside of his untreated unilateral conductive hearing loss and take action.

After “pretending” to hear nearly his whole life, Robb decided that improving his hearing would improve relationships at work and with the people who matter the most– his family. “I was living my life pretending I could hear, Robb says. “It started hindering communication within the family and professionally. We have five girls and they all have tones of voices that I just couldn’t hear at all.”

Now, after having a Ponto for almost three years, Robb says that his life has changed. “Professionally it was like night and day. To be in a lunch room with a crowd and be able to hear what someone is saying is amazing.” Robb’s wife added, “The biggest thing is the exhaustion. We didn’t realize that was stemming from straining to hear in different situations.”

Robb’s life changed when he decided pretending to hear was no longer acceptable for the types of relationships he wanted to have with family, co-workers and friends. “We’re all made for relationships and how do you have a relationship if you can’t communicate?”

More about the conditions Robb mentions in the video: 

Cholesteatoma is a growth of skin cells occurring behind the ear drum that causes damage to the ear drum itself, the middle ear bones and in some instances the inner ear, the facial nerve, the barrier between the brain and the ear, and even the blood vessels supplying brain structures. Cholesteatoma can lead to more serious problems including chronic ear infections, permanent hearing loss and dizziness. (Learn more here)

The mastoid is a trabeculated honey-combed air cell system found behind the ear that is connected to the middle ear space. It serves as structural support for the ear. Mastoiditis, or infection of the mastoid bone, may be either acute or chronic. Chronic infections often include a perforation of the eardrum and recurrent drainage in a condition called chronic otitis media. Antibiotics in topical form or by mouth may bring about resolution of symptoms. In many cases, however, surgical removal of the infected bone with a mastoidectomy is necessary to alleviate the infection restoring the ear to health. (Learn more here)

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones (ossicles) of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss usually involves a reduction in sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically. (Learn more here)

Bone anchored hearing systems are designed to use your body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction. The sound processor picks up sound, converts them into vibrations, and sends them through your skull bone, directly to your inner ear. This bypasses any problems in your ear canal or middle ear. (Learn more here)

Would you like to talk to Robb or another bone anchored hearing system user? Let us know here. If you’d like to share your story, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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