Meet Isabelle today and you’ll see a confident happy young girl who loves drama, classes, athletics, netball and playing the violin. It may be hard to believe she’s been living with severe hearing loss on one side since birth.
Isabelle was born with a rare condition where the ear canal is missing in one ear, as well as an accompanying condition where one side of the face is smaller than the other, at only a few days old tests revealed Isabelle’s hearing had been severely affected on the left side.
Managing hearing loss
Since then, Isabelle has received on-going care and therapy to keep the hearing on her right side as healthy as possible, and until recently she managed her hearing loss without the use of any aids or devices.
A few months ago, though, Isabelle reported feeling especially tired at the end of the school day. Her hearing loss had worsened, and it seemed that the energy taken to process auditory information in class was taking its toll, leaving her exhausted.
It was then that Isabelle’s Audiologist suggested trying a Softband Baha hearing device. The Baha is a sound processor which can be fitted using a slim headband, as well as permanently implanted.
Having the device
Initially, Isabelle was somewhat concerned about how the device would impact her life but as soon as the band was fitted all those concerns went away. Instantly, her world of sound changed. The next day, she proudly stood up in front of her class to show them how the device worked and why she was wearing it. Her friends were so excited for her.
Isabelle’s now used to wearing the device every day, but she’s still noticing different sounds all the time, including the sound her beloved dog, Max, makes when he wants a cuddle. Best of all, she’s not as tired after school, so she can enjoy all the things she loves most… just as any young girl should.