About HEARa

People need the right information, at the right times, to be successful with hearing loss

Photo credit:  © Alan Fortune

A Few Words About My Journey

I know from personal experience that hearing loss can have a profound impact on your life. It touches every interaction and can affect your career, relationships, and happiness.

Fortunately, there is help. For most people, a solution is hearing aids. Hearing aids are an important first step, but they are not the only step. Rehabilitation of hearing loss should be ongoing—and hearing aids aren’t the whole solution.

On the other end of the continuum are people who have difficulty communicating, but aren’t ready for hearing aids yet. If you aren’t ready for hearing aids, there are still things that you can do to improve communication.

I am Dr. Sandra Vandenhoff, the founder of HEARa and an audiologist with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. My hearing loss is progressive. At times, the progression in the severity of my hearing loss scared me. In some ways, this concern was valid—at one point, I could no longer hear the radio, or talk on the telephone, even with hearing aids.

All I could do was to prepare for my worst fears—by investigating many different ways of coping.

In 2006, I received a cochlear implant. I can now hear much, much better. I can once again communicate on the phone, hear the radio, and I can hear young children as they talk softly (sometimes!).

In addition to the cochlear implant, over time I’ve discovered, there are many components that lead to success with hearing loss. I’ve chosen to focus specifically on auditory training, lipreading, and communication strategies because of the success I’ve had using them personally and professionally.

HEARa was inspired by my struggles, and more importantly my successes with hearing again. From my successes, I have learned that there is hope. There are answers and even miracles. HEARa is the combination of my experience and studies in the Doctor of Audiology program, 11 years of clinical experience as an audiologist fitting hearing aids for adults, and my subsequent work experience in the hearing aid and cochlear implant industries. Mostly, though, HEARa comes from my everyday life.

HEARa is dedicated to the idea that people need the right information, at the right times, to be successful with hearing loss. HEARa’s mission is to reach out to adults with hearing loss and say—keep going. Learning about your hearing loss should be a lifelong process. It is a lifelong process.

Welcome. I am so excited to share with you what I have learned. I am here to help you improve your communication skills, no matter where you are in the process of managing your hearing loss. The time and effort involved are worth it—because communication is at the very heart of connecting to others and living your life to the fullest.

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