Imagine being a four-times World Champion and Olympic kayaker, unable to hear the paddle hitting the water. This is a reality for Eric Jackson, until he puts in his ReSound ONEs. With a technology called M&RIE, the microphone is placed inside the ear. That way, the wind doesn’t hit the microphone and wind noise will be a thing of the past.
“Hearing loss has affected my life but it hasn’t stopped me from living it”
Four-times World Champion and Olympic kayaker and professional fisherman, Eric Jackson has had a hearing loss since childhood but was encouraged by his parents not to see it as a disadvantage.
At 57, Eric, was named to the Team USA kayak extreme slalom team, is considered the most successful freestyle kayaker in the history of the sport.
Eric lost his hearing at the age of two. Over time, his hearing has been partially restored, but he relies on hearing aids and lipreading as tools to help him communicate.
He is currently wearing ReSound ONE hearing aids and works with us to encourage others to promote treatment of hearing loss. His daughter Emily and son Dane, both also highly decorated kayakers, as well as his youngest son KC, also have hearing loss and use hearing aids.
When did you discover your hearing loss, and start wearing hearing aids?
My ears were tested after I got scarlet fever at age 2 (1966) and then again when I was 5 before school. I needed hearing aids, but I did not get them due to the cost and how ineffective they were at the time. My grandmother gave me my first set hearing aids when I went to college.
In what ways has hearing loss impacted your life and things you love to do? How do hearing aids help?
Without hearing aids, I’m not fully engaged in conversations in group settings, especially when it is dark outside or in a room (I read lips). My friends or colleagues would say I was “aloof”. When I put my hearing aids in, I immediately feel part of any group and confident that I will follow any conversation. In the outdoors, I go from complete silence to a world alive with the sounds of bugs, birds, wind, and other ambient sounds.
Several members of your family also have hearing loss. How has your experience helped them?
First off, I recognise what their challenges are and know when they are hearing or not hearing. This helps me be more effective at communicating with them. Since I am very proud of my lipreading skills, I have wanted my kids to accomplish the same. My kids and I are all hearing impaired and wear hearing aids. With the technology in our Resound ONEs, we feel like we have advantages that a normal hearing person doesn’t even have.
What message would you have for someone who is thinking about getting hearing aids, or has a family member who seems to be experiencing hearing loss?
The biggest hurdle for people with hearing loss is that they rarely will go to an audiologist. There is no benefit to the amazing hearing aid technology and products available if you don’t have them plugged into your ear. If you have a family member seems to be showing signs of poor hearing, don’t just bug them to get tested, set the appointment and drive them in. It is not only a great gift for them…but just as much for you.
Good hearing health is essential to staying engaged
We are here to help you get started
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Our new premium rechargeable hearing aid with world first Microphone & Receiver-In Ear design to enhance outdoor listening and take socialising in noisy environments to the next level.