An Update from Dr. Amanda

Cacti in the desertI would like to share (another) recent experience with you that I had this past month that gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for hearing and Audiology!

As some of you know, I took a few days from the office to attend an Audiology conference in Phoenix this past month. Thank you to everyone for your cooperation and especially to those who rescheduled so that I could take time away from the office!

The conference itself was great. It was specifically for Audiology business owners. So, it was a great opportunity for me as a newer owner to learn from and share ideas with others with more experience. It was a wonderful learning opportunity!

Unfortunately, the trip getting to Arizona was not the adventure I was planning for! What was supposed to be an 8:45AM flight with an 11:30AM arrival ended up being an 11:30PM flight with a 3:30AM arrival.

It was such a long day!

I will say I met some very nice people. During a 15-hour flight delay you tend to get to know those who are on your plane quite well. I had such a nice conversation with an older gentleman at Cleveland Airport. He must have felt comfortable with me because he really opened up to me. He told me all about his life, including how he is a tennis player and on his way to a tennis match now. And with tears in his eyes, he told me all about his wife whom he lost within the last couple years. It was really a moving conversation, and I sensed it did him good as well.

So why did this give me a new appreciation for hearing? Let me tell you…

I was not planning to be without my checked luggage for more than 5 hours that day and didn’t think it was necessary to bring my hearing aid charger with me to the airport in my carry-on. I figured that I would get to my hotel room with plenty of battery life to spare!

Unfortunately, because I had my hearing aids on since 5AM that morning, by the time I got onto my flight that night I was hearing my low battery warning. It’s a sound that can make your stomach turn! I was just hoping and praying my batteries would last me to my hotel. But as luck had it, halfway through the flight one went dead. I knew it was only a matter of time before my other one decided to go which as well it did shortly after.

I felt totally unable to communicate with others. When the flight attendant came by asking about drinks, I was just guessing from experience what she was asking me, but it was such an uncomfortable situation to be in.

After we deboarded the plane early the next morning, I went to baggage claim to grab my luggage. As we were all waiting for our luggage in Arizona (which seemed to feel like forever), I just stood by myself trying to avoid any type of communication with anybody because I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation. I even saw my tennis player friend, but had to avoid him, because I knew he’d want to strike up a conversation. I felt terrible, especially after we had such a nice connection earlier.

When I got into my Uber, I had to tell my driver right away that my hearing aids had died, and that I could not hear what she was saying. She was more than understanding and did not take offense to it, but this was just so unlike me. Again, I felt terrible.

Lastly, I finally made it to my hotel at 4:30AM. I had to check in at the front desk. Once again, I had to tell the receptionist that I was struggling to hear what she was saying. She was very understanding and did her best to speak a little louder and clearer. But again, another unpleasant situation!

I was so happy to be in my room! I immediately pulled out my charger from my luggage and plugged my aids in.

It has probably been years since I’ve been in a situation like this one, and it was just awful! Not being able to hear others is so isolating. It’s like trying to find your way out of a maze in a dark room.

So that was how I gained a renewed love and appreciation for my own hearing aids, as well as my job as an audiologist! Being able to help you and others avoid these types of uncomfortable situations and enjoy connecting with others is everything. We can sometimes take hearing for granted, but it is what truly connects us to the world and others around us. Hearing helps us form relationships with others, sometimes even complete strangers!

So, I hope this story inspires you just as much as it does me and renews your appreciation for the sounds and connections of your life too!


Amanda Barbur, Au.D - Doctor of Audiology


Amanda Barbur Au.D.
(440) 357-4327
Email Us
Contact Us

World Hearing Day - March 3 2023

Did you know today is World Hearing Day??

We live in a noisy world. One way everyone can prevent hearing loss is to protect themselves from exposure to excessively loud noise. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 1 billion people ages 12–35 years worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to loud noise from personal technology devices or entertainment venues (e.g., concerts, clubs). Other daily sources of loud noise: gyms and fitness classes, sporting events, and restaurants and coffee shops. Also, some people have jobs that routinely expose them to loud noise. Others engage in loud hobbies such as playing an instrument, riding all-terrain vehicles, or woodworking.

In all cases, wearing hearing protection (earmuffs for children and earplugs for adults) is an effective way to prevent lasting damage. People should take listening breaks when they are in a noisy environment or when using earbuds or headphones (ideally, once an hour for a few minutes). Devices should also be kept to half volume or softer.