In 1999, our son Brenden was born with moderate to severe hearing loss. His hearing loss was detected through the newborn screening program at John C. Lincoln Hospital, where he was born. As a new parent, I went through different emotions upon finding out the news. When I clapped my hands and made noises he would respond to me, but the audiologist kept assuring me to keep his hearing aids on him at all times. What I didn’t realize was that he could still hear some noise, but not enough to understand speech.The experience of having a child with hearing loss made a huge impact on my life. Brenden is now 23 years old. He definitely re-affirms that he just hears noise without his hearing aids on. When he was 13 years old, he was showing signs of vision problems. With extensive eye exams, they confirmed that he was legally blind and in the severe stages of retinitis pigmentosa. He was later confirmed to have Usher Syndrome with genetic testing. Being legally blind and having a severe hearing loss, his hearing became even more important than it already was. He needed to be able to hear the world around him. In light of his challenges with hearing and vision loss, he is an amazing musician who plays concert piano and recently graduated from Grand Canyon University. He has conquered everything I was told he would never be able to do. His speech is clear. He is happy and very social. He is a healthy young man who loves everyone he comes in contact with. He has been my inspiration to go into audiology to help educate and assist parents and other individuals who face the diagnosis of hearing loss.
For the past 23 years, my goal has been to offer professional, trust-worthy, and compassionate care to those seeking better hearing and communication abilities. I spent 8 years pursuing a doctorate degree in hearing disorders to learn as much as I could about hearing loss, hearing treatment options, and hearing rehabilitation; and in order to stay current on technology for my son as well as patients that I see. I know the struggles those with hearing loss face on a daily basis. These struggles include hearing music, television, conversation, and hearing in noisy environments. Some individuals isolate themselves when hearing makes it harder to communicate. Hearing should not be a struggle, especially with all the current research and advancements in hearing technology. Most difficult listening situations can be treated with accurate hearing aid fittings, which, unfortunately, do not happen as often as they should.Arizona is full of hearing aid stores. What most people do not realize is that not all professionals fitting hearing devices have doctorate degrees in hearing loss. In fact, in the state of Arizona, the minimum education required to sell hearing aids is a GED or high school diploma. With over-the-counter (OTC) devices becoming available, individuals with no education in hearing loss will be allowed to sell and fit devices on individuals with hearing loss, without a prescription. Although it does create more awareness about hearing loss, individuals will unfortunately purchase costly devices that are not appropriate for their hearing loss (we already see this).Hearing is such an important part of everyday life. It completely affects the quality of life. In 2014, my husband Kevin and I decided we wanted to create an Audiology practice that held the highest standards of hearing healthcare. We decided the name Happy Ears Hearing Center was perfect because most people do not think of happiness when they think of hearing loss, and we wanted to change that. We wanted people to come to our office and leave knowing that they would be hearing their absolute best and that they would definitely be happier.As experts in hearing technology, we guarantee accurate and appropriate hearing fittings for every patient that we see. We treat every patient like they are family. No two types of hearing loss or tinnitus are the same and they affect people differently. We have a very strong passion for helping individuals and their families cope with hearing loss and find joy in their success. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone’s face filled with joy when they finally realize there is hope in better hearing.If you have any concerns about your hearing, tinnitus, or vertigo symptoms, you owe it to yourself to visit Happy Ears Hearing Center and give us the opportunity to earn your trust and improve your quality of life.Sincerely,Dr. Shanna Dewsnup