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HearUSA - Newsweek - September 2023

HearUSA Helps Los Angeles Mother Stay Present for Every Moment with Her Children


This Mother’s Day, Tamra Dale reflects on how addressing her hearing health has enhanced her connection with her children now and in the years to come.

Palm Beach Gardens, FLORIDA, May 9, 2024 – Tamra Dale, former finance executive turned self-proclaimed family “CFO” (chief-flourishing-officer) to three kids, has had a challenging hearing health journey.

“I started to notice my hearing loss in my early 30’s, before I had children. The TV always sounded too loud when I turned it on, but when I turned the volume down, I was unable to hear it, leading me to turn it back up. Then, the next time I watched, I’d again notice the volume was too loud, rinse and repeat over and over,” Dale said. “That’s what brought me to an audiologist for the first time in the 1990’s.”

Given Dale’s age, the first audiologist she saw didn’t believe her– asserting that she’s too young to have hearing loss. After demanding a test, her suspicion was confirmed; but she was told there was nothing to be done. “The audiologist said I needed to wait for hearing to get worse, or technology to get better,” she added.

Fortunately, a lot has changed since then. Advancements in hearing aid technology have significantly improved the wearer experience, and we now know that you’re never too young to have hearing loss. After decades of suboptimal experiences with several different audiologists and hearing aid solutions, Dale turned to HearUSA in the fall of 2023 to get fitted for top-of-the-line Signia hearing aids. Since then, her life has changed – and much for the better.

“Visiting HearUSA allowed me to truly address my hearing health in a way that I wasn’t able to before,” she said. “My top priority is being fully present for my children and spouse. If you can’t hear, you can’t communicate and connect – and connecting with my family is the most important thing to me. Now, after many years of trying different solutions, I don’t miss things like I used to.”

Missing Moments with Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Before Dale became a full-time stay-at-home mom, she began her finance career working as a clerk on a trading floor – a notoriously noisy environment – in which she was exposed to loud sounds constantly. Time at the gym was also marked by hours of loud headphone use.

As she worked her way up the corporate ladder, she was eventually stationed in the back office to oversee risk management. There, she was exposed to a cacophony of loudly ringing phones. “I spent years amid the noise, and I believe it took a serious toll on my hearing,” she explained.

A few years later, she began to receive feedback in smaller group environments that she “wasn’t catching things.” She also started to notice, as a new mom to three kids under three years old, that she was struggling to hear sounds that required her attention.

“It was hard to hear my kids outdoors, especially without walls to contain the noise, like playgrounds or museums. That’s when we started to use a lot of signaling and pointing,” she said. “I had to rely on other parents because I was missing sounds at the playground, which was upsetting. There is nothing more valuable than being present in those fleeting moments with your children.”

Tamra’s son, Austin (18), recalls several instances in his childhood in which his mom’s hearing loss was most apparent.

“My mom used to make tea all the time, and I would be in the middle of doing homework and the kettle would make a high-pitched steam sound when it was ready,” he said. “She was right next to me – and it would get to the point that it was getting very loud, and I’d need to get up and turn it off because she didn’t hear it.”

Incidents like these prompted Dale to return to an audiologist, and while she was fitted for hearing aids this time, they did little to solve the issues she experienced.

In fact, Austin was convinced that his mom’s hearing would worsen to the point that she would not be able to hear him. “As I was going into high school, I was worried that I would need to learn American Sign Language, so I took three years of classes partially out of the fear that there would come a time that she couldn’t hear me,” he confessed.

A Challenging Hearing Aid Journey

In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and face masks were the norm, Dale realized that she was relying very heavily on lip-reading, even with another relatively new pair of hearing aids.

At the same time, more and more studies came out linking hearing loss to cognitive decline, instilling new fears into Dale about her health. “The thing that scared me the most about hearing loss is that when it goes untreated for a long time, it can cause irreparable damage,” she said. “I want to be here for my kids as they grow into adulthood – so I knew my current hearing aid solution wasn’t doing me any favors.”

Dale pursued yet another pair of hearing aids, but she felt that she had to speak quietly because her voice sounded so loud in her head. “I went for a mid-range price option, but the technology wasn’t up-to-par. I was still missing the natural flow of conversations, like when a person would turn their head instead of looking directly at me, and was generally uncomfortable trying to hear in large rooms or outdoors.”

Seeking Help from HearUSA

In the fall of 2023, Dale visited Dr. Natalie Calderon, AuD, at a HearUSA location in her current home of Los Angeles to be fitted for a new pair of hearing aids. Calderon patiently listened to her concerns and recommended the Signia Pure Charge&Go IX hearing aids, which feature cutting-edge technology to help wearers navigate group conversations in noisy environments, among many other benefits.

“Even though I had recently purchased hearing aids, and I was reluctant to invest in a new pair financially, I knew that there was no better investment than staying engaged with my children,” Dale explained. “Plus, HearUSA offers flexible financing plans that made it a lot easier for us to manage the purchase.”

Dale’s new Signia hearing aids finally addressed the hearing challenges she had experienced for decades and now allow her to be fully present with her children. They leverage AI/machine learning to make automatic adjustments depending on the hearing setting, allowing Tamra to avoid a lot of the “tampering” with settings she experienced previously. However, she is able to adjust various settings such as volume control and hearing directionality through the compatible Signia app when desired.

“My hearing aids self-teach and make it so easy for me to be in different environments with my children without fiddling with my phone to change settings,” she said. “I was able to attend my son’s choir concert and hear every voice and sound despite being in a noisy concert hall. It’s a major quality-of-life booster.”

Addressing Hearing Health is Vital to Quality of Life

According to Austin, he has witnessed a transformation in his mom’s hearing health journey. “I can’t remember a time before my mom had hearing aids, but this time it’s different,” he said. “It’s a relief to see her happy and engaged with life.”

“Nothing matters more than being present for family time,” Dale said. “I always send people to HearUSA and tell people to ‘get checked’ so you won’t miss out on life. With hearing loss, you do miss a lot and unfortunately people stop engaging with you and you stop engaging with the world, so it’s imperative to act quickly.”

She continued, “There’s a natural distancing in your relationships with hearing loss, so I want to make sure that as I age, I’m still my kids’ first phone call as they move away to college and grow into adults. Texting is one thing, but speaking to your children is another. I want to be there through their victories and challenges and hear the excitement in their voices. That’s the most important thing as a mom: you want to maintain that connection.”

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About HearUSA

HearUSA is a global leader in hearing health. With our extensive network coverage, advanced online services, and pioneering technology, we are on a mission to make hearing care simpler and more accessible than ever before, setting a new standard in modern hearing care. Drawing on the expertise and hearing care services of over 380 owned hearing centers and more than 4,000 network hearing care professionals, we are helping more people take charge of their hearing health, making wonderful sound part of their everyday life. Find out more about us at

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