The chirp of a cricket. The hum of a refrigerator. The ticking of a grandfather clock. These are just a few of the sounds Krista Stump didn’t know existed until the age of 45. “I didn’t miss them,” she said, “because I didn’t know they were there.” The daughter of an Ohio dairy farmer, Krista never knew she had a hearing problem. In retrospect, she recalls she always sat in front of the class as a child. And, when she began her career as an elementary school teacher, she repeatedly urged her students to, “Speak up!”
In fact, the possibility of a hearing problem never occurred to Krista until she was a parent. Her son, Cory, was getting his ears checked when the ear, nose and throat doctor suggested she might need a hearing test too.
So, it wasn’t until age 45 that Krista began exploring hearing aid options. Like many people from small communities, she assumed she’d need to go to larger city, such as Dayton, to address her hearing loss. But then she remembered a Beltone office and made an appointment.
Krista was very impressed with the audiologist, Lucille Hosfeld. “Ceil” gave her an extensive hearing test in a soundproof room, showed her the inside of her ear on a TV monitor, and patiently explained what was going on with Krista’s hearing. Then, they explored different hearing aid shapes and sizes, and Ceil customized Krista’s choice to her specific hearing loss. “They don’t just stick a hearing aid in your ear. They program it to give you exactly what you need.”
As soon as she went home that day, Krista heard sounds she’d never heard before. “I never even knew that refrigerators made a humming sound, or that clocks made a ticking sound.”
Good hearing had a big impact on her work life, especially as a principal, because being a good listener is so important. “I need to be compassionate, and listen to parent’s concerns.” And equally critical, Krista says, is that so much of a principal’s work today involves evaluating teachers. “We have to be able to go into a classroom and hear how teachers communicate with their students. Good hearing is essential.”
But the biggest impact of hearing well came outside of work. “I can go to bible study and sit anywhere in the auditorium. I can go to a concert and sit anywhere and hear. And, my family is so grateful. My husband doesn’t get grumpy anymore about having to repeat things over and over.”
A few years ago, Krista was so pleased with her hearing aids that she agreed to appear in an advertisement in her local paper. Not long after this, she said, “A woman came up to me and said that she got her mother to go to Beltone, and that everyone in her family was so happy that their mom got help. It was an incredibly gratifying experience for me — to know that sharing my experience helped impact another family’s life. It’s really true, improved hearing can change your life.”
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