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Home » What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids: Juliëtte Sterkens (Transcript)

What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids: Juliëtte Sterkens (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Juliëtte Sterkens’ talk titled “What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids” at TEDxOshkosh conference.

Juliëtte Sterkens, a seasoned audiologist with over four decades of experience, delivered a compelling TEDx talk “What You Don’t Know About Hearing Aids,” shedding light on the common misconceptions and limitations associated with hearing aid technology. She began by engaging the audience in a demonstration to simulate mild hearing loss, setting the stage for a discussion on the prevalence and impact of hearing impairment.

Sterkens emphasized that hearing loss is not just about reduced volume but also affects how we perceive pitches and distinguish between similar sounds, especially in noisy environments. Despite technological advancements in hearing aids, she pointed out that these devices cannot fully restore normal hearing, particularly in terms of speech clarity and the spatial dimension of sound. She highlighted the importance of auxiliary tools and strategies, such as Bluetooth-enabled devices and telecoils, to enhance the hearing aid experience.

Furthermore, Sterkens advocated for the widespread installation of hearing loops in public venues and the activation of telecoils in hearing aids, illustrating their benefits through personal anecdotes and professional insights. Her talk not only informed but also encouraged individuals and society to better accommodate those with hearing loss, promoting greater accessibility and understanding.

Listen to the audio version here:


I’d like to start with a short demonstration. Now, I can’t see many of you, but I’d like you to take your two fingers and put them lightly against the pointy bits in front of your ears. Now, I’d like you to push until your ears are completely plugged, and keep them plugged. And what you’re experiencing right now is mild hearing loss.

Okay, you can let go. What you experienced just now is mild temporary hearing loss. In my audiology practice, I routinely tested new patients with hearing loss twice as bad as you just experienced.

Hearing loss is common. For many of us, it’s not a matter of if, but when we will lose some of our hearing. About half of us will acquire it by age 75, two-thirds of us when we reach our mid-80s. It’s on the increase in children, and baby boomers are experiencing more hearing loss than those of past generations. And if hearing loss runs in the family, there’s a good chance you’ll get it too.

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