How a Veteran Radio Host Adapted to Hearing Loss

How a Veteran Radio Host Adapted to Hearing Loss

National Public Radio’s Mary Louise Kelly, co-host of the network’s iconic ‘All Things Considered,’ has significant hearing loss.

In a revealing interview with Manoush Zomorodi of the TED Radio Hour podcast, Kelly talked about her hearing loss and strategies she’s developed to cope.

Kelly was only 42 when she realized something was very wrong: “I had just published a book. I was on book tour, and it became apparent at event after event I couldn’t hear the questions. After a while, it just becomes embarrassing. And I realized, I should go get this checked out. And I did. It was humbling in part because I still, to this day, can pass with flying colors the little minimal hearing tests that we all get with an annual physical where they say, you know, raise your hand if you hear the beep. I can hear the beep. What I can’t do is distinguish between consonants. No matter how loud the volume is, I can’t make out words anymore.”

Kelly had her hearing tested and found that she had severe to profound hearing loss. “I got hearing aids,”she said, “and that was a revelation.”

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