As the nation gears up for the 2020 Olympics, here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, we are excited to highlight one special Hearing Aid Hero and Olympian—David Smith of the USA men’s volleyball team.
David Smith The Olympian
Unlike other types of hearing loss which are gradually acquired, David was born with hearing loss. His profound hearing loss meant that he had 80-90% hearing loss. With that level of hearing loss, David is nearly completely deaf. However, he and his parents were determined to never let his lack of hearing hold him back. David played sports and went to school along with other children with intact hearing.
As David continued to succeed in volleyball, he ended up playing college volleyball for UC Irvine from 2004-2007. In his final year, David was named to two prestigious teams, the NCAA All-Tournament team and the All-American first team, thanks to his play during the 2007 national NCAA tournament.
After his time in college, David went off to play professional volleyball, leading him to part of the 2012 Olympic men’s volleyball team as a substitute. Then, in the 2016 Olympic games, David also was on the men’s volleyball team when they won the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro. And now, with the recent win in this past August, the U.S. men’s volleyball team, which David still plays for, has just won their bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
With such an exciting career that requires clear communication with teammates and coaches, it can be hard to understand how David is able to perform an elite athlete with profound hearing loss. David attributes his success to using a combination of hand signs, lip-reading, and powerful hearing aids.
How Hearing Aids Enable David To Connect
Some people believe that hearing aids stop providing any benefit if the individual’s hearing loss is severe enough. Yet, David has profound hearing loss, and he is quick to testify that his hearing aids are what truly allow him to connect with the people around him.
Personally, David uses Oticon Dynamo hearing aids. The Dynamo hearing aids were designed with severe-to-profound hearing loss in mind, making them powerful sound delivery devices. And David has mentioned that he needs the extra oomph that the Dynamo hearing aids bring because he has a young son who has a high-pitched voice, like most young children.
Since high-frequency hearing loss is the most common and an attribute of profound hearing loss, David uses hearing aids to be able to hear and communicate better with his son as well as with his wife. As he often has to travel with his professional volleyball teams, David is able to stay close with his family by using hearing aids that are powerful enough to boost the sound of their voices.
Watch David’s testimonial on the Oticon Dynamo hearing aids below.
Allow Hearing Aids To Unlock Your World
Some people consider hearing loss a restriction, and if left untreated, it can be. But, with the use of hearing aids, the world of sound and possibility can be unlocked.
The main reason of why we love to highlight Hearing Aid Heroes is to help reduce the stigma around hearing aids and hearing loss. Even if you aren’t going to become an Olympic athlete once you get hearing aids, you can allow yourself to enjoy opportunities that can be difficult to achieve without taking control of your hearing loss.
No matter the level of hearing loss you have, with hearing aids, you can shed the restrictions that untreated hearing loss brings and achieve your goals, no matter how big or small the goals.