Ronald Regan’s Personal Account Of Hearing Loss

Some 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan was in all the papers because he appeared publicly with a Starkey INTRA hearing aid. He was the first major public figures to publicly admit to need hearing aids. It is thanks to this move that hearing aids became far more publicly accepted. The Starkey Technology business also grew tremendously thanks to this. It took just two weeks for the business to quadruple in size. The hearing aid used by Reagan was custom-made and came at a price of $1,000. It is widely accepted that exposure to loud gunshot noises on the sets of the Western movies is what caused his hearing loss. It is interesting that it was always maintained that the president’s hearing loss was only “moderate”, when he missed an entire message spoken into his deaf ear by chief of staff Donald Reagan.

What is really important, however, is that Reagan became an advocate for people with hearing loss. Additionally, he ensured a stronger focus was placed on making technological advances in hearing aids. And it must be recognized that it was Reagan who influence other public figures to wear hearing aids, making this far more publicly acceptable all over the globe. Companies like Starkey Technologies are still building on this now. The Clinton family were heavily influenced by the actions of Reagan. In 2013, Starkey partnered up with Bill and Chelsea Clinton, delivering hearing aids to people in Zambia and Rwanda. This is because Starkey has made a commitment towards philanthropic actions. They have signed up to the Clinton Global Initiative, which means they donate 100,000 hearing aids a year to people most in need.

Reagan has influenced many other global leaders in this as well. George W. Bush joined another Starkey Africa campaign, delivering hearing aids in Tanzania in the same year as the Clintons did. Barbara Bush joined the Global Health Corps to deliver hearing aids in Uganda. It is thanks to Reagan that we now understand how important it is that people all over the world are able to enjoy a greater quality of life. In stepping out in public admitting he had hearing problems, a huge social stigma was removed. Thanks to these actions, people worldwide were comfortable coming forward to say that they needed more help with their hearing problems. It also made sure that companies like Starkey and others were able to make far greater technological advances. It could be said, therefore, that Ronald Reagan really is the patron saint of hearing aids and hearing loss.

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