People of all professions can struggle with hearing loss – this can even include star athletes. Learn more about Texas A&M pitcher Cason Sherrod’s hearing loss story in this week’s Audicus blog!
Cason Sherrod, 20, is a junior righthanded reliever for the Aggies. Sherrod has 53% hearing loss in both of his ears.
Unlike many other cases of hearing loss, Sherrod’s hearing loss stemmed from nerve damage that he acquired when he was born two months premature. Sherrod’s parents discovered his hearing loss when Sherrod was age three (he would watch television at maximum volume and still have trouble hearing).
Cason Sherrod currently has excellent hearing because he uses hearing aids, but this wasn’t always the case. Initially, Sherrod felt uncomfortable wearing hearing aids as a young child. There was and still is a stigma surrounding hearing aids, and Sherrod felt as if he wasn’t completely accepted. Sherrod’s hearing aids were large and colorful, making them quite conspicuous. People who didn’t know he had hearing loss often asked him about his hearing aids. This made Sherrod self-conscious about wearing the devices.
Sherrod decided not to wear his hearing aids in middle school and early on in high school, but this wasn’t a lasting solution. He would sit in the front of the class and lip read to stay on track, but began wearing hearing aids again later on in high school and continued doing so throughout his schooling.
The digital hearing aids that Sherrod was given in high school were smaller and more discreet than the devices from his childhood, allowing him to wear them comfortably without drawing as much attention to himself.
Eventually, Sherrod became more and more comfortable with his hearing aids and was able to excel in extracurricular activities, like baseball, later going on to become an elite athlete. Sherrod has been a major asset for the team and has been indispensable in assisting the Aggies in the Houston Regional.
Not only does Cason Sherrod make great contributions on the field, he makes great contributions off of the field as well. Sherrod assists students at the Brazos Valley Regional School for the Deaf. He has volunteered at Brazos Valley Regional School for the Deaf’s annual picnic and field day this year.
Other athletes with hearing loss include volleyball legend David Smith, basketball star Tamika Catchings and Olympic swimmer Terrence Parkin.
Athletes with hearing loss may find it particularly hard to wear hearing aids throughout the day. Intense physical activities may cause hearing aids to fall out or get damaged by moisture from sweat.
Sweat buildup from continual physical activities can also damage hearing aids and could potentially lead to infection if proper cleaning isn’t maintained. Athletes with hearing loss should speak with their audiologist about hearing aids and how they relate to physical activity.
Having healthy hearing is important and untreated ear conditions can lead to poor balance, difficulty listening and symptomatic pain- all undesired factors for athletes during their training and competitions.
Whether you’re an athlete or not, be sure to have your hearing examined by an audiologist!