Miss Texas International speaks on overcoming severe hearing loss and tinnitus
Colorful Hearing’s Dr. Taylor met with Miss Texas International while attending the Texas Academy of Audiology’s 17th Annual Conference in Frisco, TX featuring industry experts on hearing loss, tinnitus, and listening. Rachael Burns captured the title of Miss Texas International in 2014 and was the keynote speaker at this years’ event. At first glance, no one would know that Miss Texas is hearing impaired.
Rachel is young, beautiful, engaged, and in excellent health. As a successful beauty queen and entrepreneur, Rachael manages daily communication challenges with severe hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing impairment has been a part of her life since she had meningitis as a baby. Growing up with a hearing family, Rachel sometimes found herself in between two worlds.
“I am not part of the deaf community, because I don’t know how to sign fluently, and I oftentimes feel ostracized from the hearing community, because there are days when I just can’t hear anything.”
Rachael’s hearing loss affected more than her ability to process sound. It also had the potential to negatively impact her relationships.
“I don’t look or sound like there is anything wrong with me, so people will think I am ignoring them and being rude. I’m not! I just can’t hear them!
Communication grew even tougher by the distortion of tinnitus, which sounds like a siren going off in one’s head 24/7. Tinnitus makes it difficult to focus, relax, or concentrate. Rachel sought treatment for tinnitus long before she actually received effective treatment. Persistence is why she advances the philosophy of “Conquer. Live. Repeat.” People with tinnitus are often told that there is nothing that can be done about it, even by well meaning healthcare practitioners. By seeking tinnitus management from an audiologist who specializes in treating hearing loss and tinnitus, Miss Texas could carry on her reign in peace and enjoy life to the fullest.