Abigail Heringer Details Her Experience with Hearing Loss During Candid Q&A
“The Bachelor” Season 25 star Abigail Heringer — who made history as the first deaf contestant to ever appear on the franchise — detailed her experience with hearing loss during a candid Instagram Story Q&A on Monday.
From the functionalities of her cochlear implant to how being deaf affects her dating life, Abigail shared more of herself with curious fans.
Asked by one follower if she is able to swim with her cochlear implant, Abigail replied, “No I take them off! They’re water resistant but not waterproof.”
Elsewhere, the stunning Oregon native — who now lives in New York City — posted photos of her cochlear implant from childhood and the current device she uses.
Abigail responded to another Instagram user’s query about how she manages “listening fatigue.”
“I’ve always had this feeling but never knew what to call it. Listening fatigue is such a real thing with CIs,” she explained. “It can get so exhausting since we have to work harder to follow in conversations, pick up sounds etc. Taking off my CI is as equivalent to the feeling of taking my bra off at the end of a long day lol.”
Later, Abigail revealed that she went to speech therapy throughout her adolescence. “Yes, speech therapy all the way through middle school!” she wrote. “I think I still have a slight ‘deaf’ accent and I can’t always tell if I’m mispronouncing words so go easy on me if I slip up when talking in videos.”
Speaking to how her hearing loss impacts her romantic pursuits, Abigail admitted, “It can be hard to flirt when I have to ask ‘what’ constantly.”
She elaborated, “I haven’t gotten a direct negative response from telling a guy [about my hearing loss] but there’s been moments where I feel like a guy stops trying to make an effort in the moment (ex: in a loud bar or club)…ya know?”
Abigail — who shared her story with a notably receptive Matt James on “The Bachelor” — also explained how she handles telling men that she’s deaf on dates.
“I’m still figuring this out y’all. What you guys saw on the first night on the show was the most forward I had ever been about telling a potential partner about my hearing loss!” she wrote, recounting her conversation with Matt.
“I was definitely faking it until I made it lol,” Abigail added. “BUT I think just being up front and letting them know is the way to do it. It shows you’re confident about what makes you different and if you just own it, it helps to get rid of any awkwardness you might be worried about! And if they’re weird about it — not the person for you.”