Overcoming Hearing Loss
Guest Blogger Mair Williams from Newport, East Wales, has written about the journey she went through to firstly acknowledge her hearing loss, and then how she overcame it.
My name is Mair and I’m in my sixties (which is all I am prepared to admit). I guess it would be fair to say that my hearing loss started very gradually over probably a period of ten years. Both my parents had had to have hearing aids, so perhaps I should have expected it. It didn’t cause too many problems at first but I was working as a manager’s secretary at the time and I began to get concerned that I wasn’t catching everything when taking shorthand at meetings and tribunals etc in a roomful of people. But not concerned enough to do anything about it!
The years went by and I retired early and my husband and I began enjoying our free time. Then the arguments started! My husband would constantly try to have a conversation with me from another room or from upstairs, which I would be unable to hear and which would necessitate me stopping what I was doing to go and find out what he was saying. He would also claim to have told me things, which I had no knowledge of, and which I had probably missed because of my hearing loss (don’t tell him I admitted that).
My first move to get this sorted was to go to my GP and ask to be referred for a hearing test with the NHS. Apparently this is not normally done until you have passed 60. But I struck lucky and got an appointment. The purpose of this was to try to gain an understanding of how severe my hearing loss was from someone who was not going to benefit financially from supplying me with hearing aids, as I had no-one that I could trust. I knew I would never wear something which was cumbersome and could be seen, after all that would mean people would know I had a problem! So now it was confirmed that I had significant hearing loss in both ears. I refused the offered hearing aids and successfully buried my head in the sand for another few years.
By this time I am now having trouble hearing my neighbour across the fence, conversations across a room, cannot understand what my granddaughters are saying, and my husband is acting as “translator”. I knew I had to do something about it and so I decided to go to a well known high street store that often did “two for the price of one” offers. To my husband’s delight I made an appointment and had what I felt was a very comprehensive hearing test. The audiologist was a young girl who was very firm in advising me of what aids would suit me best which happened to be in the 2 for 1 offer, and were the very latest technology. I had a test run with a sample pair of hearing aids which was successful except for the the sensation of ear blocking which was uncomfortable and the ear domes were changed to open domes. Having paid a substantial deposit a pair of hearing aids was ordered for me with a two week delivery period. When they arrived I was told that I would need to get them insured and as it was a 2 for 1 offer it should be for double the price I paid. One of the reasons for going to this store was the accessibility of the hearing centre in store should I experience any problems (I was later to discover that this centre was only manned two days a week by a graduate who travelled all around the country).
I have possibly painted my husband in a poor light up to this point, but now he came into his own as the technical expert that he is. He pored over all the literature on the web and discovered that the “deal” I had been given was in fact a means of disposing of out of date technology because new technology was being introduced. We complained to the audiologist, who had no defence and were offered the new technology hearing aids for an extra £1,400. We returned the hearing aids and asked for a refund. My husband went back on the web and found Hearing Wales. He had a long chat with Senior Audiologist, Ben Davies, who explained that independent audiologist had grouped together to be able to compete with high street prices and, although Hearing Wales were based in Swansea they held clinics all over Wales, including our area, and were also able to do home visits.
I had my first appointment at their local clinic, and met Danielle for the first time. She put me completely at ease, conducted the hearing test, and let me walk away with the top of the range hearing aids, with a small deposit, on the understanding that I would settle my debt on return of the money from the other company. Incidentally, their price for the top of the range hearing aids were only slightly higher in price than the 2 for 1 offer! The hearing aids are brilliant, practically undetectable and so efficient! I have had two further appointments with Danielle at my own home, and trust her completely and look forward to her visits. I feel safe in the knowledge that help is only a phone call away. My attitude to my hearing problem has completely changed, I no longer think of it as a “disability”, and do not hesitate to show off my hearing aids to other people in the hope of persuading them to tackle their own hearing loss. I don’t miss anything now and the difference these hearing aids have made to my life is wondrous.
And the arguments, well they have not totally stopped, but are never about my lack of hearing now!
Addressing Your Hearing Loss
You may not be aware that it takes the average person 10 years to do something about their hearing loss once they have acknowledged they have a problem. Early intervention can help to slow down your hearing’s deterioration, and we recommend getting help as soon as possible. This could actually save you money in the long term, and definitely improve your quality of life.
Get in touch today to book your free hearing test. Call us on 0800 313 4304.