Local journalist Terry Redhead tells us about his experience two years on after being fitted with hearing aids.
I remember walking away from The Hearing Care Centre premises when I first wore my new hearing aids and stopping to listen, really listen, before getting into my car and driving to work. That was two years ago.
I recall turning down the volume on the car radio as a sort of gesture of victory.
Since then I’ve been back for regular checks and balances and all has been well. To be fair, I have been good, wearing my new aids as instructed, and looking after them by keeping them clean and dry.
But at the end of June it was time to actually have my hearing re-assessed. Two years had passed.
Simon Myhill, Clinical Lead Audiologist, had been responsible for dealing with my case originally in those pre-Covid days. So much had changed since our first meeting.
He checked the computer records and saw I had indeed been wearing my aids and knew at what volume I had used them.
He gave them a good ‘once-over’ and a better clean than I could have managed.
It was time for my test, which was actually a repeat of the one of two years earlier. Fitted with headphones I listened intently, ready to press the buzzer like a brainbox on University Challenge, knowing the answer to a starter for 10!
First the right ear, then the left. The test, or assessment as The Hearing Care Centre prefers it to be called, took just a few minutes. The results were available immediately.
“Your aids have done the trick. Because you have worn them and had them when you needed them, they have prevented any further deterioration in your hearing, and that is the best possible outcome,” said Simon.
Apart from the slight age-related decrease in hearing ability, my levels of hearing, which had been in decline until I went for that first assessment in 2019, had remained virtually unaltered.
“Hearing aids are never going to repair damage or deterioration in a client’s hearing. But most importantly, having had an assessment and being advised to use aids, they can prevent, as they have in your case, further loss of ability to hear and that is so crucial,” he added.
He didn’t need to re-assure me. Having that initial assessment and going ahead with the purchase of my aids and wearing them properly and as advised, was no chore. It simply made life easier and seemed a very natural thing to do.
Still many people are reluctant to take that first step when secretly they know they are hearing less well than in the past. Perhaps the constant ‘pardon’, or ‘what did you say?’ or the turning up of the volume on the TV and radio are tell-tale signs. If that’s the case, book an assessment.
Has the fitting of aids changed my life? No, that would be an over-statement. But they have made everything so much clearer, better and easier.
If, like me, you have grandchildren, you want to hear every word clearly. You especially want to hear them call the best name a man can have ... ‘Grandad!’
Simon Myhill RHAD FdSC FSHAA, is the Clinical Lead Audiologist for The Hearing Care Centre, an independent, multi-award winning hearing care provider with centres across Norfolk and Suffolk.
If you are interested in finding out more or to book a hearing assessment, please click here or call Freephone 0800 096 2637.