After spending most of her life coping well with being deaf in her left ear, Leeds business woman Lucy Short was diagnosed as being deaf in both ears back in 2009; a diagnosis she would have never thought could result in her hearing better than ever.
Deaf from birth, it wasn’t until Lucy reached the age of five that she was first diagnosed as being deaf in her left ear. She was given a hearing aid which she found awkward, bulky and difficult to keep in place. “I hated it.” Lucy said. “It looked like a big beige button and kept falling out. I was forever losing it and was frustrated wondering why I had to wear it.”
“I have an older sister who has normal hearing, but my younger sister is also partially deaf – so at home we would play games like hide and seek that didn’t rely on speaking and I was happy and confident,” Lucy added. “At school I was different; I was teased and would wear my hair down to cover my hearing aid. I was the only one with a hearing problem and with the exception of a few close friends I found that the other children didn’t understand.”
Not letting deafness hold her back, Lucy started her own successful fashion label, Blonde and Wise, in 2005. “My hearing has been an issue at times.” Lucy remembers. “I would let my business partner deal with people on the phone and I would make customers write things down so not to make mistakes. If someone shouted something through to me in another room they would think I was ignoring them when I genuinely didn’t hear. I was supposed to be able to hear with my hearing aid.”
In 2009 this all this changed for Lucy when her NHS hearing aid broke. Told she would have a six month wait for a new one, Lucy decided to go private and booked a same day appointment with an audiologist. It was during this appointment Lucy’s hearing was re-tested and she was diagnosed as being deaf in both ears.
“I was totally stunned and in shock.” Lucy said. “I thought with my one hearing aid I was hearing the same as everyone else. At first I was angry it hadn’t been picked up before but then being fitted with my two new digital hearing aids was a revelation. It took a few days to get used to them because everything was so noisy. I was startled by sudden sounds and I could hear new noises like clocks ticking and the fridge humming. It was like another world but it explained why I was missing things people had said. Now when my partner shouts to me in another room and I don’t reply it’s because I’ve chosen not to! With my new hearing aids my confidence has grown, I join in with jokes and going out with friends is much more enjoyable because I’m not missing out on what’s being said.
Lucy’s story not only highlights the fact that with determination hearing loss and deafness doesn’t have to hold you back but it also shows the importance of getting the right diagnosis and treatment. I hope Lucy’s story will encourage others and make people realise the importance of getting the appropriate care.
More and more people are making use of the many mobile apps which are available. In fact the app store recently celebrated having over 50 billion mobile apps downloaded. There are many types of mobile apps available, some of which are used for fun, such as Angry Bird, others help you be more productive, such as Evernote and now apps which can improve your lifestyle. According to businessweekly.co.uk, an online source giving a voice to innovation ‘almost 190 people per day are downloading a mobile app that turns an iPhone into a hearing aid’.
The mobile app everybody seems to be talking about currently is ‘BioAid’ it has been created by a visionary team at Essex University’s Department of Psychology who are leading the way in the future of hearing aid options. Your Apple iPhone already contains everything that a hearing aid needs such as a microphone, processor and speaker. The ‘BioAid’ app turns your handset into the potential hearing aid of the future. Under the bonnet of the mobile app is a complex algorithm which replicates the complexities of the human air to provide you with hearing aid. Over 17,000 people have so far commented on how the app is changing the lifestyles. It would however it would be interesting to discover how many of those 17,000 have gone to seek help and advice from their local audiologist first.
The BioAid app provides us a great insight into the potential future of hearing aids, however one thing that it doesn’t provide yet is that one to one connection you have with your local audiologist who will not only provide you with expert advice, but provide you with a hearing solution tailored to your individual needs.
Leading a good quality lifestyle whilst living with hearing loss requires you to keep up-to-date with the latest in technology. Independent audiologist such as Click Hearing can provide you with impartial, expert and most importantly friendly advice which will ensure your mind is put to rest, leaving you less time to worry about hearing loss and more time to beat your current score on Angry Birds.
Nearly 9 million people in the UK are currently suffering from hearing loss, equivalent to 1 in every 7 people with a hearing disability. 2 million people have hearing aids, but only 1.4 million use them regularly; it is estimated that approximately 4 million people could benefit from the use of hearing aids according to the latest figures from the RNID. Self denial of the disability, self consciousness at being seen wearing an aid and technological frustrations prevent many of the 4 million UK sufferers from overcoming their disability.
Click Hearing, is the first Hearing Care Practice in the South East of England to launch the revolutionary new S series iQ hearing instrument from Starkey Laboratories which addresses the biggest problem hearing aid wearers have had to date – comfortably hearing in noisy environs.
Hearing loss sufferers can hear the voices in front of them, but have trouble in noisier surroundings. The iQ series uses noise reduction technology and speech preservation system, Voice iQ, to hold speech volume up and push background noise down, meaning hearing aid wearers can hear more of what they want to hear, like conversations and less of what they don’t, like wind and noise. “Voice iQ truly takes hearing aid technology to a new level,” said Mr Mann, Principal Audiologist, Click Hearing Ltd. “Developing the technology to address speech understanding in noise has taken Starkey three years but the result is a huge step forward for hearing aid wearers”.
For fashion conscious hearing loss sufferers who refuse to be seen wearing a hearing instrument and favour a more discreet solution, the new Otolens might just be the answer which features Voice IQ technology. Otolens, is the first 100% custom, invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aid. Although small, it is also packed with the very latest technology to deliver a precise and natural sound.
Hearing Aids are electro-acoustic devices that generally fit inside or behind the ear. They are designed to receive and modulate sound waves for the wearer in order to enhance hearing. Hearing Aids offer a number of advantages for hearing impaired individuals – they do not just restore one’s hearing to normal, but can also drastically improve it.
Furthermore, Hearing Aids offer several other advantages that positively affect the overall surrounding of the hearing impaired people. Speech becomes clearly audible with the help of Hearing Aids, this helps to improve communication and concentration levels and on the other side enhance one’s physical well-being. Hearing aids can help individuals feel less tired and more independent, which can increase confidence and social interaction for wearers.
Numerous companies offer Heading Aids of varied types and models. Phonak Hearing Aids offer high quality hearing devices, which are divided into three types: standard, advanced and premium. Phonak also offer a range of Hearing Aid Accessories that are in line with the specific requirements of hearing impaired people. These aids and accessories offer better and improved hearing experience.
The selection of Phonak Hearing Aids may look overwhelming, however it is important to consult a professional audiologist prior to any purchase who can help you to make an informed decision about the right hearing aid for you. Hearing specialists have immense experience and knowledge of this domain, therefore consulting a professional audiologist is always encouraged in order to choose a suitable hearing aid device.
For more information on types of hearing aids of for professional hearing advice, please visit www.clickhearing.com.