Ringing in your Ears...
When OX Magazine staff member Chrissie Woodward started to experience hearing issues, she took a trip to KD Hearing…she tells us how a single trip changed everything!
Waking up with a loud, high-pitched noise in your ear is not something I expected. After 6 months of my new, annoying friend paying me numerous, increasingly louder visits, I had had enough.
I mentioned it to my GP in the hope that there was a magic cure to banish the screaming. Referred to the ENT department, what followed was an agonising 5 month wait. I was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss and fitted with some behind-the-ear aids (BIE). The screaming continued but a least the aids helped with my hearing. At that point, I realised how much I had missed out on by not being able to hear what was going on around me and I began to feel alienated.
Background and group conversations had been completely missed. People often thought I just wasn’t listening (that only applies when the old man asks me to empty the dishwasher!)
Meanwhile, the scream in my ear was still shrilling away in the background. Whilst the NHS are great, I felt I needed more help, and decided to see if more could be done. I made an appointment to see Keith Donaghy, a highly qualified audiologist.
With over 27 years’ experience in the field, the practice offers a full range of options. Clients can get the right product for their specific needs.
Following an in-depth medical history and examination, it was revealed that a build-up of impacted wax in the right ear was causing a problem. I had microsuction to remove it and the full feeling that I had for months suddenly disappeared. I felt lighter and brighter straight away.
A hearing test then followed. This was more in depth than I had at ENT as it included not only the normal test but also a bone conduction test that confirmed it was a sensorineural impairment but not due to infection or mechanical issues. As an age-related loss he told me it would get gradually worse.
As a person who relies on verbal communication to earn a living, this was a blow. The NHS aids were not powerful enough to cope with the tinnitus and are also not suitable for environments in which one uses a phone with a headset.
However, all was not lost! Keith explained that an in ear set (ICE) of aids would make not only a difference to the tinnitus but also would be suitable for work. He explained all the different aids available and made a recommendation of sophisticated, invisible aids that can be used with a headset.
With regards to budget, the aids come with various levels of technology and the best ones can be very pricey. There is a solution though as finance is available with 20% deposit and the rest of the cost can be paid monthly (over 10 months). The aids are also programmable to accommodate further hearing loss for up to a period of 10 years.
So despite the devastating news that I am indeed “knocking on a bit”, I did leave with a number of options to look at and there was no hard sell. A gradual loss of hearing over time is so slow that you may not even realise what you are missing. Unlike with the NHS, you are in full control.”
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