My Patient’s success story with hearing aids

My journey of using hearing aids started some 19 years ago, at age 36, when after an evening out at a restaurant battling to hear my friends and talking very loudly, Astrid, my wife suggested I have my hearing tested. Normal situation, I did not want to really admit I could not hear anything, but to keep her happy, I decided I would go get them tested. What we discovered is that I had high frequency hearing loss, meaning I struggled to hear anything with sharp sounds (th / f/ S/ t/ etc.) I started out with one in-ear hearing aid. I can clearly recall my 8-year-old son shedding tears that I needed a hearing aid and was getting old. The way I reconciled this was, what is the difference to needing spectacles? Why should a hearing deficiency be so stigmatized. As I became aware of my own hearing loss, I started wondering how many others have something similar and do not know it.

Besides all these little conveniences, the real benefit has been how much more alive my surroundings are when I have my hearing aids on. In the morning when I wake up the world is dampened. I find it hard to understand why more people who have hearing difficulties would not want to experience this. I would find it very difficult to do my work if it were not for my hearing aids. I am a consultant in the field of leadership and culture, where I facilitate workshops in many different environments and different parts of the world. In particular, I would find it very hard to hear different accents and dialects. From the varying accents in our own country, to other African countries, India, South America, North America and Europe, I am able to better hear, facilitate and do my work more effectively. I have had the odd occasion where my battery dies in mid-presentation – then I truly know I definitely need them.

Living with hearing loss is still sometimes difficult and even with a hearing aid I would sometimes find it difficult to hear somebody with noise around or if they are talking in another room, as happens often in our home. Without them, I can’t imagine! Being more aware of this, I can see how frustrated people around can get when somebody is not hearing well and they have to raise their voice to be heard. I can hear without a hearing aid, but I would miss a lot … and who wants to live in a world that is dumbed down. I am pleased that my world can be lifted and awakened to the birds singing and the sounds I would otherwise miss.

Written by Anne Budden’s patient

“My hope is that this story reaches and motivates others to seek help and embark on a new journey with sound.” -Anne Budden