Update on Steve Parrish's hearing journey:
Age 67 is a former motorcycle and truck racer, who is now a motorsport television commentator and public speaker.
It was only in the 1990’s, when Steve started commentating, that he became aware of the importance of protecting his hearing and by that point, he believes that he’d already done the damage.
Steve struggled for a while before reaching out for help with his hearing and believes that since he’s been wearing hearing aids, he’s enjoying life more, he’s more confident, and happy engaging in conversation - and has never looked back!
Initially he was worried about the stigma, that hearing aids would make him look old, but the reality is the opposite. They make him feel more younger, more engaged and able to be ‘in the moment’. It’s had a positive impact on his life and his loved ones.
Steve also finds he can relax more, forever the joker, but sometimes miss hearing certain things is not funny, which left him on edge in some situations.
Adapting to his aids originally was easy, with the support of his Hearing Aid Audiologist at Hidden Hearing, Cambridge. He finds them so comfortable, that he does not know they are in most of the time.
His hearing aids are as important to him as his mobile phone, wallet, and bike keys – he does not even need to have his phone to his ear as the Bluetooth technology in his aids do that for him!Steve recently upgraded his hearing aids to the Oticon Opn S.
He finds the new technology and the RemoteCare system means that if he is in a new studio environment and needs a quick adjustment, his Hearing Aid Audiologist can do it for him remotely. Watch the video for more.
When Steve turned professional in 1976, at the age of 22, it was the start of a hugely successful career in racing spanning nearly four decades at the track, whether on a bike, in a truck or in the commentating box! Little did he know that back in the early days when his focus was on going faster, that the exposure to loud engine noise and the buffeting of high speed winds was setting him up for hearing problems in later life.
It was only in the 1990’s, when he started commentating, that he became aware of the importance of protecting his hearing and by that point, he believes that he’d already done the damage.
The loud engine noise can be deafening so anyone in and around a track should wear some form of protection. Steve gets mad when he sees people in the paddock not taking precautions, and parents whose kids wear ear defenders but don’t for themselves, ignoring the damage they’re exposing themselves to.
In fact for riders, over 30mph wind noise creates more damage than engine noise. Even with the best helmets on the market, buffeting wind noise levels are known to reach and exceed 97db at 70mph! Todays’ Health and Safety Executive recommend in Industry wearing hearing protection at 80dB. It’s compulsory at 85dB!
‘I’m Steve Parrish, this is a message for people who ride or enjoy watching or playing loud sport such as shooting to look after your ears. Its advice that I wish I’d had, as I wouldn’t be in a position I am now. I didn’t look after my ears and have paid the price. If I’d just looked after them when I was younger then this may not have happened, so I very much regret it. I would often be on my bike, revving the engine or racing round a circuit not wearing earplugs, thinking I’m cool and manly stepping up a gear, but that’s just rubbish, looking back it was stupid. So look after your hearing and wear hearing protection.’