A lifelong battle
David Lindo, known professionally as The Urban Birder, has been deaf in one ear for as long as he can remember.
David recalls how he was worried about the stigma attached to hearing loss when he was growing up, and so he stopped telling people that he had difficulty hearing. “I was once told to sit at the front of the room. But I didn’t because I didn’t want people to think I was ‘special’.” David admits that there wasn’t much available when he was growing up in terms of treatment for his hearing loss. “I used to go for hearing tests with my mother and sister. We all knew what the results would be; I’d sit in the front of the room and that was about it. We didn’t talk about it.”
David learnt to adapt his behaviour to compensate for his hearing loss. When walking and talking to someone, he’d make sure to walk on their left, or when at a restaurant, he’d make sure that he’d sit with his bad ear pointing towards the wall.
“People would shout at me, saying ‘I’ve been calling you, you’re ignoring me!’. They thought I was being rude!”
David’s decision to get his hearing tested with Hidden Hearing was partly due to the fact that he no longer really pays much attention to the stigma that some people associate with hearing loss and hearing aids. “People had issues with glasses in the 1970s and 80s. Now people wear them for effect.
“People wear wireless ear buds. They wear headphones the whole time. What’s the difference with wearing a hearing aid? I think the dots need to be joined. People need to realise there’s no difference, they just serve a different function, they’re at different ends of the same spectrum.”
Getting back in touch with nature
David believes it’s a change in mindset to wearing aids, “It’s not: ‘I’ve got to the age where I need to wear hearing aids’. It’s simply that I appreciate my hearing, and aids help me hear better.” And as a professional bird watcher, being able to hear well is very important to him.
“The dawn chorus is an amazing thing, and as a young guy I worried that one day I might not be able to hear it. When you hit the big 5-0, and maybe even before then, you may experience some hearing loss. It’s so important to get regular hearing tests because your ears are as important as your eyes when you want to indulge in nature.” When fitted with his state-of-the-art Oticon More™ hearing aids, David described them as his ‘ear binoculars’ and can now hear more birds and can tell the directions from which they are calling.
To book your free hearing test and to find out what sounds you have been missing out on, just follow the link.