Hearing Loss

Facing up to hearing loss changed my life!

Contributed by James Pocock

18/01/2023 00:00:00 • 4 min read

A ten-year struggle

Mother-of-three Lisa Beckwith, from Bingley, West Yorkshire, first noticed her hearing loss about ten years ago, but delayed getting it tested. She admits that this was “due to vanity, pride and a refusal to acknowledge I was getting older.” Ten years is a long time, but the World Health Organization (WHO) says that 9–10 years is the typical length of time people wait between realising they have a hearing problem and taking action.

During this period, Lisa’s habits changed; she started avoiding social situations, such as nights out at busy restaurants and group get-togethers. This is why untreated hearing loss and social isolation often go hand in hand. Lisa remembers, In big group get-togethers, or in a noisy restaurant, I really struggled to hear what was going on, so I adapted my behaviour when it came to going out and socialising, and avoided these situations.”

Lisa admits that her hearing loss came on gradually, which is often the case, and which is why it often takes people a long time to seek help. “It was just little things at first, like having to ask people to repeat themselves, having the TV on too loud and people walking into the room and saying, ‘turn it down’.” These ‘little things’ are often the first signs of hearing loss, and it’s also often our family members and close friends who’ll notice these changes in our hearing first.

“It was just little things at first, like having to ask people to repeat themselves, having the TV on too loud and people walking into the room and saying, ‘turn it down’.”

Taking action

“When I finally went for a hearing test, I was really surprised to discover that my problem isn’t with volume, it’s with clarity. It didn’t matter how loud the TV was or how much my children shouted, it wasn’t the volume that was the problem, it was the clarity and tone of the sound that was preventing me from hearing properly.”

Like many people, Lisa was worried about the perception of wearing hearing aids, claiming, “People think that hearing aids make you feel old and look frail, are things you can’t relate to and are for ‘grandmas’ – that they’re like they were in the 1970s and 1980s when they were these great big things that whistled all the time and ran out of batteries. That’s just not the case now.

My hearing aids are super comfortable and easy to wear and, most importantly, they’ve changed my life! I hadn’t noticed how tired I was getting and how exhausting it was concentrating on people’s voices before I wore a hearing aid. I’m more revitalised now, and have way more energy.”

And as General Manager of rugby league side Keighley Cougars, Lisa is now able to perform her role more confidently.

"My job is very demanding and entails me keeping a group of very rowdy men in check! It can knock your self-esteem when you aren't able to hear properly but having my hearing aids gives me confidence in dealing with the array of daily issues and problems that come up running a rugby club."

No need to put it off

Finally, Lisa has some advice for people who are putting off getting a hearing test,“Don’t wait around and leave it ten years if you’re struggling to hear. People think that hearing aids make you look older but they don’t. What makes you look older is constantly asking people to repeat themselves, people getting frustrated or annoyed with you, you getting exhausted by having to concentrate on what others are saying, and avoiding social situations because you can’t hear properly. Don’t let that happen to you. Go and get a hearing test and get help. There’s no reason to put it off."

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve been putting off getting your hearing tested, or are worried about your hearing in any way, you can book your free hearing test today, just follow the link.