Rikki Ravenhill, from Smethick, enjoys an active social life. “I am very much a people-person and enjoy being out; I really enjoy playing darts and pool”, says Rikki, who works for a window and door frame treatment centre. But Rikki also suffers from hearing loss, admitting that he’s had hearing difficulties for “5 – 10 years.” The World Health Organization says: “It often takes 10 years for an individual to recognize that they have a hearing problem,” although Rikki claims his hearing has really deteriorated within the last four years. And as a sociable person, it was affecting his everyday life.
Struggling to cope
Hearing loss impacted his last relationship and caused Rikki a “lot a problems. The breakdown of relationships was, without a doubt, the hardest thing to cope with,” says Rikki.
Rikki’s hearing loss also affected his professional life, particularly in job interviews. “There was an interview where I was looking at a piece of paper and didn't hear the questions being asked. Or I would mishear the question and give a wrong answer.” In fact, the employment rate for those with hearing loss is 65%, compared to 79% of people without a disability or long-term health issues.
And Rikki’s struggles went beyond work and relationships. “If someone was standing behind me and asked me to move, but I wouldn’t hear them and so wouldn’t move, they’d think I was being rude.
“I also missed a flight once, because I didn’t hear the boarding call, and had to pay for a new flight.”
Taking action on hearing loss
The beginning of Rikki’s previous relationship is what forced him to take action. “I knew I had to do something” he says.
“I saw an article about Hidden Hearing helping people. So I booked a test, someone got back to me straight away.” Rikki was nominated for the Giveback Programme – an initiative run by Hidden Hearing. The Programme awards up to 5 free pairs of state-of-the-art hearing aids each month to those who might not have been able to afford them otherwise.
Life changing hearing aids
Talking about the Give Back Programme, Rikki says, “It honestly means the world to me. It has changed my life. I love communicating with people and now I am able to do that.”
To book your free hearing test, and to take action just like Rikki did, follow the link. Or you can take our online hearing test. It’s free, takes five minutes and is a great way to get a general idea of how well you can hear.