Caroline Fitton, from Bury St Edmunds, has had a problem with her hearing since 2004. The stress of a personal tragedy led to Caroline developing tinnitus, a ringing in the ears that only the sufferer can hear.
“In 2004, my husband was facing a tough diagnosis,” Caroline says. “Dealing with the stress of the condition resulted in developing tinnitus from that point onwards, which has never gone away.”
Tinnitus and stress
According to Tinnitus UK, a charity which supports tinnitus sufferers, “Emotional and physical factors including stress have been linked to the onset of tinnitus. Although it is not always clear whether stress causes the onset of tinnitus, or if it is a contributing factor, it is common for tinnitus to start at times of high stress or after a period of stress.”1
Caroline had a pair of entry-level hearing aids, but they weren’t up to the task of helping with her hearing loss and tinnitus. “The aids I had felt increasingly uncomfortable, so I often didn't wear them.”
But Caroline was aware that her hearing was deteriorating so she decided to book a free hearing test and consultation with Hidden Hearing.
Fear of missing out
Working for the Wildlife Trust, Caroline was becoming aware that she was “missing out on calls of the wild – from birdsong to animal calls.”
During her visit to Hidden Hearing in Bury St Edmunds, Caroline’s audiologist, Adam Smith, decided to nominate her for the Give Back Programme. The Programme awards state-of-the-art pairs of hearing aids to people whose lives they could significantly change.
“I could see the stress and strain that Caroline’s hearing loss and
tinnitus were having on her daily life.”
Adam says, “I could see the stress and strain that Caroline’s hearing loss and tinnitus were having on her daily life. The hearing aids she had were not helping with her current needs and it was having a toll on her mental health and leaving her reluctant to join in activities in her daily life, both socially and working for a wildlife charity.”
Hearing loss can have a huge impact at work. In fact, according to our own research, 61% of employed UK adults say that they worry about their hearing, while over 1 in 5 say that hearing loss has held them back at work. And yet, according to research by the RNID, only 6% of us (without a diagnosed hearing loss) had a hearing test in the last year, compared to 44% who had an eye test.
No need to miss out when you Love Your Ears!
We’re fighting the misconceptions and lack of awareness that surround hearing loss by promoting regular hearing tests (which are completely free) and highlighting just how big of an impact loving your ears can have on your health, well-being and happiness.
That’s why we’ve launched a national campaign encouraging everyone to Love Your Ears.
“I was thrilled to be chosen via Hidden Hearing’s Give Back Programme to be awarded a pair of private hearing aids,” says Caroline. “Working for the Wildlife Trust, I have been increasingly aware that when out on nature reserves, I wasn't hearing much of the birdsong; when colleagues were identifying calls, I couldn't even hear anything, which made me realise how much I have been missing out on.”
“I'm looking forward to the full orchestra
of glorious dawn choruses.”
“Now I can hear everything with my Oticon More™ hearing aids!”
But Caroline’s new hearing aids have made a huge difference. “Now I can hear everything,” she says. “From the distinctive repeat call of chiffchaff to the gregarious chatter of goldfinch and long-tailed tits, and I'm so looking forward to spring and the full orchestra of glorious dawn choruses – especially the return of tuneful nightingales.”
Find out more about the Give Back Programme and how you can Love Your Ears
You can nominate yourself, or someone you care about, for the Give Back Programme at your free hearing test. Just follow the link to book.
In the meantime, find out how you can do more to Love Your Ears. Follow the link for more information, or, to get a general idea of how well you can hear, you can take our free, five-minute online hearing test.