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Hidden Hearing customer Alex Slight

Read how a hearing aid transformed Alex’s life

Alex struggled to hear his students and found meetings a challenge until he found the right hearing solution.

“Meetings at school are much easier to follow!”

Alex Slight is Head of Design Technology at a south London school. The married father of two has been teaching for over 25 years, and can usually be found in the workshop, classroom or IT suite most days of the school year.

Alex keeps fit and cycles up to 20 miles to school each day on busy London streets, navigating the increasingly heavy traffic.

Hidden Hearing customer Alex Slight

Around four years ago, Alex had an infection from a cold that spread to his ear. After an appointment with his GP, he was referred to a specialist who confirmed that the nerve endings in his ear were damaged and who told Alex that the hearing loss would be permanent.

Since losing the hearing in his left ear, Alex has struggled to hear his family and students, and started to feel unsafe on his daily commute as he became aware of ‘blind spots’ created by his hearing loss. He found it hard listening to students with the background noise of the workshop or trying to hear them over the sound of machines.

At home, his wife and children often had to shout when in another room and meeting friends in the pub was difficult as he would simply zone out of conversations.

Coping with background noise was one of the hardest things to deal with, whether in a restaurant or bar. Meetings at school had started to become challenging, as he would need to position himself so that he had his ‘good’ ear facing the right direction.

Alex Slight

Watch Alex’s story and see how a hearing aid helped improve his work and home life, as well as helping him to keep safe on the roads.

 

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Audio  Visual
I’m the Head of Department at a high school teaching Product Design. I first noticed my hearing loss about five years ago. Alex is pushing his bike through the entrance of his school.
I’d had a cold and I went to the doctor because my hearing hadn’t cleared up properly after the cold and he sent me off to a specialist, who then told me that my nerve endings in my ear had been damaged and I’d suffered hearing loss in one of my ears. Caption appears: Alex Slight, 51

Alex is talking in his school’s workshop.

Alex is walking through his workshop

During meetings at school, my hearing loss really meant it was a real struggle to hear what was going on. I’d often have to try and lip-read whoever was speaking or I’d have to turn so that my better ear was pointing towards them.

In the classroom environment, especially in my workshop it’s exceptionally important to be able to hear properly. I’ve got machines running, I’ve got students using dangerous tools – I need to know what’s going on.


Alex is talking in his school’s workshop. 

Alex is giving a demonstration of how to use the machines in his workshop to two students.

If a student comes to speak to me, I need to hear what they’re saying. If it’s anything to do with health and safety, it’s really, really important I can hear the machines operating and if there’s any changes in the sound of those machines, I will know that something’s wrong. Alex is talking in his school’s workshop.

A student is cutting a piece of wood on a machine.

I cycle to work every day. I cycle from Beckenham to Wallington, which is about eight miles. I have to go over extremely busy sections of road, including the Croydon flyover. I really need my wits about me when I’m cycling to make sure that I stay safe and hear the vehicles around me. Alex is cycling in busy traffic.
I eventually went back to get my hearing checked again. I wear the Oticon Opn S. The best thing about my new hearing aid is it’s so unbelievably comfortable, small and compact. Relationships in your life, in your workplace are really, really important and without proper hearing, you’re always going to struggle. Now, I can get students to work more productively because I don’t waste any time with them. They tell me something, I answer them, they get on quickly. I’m not worried about what they’re doing because I have completely understood what they’ve told me.  Alex is working with a group of students in the kitchen of his school.
With my family life, I now have a happy wife; I have happier children because they don’t have to shout at me so much. Whilst cycling to work every day, I can now hear the traffic much more clearly, it’s less stressful and I feel much safer. My social life has been switched on with better hearing. Because now I can go to pubs and restaurants and really enjoy myself.  Alex is talking in his school’s workshop.

Alex is cycling to school in the morning.

Alex is teaching a cookery lesson at his school and helping his students.

Don’t let your hearing fade – get it tested and switch your life on. Alex is speaking directly to the camera.

White screen: Hidden Hearing logo.
 

However, it was when machines were being used in the classroom workshop that was Alex’s worst and most pressing concern – the thought that he might miss the changing sound of a fault on a machine. This is what gave him the push he really needed to do something about his hearing loss.

Alex had originally been prescribed an aid on the NHS that ended up in a draw. He admits, “I found the NHS hearing aid uncomfortable to wear and I couldn’t get on with it, finding life harder with it than without! So, I gave up using it after a week – that was about two years ago.”

It was the nagging concern about missing something important at home, school or on the road that Alex went to see Mark, the Hidden Hearing audiologist in Croydon. Alex had heard about new the hearing aid technology and wanted to see for himself if this was the solution for him.

Alex was fitted with the Oticon Opn S, and it has transformed his personal and work life, so much so that he has never looked back.

If you’re suffering from a hearing loss book your free hearing test now.

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