“I feel so much happier… If only I’d done it sooner!”
Mother of two and neonatal nurse Helen Mol, 39, has suffered from hearing loss most of her adult life. She hadn’t noticed until she failed the hearing test for the Australian Navy in her late teens. But she didn’t act. “I wasn’t keen on wearing hearing aids”, she says. “Back then, they were much bigger and less attractive than they are now.”
“I sometimes struggled in social situations; I didn’t always hear things properly. Not being able to hear properly caused me to withdraw from conversations and I often felt quite frustrated, especially during group situations.”
During the height of the pandemic’s first wave, Helen was transferred to a COVID intensive-care ward. “I found my hearing loss was much harder to cope with”, she remembers. Helen had to wear full PPE, restricting her hearing further and now that everyone was wearing masks she couldn’t rely on lip-reading either.
“Working in COVID Intensive Care during the pandemic, I was wearing complete PPE which included a hat that covered my ears, restricting my hearing. I also couldn’t rely on lip reading due to people wearing masks – it was quite exhausting.”