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Hidden Hearing customer Steve Parrish

Steve Parrish’s hearing loss story

Read about Steve Parrish's journey to better hearing.

A life in the fast lane

Steve Parrish, 67, is a former motorcycle and truck racer, who is now a motorsport TV commentator and public speaker.

It was only in the 1990’s, when Steve started commentating, that he became aware of the importance of protecting his hearing and by that point, he believes that the damage had already been done.

Steve struggled for a while before reaching out for help with his hearing and believes that since he’s been wearing hearing aids, he’s enjoying life more, he’s more confident, and happy engaging in conversation – and has never looked back!

Initially, Steve was worried about the stigma that surround hearing aids, that they'd make him look old. But the opposite is true. They make him feel younger, more engaged and able to be ‘in the moment’. They’ve had a positive impact not only on his life, but on his loved ones’ lives too.

Steve, forever the joker, also finds he can relax more. Sometimes he would mishear certain things which, far from being funny, left him on edge in some situations.

He found adapting to his aids easy, with the support of his hearing caring expert at Hidden Hearing, Cambridge. He finds them so comfortable that he doesn’t know they are in most of the time.

His hearing aids are as important to him as his mobile phone, wallet, and bike keys – he doesn’t even need to have his phone to his ear as the Bluetooth® technology in his aids do that for him! Steve recently upgraded his hearing aids to the Oticon Opn S.

He finds the new technology and the RemoteCare system means that if he’s in a new studio environment, and needs a quick adjustment, his hearing care expert can do it for him remotely. Watch the video for more.

Steve Parrish’s story

Watch Steve Parrish as he talks about the benefits of getting a free hearing test, and how he’s making the most of RemoteCare technology.

 

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Audio Visual 
  Hidden Hearing logo appears 
  Caption reads: Steve Parrish, Sports Broadcaster & Former Superbike World Champion talks about the Oticon RemoteCare system on his new hearing aids.

Photo of Steve in a Hidden Hearing centre holding up a Hidden Hearing bag.
 A lot of people don’t realise they’re losing their hearing, I was one of those people. All of a sudden, you come and have a hearing test, which is absolutely free, and you realise all the sounds that you are missing.
 
Close up on Steve as he talks.

Steve is in a hearing clinic, talking to the hearing care professional.
 
 
 I think with the new [Oticon Opn] S product I feel more secure, because even if I’m away somewhere – even abroad – wherever I might be working I can make a call to my hearing aid audiologist and then they can remotely set up via the app on my phone and make adjustments to my hearing aids.  The hearing care professional is examining Steve’s ear with an otoscope.

Steve has headphones on and is undergoing a hearing test.

Steve is shown at work with his headset and microphone.
 
 The whole time I feel pretty secure that I’m not going to have any problems whatsoever, so it’s a great breakthrough. The hearing care professional is on her computer, adjusting Steve’s hearing aids remotely.

Caption reads: The Oticon RemoteCare System enables us to fine tune your aids from wherever YOU are*
*WiFi connection required.
 
 
  Hidden Hearing logo appears. 

When Steve turned professional in motorcycle racing in 1976, at the age of 22, it was the start of a hugely successful career in racing spanning nearly four decades on the track, whether on a bike, in a truck or in the commentating box! Little did he know that back in those early days, when his focus was on going faster, that the exposure to loud engine noise and the buffeting of high speed winds was setting him up for hearing problems in later life.

Steve only realised that he might have a problem in the 1990s, when he started commentating.

Loud engine noises can be deafening so anyone in and around a track should wear some form of protection. Steve gets irritated when he sees people in the paddock not taking precautions, and parents whose children wear ear defenders but don’t themselves, ignoring the damage they’re exposing themselves to.

In fact for riders, over 30 mph wind noise creates more damage than engine noise. Even with the best helmets on the market, buffeting wind noise levels are known to reach and exceed 97 dB at 70mph! Today’s Health and Safety Executive recommends  wearing hearing protection at 80 dB. It’s compulsory at 85 dB!

I’m Steve Parrish – this is a message for people who ride or enjoy watching or playing loud sports, such as shooting, to look after your ears. Its advice that I wish I’d had, as I wouldn’t be in the position I am now. I didn’t look after my ears and have paid the price. If I’d just looked after them when I was younger, then this may not have happened, so I very much regret it. I would often be on my bike, revving the engine or racing round a circuit not wearing earplugs, thinking I’m cool and manly stepping up a gear, but that’s just rubbish; looking back it was stupid. So look after your hearing and wear hearing protection.

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