“Life doesn’t stop there, you can do anything!”
Katie, a hairdresser and model from Ashford, Kent, started to notice early signs of hearing loss at the age of 15. She struggled to hear her friends at school and complained to her mum that she sometimes felt left out of conversations. At the time, Katie’s mum thought her daughter just had selective hearing, but she also started to notice that Katie wouldn’t be able to hear her either.
Katie went to see a hearing specialist and was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss. She was given her first pair of hearing aids by the NHS when she was just 18 years old. Being a fashion-conscious teenager, Katie didn’t want to wear hearing aids. She thought people would notice them so she didn’t start wearing them until, by the age of 21, her hearing had deteriorated further.
Katie worked as a hairdresser in a busy hair salon. She used to find it difficult having conversations with her clients over the noise of hair hairdryers and the radio. Every day was a struggle that often left her feeling exhausted. After five years, she decided to open up a salon in her house so she could control the background noise and feel more comfortable.
For 11 years, Katie received her hearing aids from the NHS. She’d always been happy with the service that the NHS had provided and knows she wouldn't have been able to hear without them. The NHS aids Katie wore were a few years old when a friend told her about Hidden Hearing. Katie had always wanted to see whether trying a different hearing care provider would make a difference. Katie booked a free hearing test at her local clinic and was introduced to the hearing care expert, Darren, who explained how the technology in the latest models of hearing aids would be able to help her.
Darren fitted Katie with the latest Oticon Opn S hearing aids and she could tell immediately that they made a huge difference. Darren also explained that she could try the Oticon Opn S aids for a while and if she was struggling with them, she could come back and try the Oticon Xceed, which is specifically designed for people with profound hearing loss.