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Hidden Hearing customer Katie Lee

Read how hearing aids changed Katie’s life

Katie Lee, 27, a hairdresser and model from Kent has suffered from genetic hearing loss since she was 18.

“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.

Image shows hearing aid user Katie Lee and Hidden Hearing Audiologist Darren Barnden

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.

Katie Lee

Watch Katie talk about her journey to better hearing and how she managed to come to terms with her hearing loss.

 

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Audio  Visual
Admitting to yourself that you have a hearing loss is probably the hardest thing. I didn’t start wearing hearing aids until I was about 21 I think. Caption reads: Katie – model and salon owner.

Katie is sitting against a rack of weight bars in a gym. 

Zoom in on Katie’s head from behind as she’s pulling up her hair into a ponytail so that we can see her behind-the-ear hearing aid.

I got given my first pair of hearing aids about 18. Zoom out – Katie is walking across the gym floor, pausing to pick up a gym bag.
These hearing aids that I’ve been given by Hidden Hearing, they’re just amazing. Katie is sitting against a rack of weight bars in the gym
The technology is incredible. Zoom in on Katie’s head from behind as she’s pulling up her hair into a ponytail so that we can see her behind-the-ear hearing aid.
Now, they are just so, so small for the power that they have; they’re incredible really. They’re literally minute and they sit right behind my ear, so even if I was to wear my hair up, you can barely even see them, which is brilliant for me. When I went to Hidden Hearing for my hearing test, the test was so thorough, so that was really impressive. Katie is sitting against a rack of weight bars in a gym, talking to the interviewer who is out of shot.

She is removing her hearing aid from her left ear and presenting it to us in the palm of her right hand, to highlight how small it is. She is now putting her hearing aid back in.

Katie is jumping up onto a box, stepping down and then jumping back up again.
 Even now, after 11/12 years I probably would say that I haven’t completely accepted it still, and I don’t think it’s something I ever will. But the more I try to, the easier things become, and the more people you tell, the easier things become as well. If I was to give someone with hearing loss advice, I would just say life doesn’t stop there – you can do anything. Katie is putting her hands in to a bucket of chalk, now she is lifting a weighted barbell up to her shoulders.

Katie is doing chin ups on a bar.

Katie is using a cross-trainer bike.

It might be a little harder for you, but it will make you a stronger person for it. If you’re struggling with your hearing, don’t hide behind it – go and get your ears tested because you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Katie is dropping a weighted barbell, is climbing a rope in the gym and is skipping using a skipping rope.
For more information on Hidden Hearing, visit their website. The screen fades to white and the Hidden Hearing logo appears.

Katie says, “These hearing aids are amazing, the technology is just incredible! I can connect my hearing aids to my phone, if someone calls me I can hear my phone’s ringtone and when I answer, their voice goes straight into my ears. This is especially handy; I can answer the call, put my phone down and carry on with with what I was doing. It’s just like having a pair of headphones, which is something hearing aid users miss out on. One thing I loved when I was younger was listening to music through headphones and once I got hearing aids, I couldn’t do that anymore. Now I’ve got that back because my phone can stream the music into my ears.”

“Now hearing aids are just so, so small for the power that they have, they’re incredible really. They’re literally minute and they sit right behind my ear, so if I were to wear my hair up, you could barely even see them, which is brilliant for me.”

When Katie was asked what advice she would give to someone suffering from hearing loss she said, “If you're struggling with your hearing loss, don’t hide behind it; get your ears tested. You don’t realise what you may be missing out on. Life is just too short to struggle so why make it harder, when you can make hearing easier for you?”

If you’re struggling with hearing loss, book your free hearing test now.

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