Updated: Oct 18
I'm pleased to announce Hearing and Tinnitus Care is now successfully seeing customers via online video calls. Tinnitus consultations, hearing care advice, anything you need.
That's only part of the good news though, and because I love a good success story I'm going to share it.
First, the miserable bit. If you've ever had a hearing test you'll be familiar with the audiogram (graph showing the quietest sounds you can hear at each test frequency).
My own audiogram drops off the chart at the halfway point. This means my cochleae (inner ears) are half dead. I cannot naturally hear anything above a low pitch sound. Not even amplified, just can't do it.
With frequency lowering technology, I can hear a little more (some warning beeps for instance) but anything vaguely high pitched is out of the question.
If you'd told me I would be holding seminars and doing phone and video calls with this chart five years ago, I'd have "managed your expectations" (healthcare speak for no way Jose). However I am not only doing it but enjoying it.
Widex hearing aids are my weapon of choice, and the new Sound Assist is giving me an extra edge on the video calls. They are also making every day more enjoyable, because even with half a cochlea things can sound richer and more natural. Music. My son's voice. Even the traffic on the M62.
My point is this. Hearing loss is a handicap for sure, but it should not be removing our confidence and our enjoyment, and it doesn't need to. The technology is there, and if someone has told you "well you do have severe hearing loss" and shrugged, then please come and see me. We will work together until we've found the best that you can possibly get with the hearing you have left, so you can enjoy every minute of your life. I have been in that chair (and that was when my hearing was twice as good) and been told it's essentially my fault I can't hear. I know that there are limits, but I work to find the very edge of them for everyone I meet.
Ironically, this approach puts some people off. I have heard via patients that their friend has says "well I don't really need that much, I'll just go to (insert name here)". Why not? Why would you not want the best hearing you can have? It doesn't always have to take vast amounts of time and money - just a couple of thoughtful questions is enough to check that a customer is genuinely getting expected benefits. But crucially, I have high expectations in the first place, and so should you.