What’s on the line? Living with hearing loss

Sam works as an Information and Signposting Officer at Healthwatch Essex. She was previously a Hearing Therapist. She shares her experience of working with people with hearing loss and of visiting an All Ears! session in Essex recently…

Once you have left Audiology with your shiny new hearing aid(s) it can seem a little daunting at first. Everything seems louder and speech can often sound tinny and unnatural. As a Hearing Therapist a large part of my job was to help people get used to their hearing aids and discuss support available to them so I was really interested to visit an All Ears! session run by Hearing Help Essex.

We often underestimate the power of groups and how they can help people who are struggling to cope with hearing loss and other related conditions like Tinnitus. Speaking to someone else that has ‘been there, done that’ or finding a way through their difficulties can be so helpful on your hearing loss journey.

All ears sessions provide a safe place to talk about your concerns about hearing loss, technology and how to cope with your hearing loss. It is not a substitute for Audiology advice but it can enhance the information you have already been given at your Audiology department and help you to meet other people in similar circumstances.

Julie who was running the session has hearing loss herself and she was very welcoming and made everyone quickly feel at ease. Everyone introduced themselves and the session began. After discussions about the different types of hearing loss and how hearing aids can help Julie allowed the group to express some of the concerns they had about their own hearing losses, and the group shared some of the things that have helped them in those situations. The group were able to look at technology that can help, loop systems, alerting devices such as pager systems and alarms to name a few. The session ended with wrap around information about services local hearing help Essex services, e.g. hearing aid maintenance drop in sessions.

I found it a really well-informed session and I would recommend it especially for new hearing aid users and more established hearing aid users looking for general information on assistive equipment (which can be loaned). To find out where you next All ears! session is visit http://www.hearinghelpessex.org.uk/ or call the Healthwatch Essex Information Service on 0300 500 1895, or email us at [email protected]

Sam – Information & Signposting Officer