If someone had asked me years ago whether, if one had to start losing one’s sight or one’s hearing, which would be the most diﬃcult to cope with? I would have said that sight is the most precious of our senses… However, now suffering mild hearing loss it has made me completely change my mind. Hearing is such a central part of one’s life; sounds of nature, voices, tv, radio, telephone. Our ears are so cleverly constructed that we can automatically pull forward what we want to hear and push back what is not important, our real ears focus on what we choose to hear even in a noisy environment…. it is something one takes totally for granted.
For someone like me who has always loved social gatherings, cinema, theatre and music, now that some of the top frequencies have gone, life has become much more diﬃcult…’ Rula Lenska, has had a long and successful career in stage and television. Most recently notable for her role in Coronation Street. However, 6 years ago it was established that she needed to wear a hearing aid. Her journey to hearing again, has been long and at times challenging. But after emerging successfully on the other side, stronger, more informed and most importantly with improved hearing, she has decided to share her experience. Like most women vanity, was her primary concern, and priority was focused on hiding the hearing loss from the world, the aids had to be invisible. Being in the public eye, the fear of these tiny machines being seen, was terrifying to her. Rula asks, ‘Why is it so hard to admit that one’s hearing is not as acute as it used to be… After all you never look twice at someone wearing contact lenses or glasses… why does this very common disability still carry such a stigma..? After much soul searching, Rula embraced her hearing aids. She also felt that because she was in the public eye… it would be a good idea to tell people of her experiences, firstly with the hope that it would enable people to seek help, and secondly, to help remove some of the stigma attached. She was astounded to find out how many people in the business of television and film, have hearing impairment, people whose hearing is totally paramount in their jobs… actors, musicians, singers and speakers. With the aid of amplification she is able to manage perfectly on stage, tv and radio, she admits it has been a substantial adjustment, but most of the time no one is aware. ‘Of course nothing can replace what nature originally gave us, but I have tried just about everything on the market today, and so far my Unitron Moxi Pro Hearing Aids, have been as good as it gets. They are almost totally colour matched to my hair. The excellence of the products is one thing but almost as important, is of course the sympathy and understanding and care of the people who fit the product.. ‘I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful audiologist in Leon Cox’. Leon, has had experience working in both the NHS, and Private hearing healthcare. He was educated at the prestigious University College London, where he studied his Masters Degree in Audiological Science. Leon is now an audiologist at Cox Lewis Hearing (formally known as Cox Lewis Hearing), Little Chalfont. ‘It is truly important to have an audiologist who care’s, who you can trust, a specialist who will listen to you. As after all, we who have hearing loss, know best what we need to improve…. but it requires an expert to put that into action’. ‘It is also extraordinary the difference between what is available on the NHS in comparison to what is available privately. The costs of private aids can be high. However I have found, the value of my hearing to be priceless, since it has gone. The bluetooth connectivity of the aids to devices such as the TV and Mobile, the improved sound quality, the reduction in size you get from private hearing aids is worth every penny. I would give anything to have my natural hearing back, however, I am the proof that life goes on as normal. Once you admit to having a hearing loss, and make that decision to treat it, you will be able to go back to living your life again.’