‘I knew I needed help with my hearing’
Music lover Geoff realised it was time to go private with Amplifon
WHEN rock fan Geoff Pring realised that his hearing problems were affecting his work, home and social life he knew it was time to take note and get help! Even though the 52-year-old had been using old hearing aids he was still struggling with everyday activities.
Now, thanks to seeking new solutions to his hearing problems with global experts Amplifon he’s on the road to a brighter future.
And over the next few weeks the Daily Express will be following Geoff’s journey to better hearing.
As a former DJ Geoff believes it was his love of music that caused the damage.
He says “I loved my 70s hits and went to a lot of gigs as well as running discos at a lot of weddings and other events.”
But it wasn’t until his early 40s that Geoff, started noticing he was having difficulties with his hearing. He recalls: “I found myself having to ask friends to repeat themselves.
“I’d be in the pub with a friend and it would be like we were having two different conversations – like a Two Ronnies sketch.
“Sometimes it was embarrassing – I’d nod in the wrong place!”
Geoff also found it was affecting his work as a business advisor.
He explains: “I had to ask people to speak up in meetings. Before long I started to try and lip read what they were saying.
“I needed to know the detail of what was being said, so missing things wasn’t an option.”
At home he struggled to hear what his wife Linda, was saying if she was in another room.
And his two children and three step-children began to complain that he had the volume on the TV turned up too loud. He adds: “I began watching the TV with subtitles.”
Time for change
Eight years ago Geoff decided to see his GP and was referred for a hearing test.
He says: “They said I had hearing loss in both ears – the type that meant I had problems with higher end noises, like birdsong and women’s voices.”
Geoff began using some ‘over the ear’ hearing aids but gradually found that they did not always help.
He runs a free music festival in Harlow and listening to live music is still his big passion: “I can usually hear the music at a gig, but it’s the conversation about it afterwards with friends that’s the problem. With all the background noise I can’t differentiate the words.
“In a restaurant I always have to make sure I’ve got my back
‘My Amplifon audiologist was really helpful and went through all the different scenarios where I was having problems’
to a wall.
“And I still get issues with background noise like air conditioning units.
“Sometimes I can hear someone speak across the road, but not right next to me.
“Linda complains that I always have the music on too loud in the car!”
But that wasn’t all – Geoff also felt self-conscious wearing the aids.
He explains: “It may sound vain, but I felt they made me seem instantly ‘old’.
“They are big clunky things and uncomfortable too. I get a lot of feedback from them and whistling in my ear. In the end I often rip them out and try and cope without. The hearing aids just weren’t up to the job.”
Geoff has since developed tinnitus too – a constant hissing in his ears.
Then, last year, Geoff noticed a Daily Express survey, in conjunction with Amplifon, which revealed some of the typical symptoms of those with hearing issues.
“Missing key words in sentences – check! Bothered by background noise – check! Frequently having to ask people to repeat themselves – check!
“It all seemed to fit – it really woke me up. I needed more help.”
Geoff decided to call into his local clinic of Amplifon to arrange a new hearing test.
He adds: “My Amplifon audiologist was really helpful and went through all the different scenarios where I was having problems.”
About to start a new job as a
‘At work I’ll be interacting with students so to be able to hear well is going to be vital’
college tutor, Geoff now hopes Amplifon’s advice could transform his life.
“I want to get back more self-confidence socially and better hearing aids. At work
I’ll be interacting with students so to be able to hear well is going to be vital.
“Better hearing aids could be the answer. I feel I’m on the way to getting a better solution at last.”
Follow Geoff’s story next week to find out how his hearing test with Amplifon went and the next steps in his quest for better hearing...