‘I knew I needed help with my hear­ing’

Mu­sic lover Ge­off re­alised it was time to go pri­vate with Amplifon

Daily Express - - The Crusader - FREE

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.”

Test­ing times

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.

Happy cus­tomer

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...

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