I could have been one of those statistics
Went on a very big do at the House of Commons recently, and I promised I'd pass on the really vital message to everyone in the Bucks and Berks area. The event was to relaunch the RNID as Action on Hearing Loss. The charity is celebrating its centenary, and wants a name that "says what it does on the tin", if you know what I mean.
Unbelievably, its reckoned there are about two thousand people in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire right now who are going deaf, but aren't doing anything about it. It may be you, reading this, right now. I know, and I was there speaking about it, because I could have been one of those statistics. After years wearing as an earpiece in the TV industry, and having directors and producers shouting at me in my ear, for many hours every day, I am now convinced I'm going slightly deaf.
My kids are always telling me off for having the TV or music on too loud. I always shout when I'm on the phone because I think the line is bad, when it isn't, and I hate dining in noisy restaurants because I just cannot hear what my fellow diners are saying. I was so worried at one time, that I did indeed do something about it, and went for a hearing test.
I was told I am beginning to lose some frequencies, like the very top sounds - the top "f"s and "s"s - and at the moment, I do not need a hearing aid, but may do one day soon. Years ago, that might have been a dreadful message to absorb - but you should see the hearing aids that are available now. No longer those embarrassing big pink jobs that squawk and screech at you, they're almost invisible and some so tiny they can be hidden right inside the ear. It was a glittering do at Westminster, with lots of local MPs and Lords and Ladies.
But the most vital message was to everyone reading this right now - hearing loss can erode your quality of life and there's absolutely no need for it to happen to you. Getting help is just like getting a pair of glasses when your eyes begin to lose their edge. Go get a hearing aid. It's as easy as popping into Specsavers….
This article was originally published in Berkshire Life