Laterlife focuses on loss of hearing
Are you going deaf???
Special edition: laterlife.com focuses on loss of hearing
Facts About Hearing Loss
A brief history of hearing aids
How Pamela Pickwell got her hearing back
Older analogue hearing aids have a limited frequency range and tend to distort sound. Modern digital hearing aids have greatly improved things, but they are designed to clarify human speech rather than music. Until very recently, none of the hearing aid companies produced a digital aid geared for music listening as well as everyday conversation.
Pamela Pickwell, aged 58, a music teacher from Scunthorpe, is one sufferer to have discovered a solution: Senso Diva. Recently created by Danish manufacturer Widex, Senso Diva is the first hearing aid to incorporate a music listening function, which users can switch to at will.
From around 1995, I started to have hearing problems. At first the signs were small, but they gradually got worse. I couldnt hear voices from the side, and could only hear clearly when someone speaking was directly opposite me. If I was at a meeting, I couldnt blank out background noises. I wasnt picking up clear conversation or high-pitched sounds.
My mother had always refused to acknowledge that she needed a hearing aid, and I was determined not to do the same. But even so, I didnt get my hearing checked out until a couple of years ago. Im not sure why. I suppose it was partly because I was in denial about the problem and partly because I didnt think my hearing was that bad, because I had nothing to compare it to.
So it must have been around the year 2000 that I went to a local hearing centre and was tested by an audiologist. I started with an analogue device in one ear, and then found I needed one in the second ear, especially as I got a buzzing noise when using the phone. These really helped my hearing. Concerts, cinema were better than before, though even then the devices didnt blank out the background noises.
After about three years, last May, I went back to the centre and asked for something that would give me better clarification. Thats when I was introduced to the Senso Diva.
I really am amazed by the results. I havent heard music as clearly as this for thirty years. When I got home, I listened to my favourite piece, Elgars Dream of Gerontius. When I closed my eyes it felt like I was in a concert hall. It was magical.
I attend church regularly, and recently we had a singalong in the church hall. With the analogue aids, I would have felt that everyone was shouting and it would have difficult to pick out individual voices, even those next to me. Now, there was none of that. I could hear everything and there were no problems because the Senso has this special music listening function, which you can switch to when you need it.
It has made all the difference at home too. We have a good music sound system, and now I can pick out the different instruments again. And the other good thing about the Senso is that it is so discreet. You really cant see it.
The cost is high, around £2,500, and I could have waited and done it through the NHS. But quality of life is so important, and it was worth every penny.
Senso Diva UK Customer Enquiries: 0800 093 0947
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