Having Usher Syndrome (deafblind) is beyond challenging. As I write there is nothing to enhance my sight, though I do have my guidedog Frankie and also a cane to help me get around. As my sight loss deteriorated I had to rely more and more on hearing with hearing aids. As most living with Usher Syndrome will confirm, losing sight makes you feel more blind as we can no longer use the usual visual strategies to obtain information. Hearing aids become so much more important. Before I was registered blind and wore hearing aids I might hear a noise and be able to look around to find the source of the sound, however when you can only see through a straw hole and then only in good lighting conditions looking around to find sound is not an option in fact it is incredibly dangerous. For instance with my old hearing aids I might hear a muffled siren sound, a sound of danger but I wouldn’t know where it was coming from and I could be in serious danger or worse I could use serious danger. The NHS hearing aids I had been wearing did not give me the confidence I’m all of a sudden experiencing. If technology can be so enabling I’d suggest everybody with Usher Syndrome should have them!
So here I am a couple of days since being fitted with my GN Hearing LiNX Quattro smart hearing aids and I’m still very much overjoyed by these amazing aids. Today I noticed a few things quite different as I walked with my guidedog in harness. I was so much more aware of traffic noise especially from behind me. As a deafblind guide dog owner this is incredibly reassuring. Later I was working in my shed, Lyn, my wife to be, shouted only once to let me know my lunch was ready. As I popped my head round the door I scanned around to notice her putting her shoes on to come get me, like she usually would, knowing I wouldn’t have heard her. I cannot tell you how surprised she was as she usually has to come get me!
Another thing was today, I was fiddling with the TV and hearing aid app settings and have gone from volume 24 on TV to volume 8 to 10 and can hear every word. In fact I’m currently sitting in the kitchen writing this and can hear every word from the tv in the living room, all so new for me. There a couple of things I think I will need to adjust to my taste and probably re-adjust again as I get used to this new clarity in hearing and appreciating sound. I’m going to try a different size ear dome in my left ear as it doesn’t feel right, however the dome in my right is as perfect as it can be . Domes do feel different as for the first time s a hearing aid user most of my ear is not covered, will take a bit of getting used to. Molly says to persist, it took her a little while. The second thing is I will need to consider is something that enables me handsfree use of my iPhone as I feel I need this when working guide dog Frankie who is fairly newly qualified so I do need both hands for maximum control at the moment.
After some research I’ve found GN Hearing do a multi mic and also a clip which could be the answer. I cannot tell you how much I am loving these smart hearing aids. I have followed Molly Watt’s journey with ReSound LiNX hearing aids over the past years and seen how they have transformed her life but until getting my own I could never have imagined just how life changing they are.
I am so grateful to Molly Watt Trust and their supporters GN Hearing and Hearing Clinic Glasgow.