Louise Walker, 39, is participating in Simplyhealth Great Aberdeen 10K on Sunday 25th August to raise funds for Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, a national charity which provides person-centred information and support for people in Aberdeen and carries out biomedical research to discover treatments to minimise the impacts of hearing loss in everyday life.
Louise started having problems with hearing loss, tinnitus, and dizzy spells last year, before suddenly losing her hearing altogether. When she was referred to an Ear, Nose and Throat consultant and an audiologist, Louise was advised her sudden deafness may have been a result of a viral infection and that she would need to use two hearing aids to hear more clearly.
Louise from Kittybrewster in Aberdeen said: “When I found out I was permanently deaf in one ear, I was completely shocked and heartbroken. I was horrified at the thought of having to wear hearing aids in my 30s and it affected my confidence to continue playing sports.
“My biggest challenges were distinguishing voices from background noise in crowded places and identifying the direction of sounds, which made work meetings and socialising with my friends difficult. My hearing aids, however, have helped a lot in overcoming those problems and I can tell much better where the sound is coming from, so I now hope to get back playing football and touch rugby sports which I’ve been missing a lot.
“My personal experience of losing my hearing so unexpectedly has demonstrated to me the importance of raising awareness of sudden deafness to help people – including health professionals – to better understand that in some cases sudden loss of hearing can be a medical emergency that may need treatment within 72 hours to have a chance of recovery. Although it was too late for my hearing to be saved, modern day digital hearing aids and assistive technology as well as support and tips from charities like Action on Hearing Loss Scotland can be a real lifeline to cope with everyday situations.”
To donate to Louise’s fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-walker116