Action on Hearing Loss Logo
    Total results:
    Search
      Total results:

      What the NHS has meant to me

      I have lived most of my life under the NHS umbrella. It has shielded me from so many of the ravages that ill health can wreak upon those living in less fortunate circumstances.

      As a child I thought little about immunisation programs that kept me safe from diseases such as smallpox that caused misery in previous generations. Doctors' consultations were taken for granted - as were medications and hospital visits.

      As a young mum I was grateful for the extension of these services that helped care for me, my husband and our children - relieving me of the worry of how they were to be paid for. Automatic deductions from pay packets gave us welcome peace of mind where health services were concerned.

      Over the years I became increasingly aware that my hearing was not as good as it might be. I was the usual victim of comments such as: "Wash your ears out." "Pay attention!" "Were you not listening?" or, "It doesn’t matter." uttered by a frustrated friend/colleague/family member when I asked for repetition.

      The crunch finally arrived when I began to use the subtitles on the TV. My hearing loss was now visibly affecting my nearest and dearest at home. Away from home I learned to accept that viewing that required listening was pointless. Social occasions were becoming increasingly frustrating too. There are only so many times I feel able to ask for repetition before joining the nodding and smiling bluff brigade. Losing the thread of a conversation leads to feelings of isolation and can make one appear stupid later when people expect you to have heard and understood.

      I had undergone a hearing test in 1992 but although there was high frequency loss I had been offered no help. I assumed that analogue hearing aids would be of no use to me. When the NHS began supplying digital hearing aids I decided to try again. In 2006, following a new hearing test and diagnosis of 'mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss', I was fitted with an NHS digital hearing aid in my left ear. Wow! I was totally unprepared for the result. Speech was so much clearer and there were 'new' environmental sounds that added musical colour to my life. Six months later an NHS digital hearing aid in my right ear gave me improved bilateral hearing and my life - and that of my husband - was truly transformed.

      I cannot thank the NHS enough for the life enhancement it has afforded me. Those two tiny digital devices behind my ears have allowed me to: socialise so much more easily with family and friends, visit places of interest including theatres, engage in voluntary work, participate in associated meetings and many other normal everyday activities that those with good hearing take for granted.

      As a result of my personal experience of hearing loss and NHS hearing aids I became passionately involved with Action on Hearing Loss's campaign to save the provision of hearing aids on the NHS for all who need them. I cannot support a postcode lottery for NHS treatment of any kind and I believe that all those who seek help with their hearing and would benefit from hearing aids should have access to them - 'free at the point of delivery'.

      Our NHS is a national treasure that has developed over the last 70 years. We must celebrate its many achievements and preserve it for the benefit of ALL who need it.

      Kathleen Hill
      Volunteer speaker for Action on Hearing Loss
      https://bliss2hear.blogspot.co.uk/
      www.facebook.com/Bliss2Hear/
      @kathleenlhill

      By: Kathleen Hill | 27 June 2018
      Kathleen Hill

      Recent Posts

      Protecting a lifeline in Parliament

      Over 700 of you have written to your MP, asking them to protect your local NHS audiology service. We held an event in Parliament on 26 June and MPs from constituencies across England dropped by to hear why hearing aids are a lifeline – and should be protected on the NHS.

      By: Jess McNulty
      28 June 2019

      Five steps to a more deaf-friendly workplace

      Is hearing loss affecting you at work? Do you sometimes feel stressed and isolated? Our Working for Change campaign aims to change attitudes in the workplace, so that people who are deaf or have hearing loss can thrive. Follow our five steps to a more deaf-friendly workplace. Then check out our products and services to help you focus on your job, not your hearing.

      By: Sally Bromham
      20 June 2019

      Our top five smoke alarms

      Would you hear a smoke alarm in the event of a fire? People with hearing loss may not be woken by an audible alarm. Plus, if you use hearing aids, you’re less likely to hear your smoke alarm when you take them out to sleep. Our smoke alarms are designed to work in a ‘system’, providing additional visual and vibrating alerts. Here’s a roundup of our top five smoke alarms to protect your home and family, with 10% off from 25 – 31 July 2019.

      By: Sally Bromham
      20 June 2019

      Bring your Dog to Work Day

      This 21 June is national ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’, but for people with assistance dogs, this is an everyday occurrence. James, one of our profoundly deaf supporters, was partnered with his hearing dog, Cracker, in October 2018 after applying for assistance through the UK based charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Read about his story and his tips for working with deaf people.

      By: James
      19 June 2019