Nikki Deely from Co. Tipperary wrote a lovely review of her recent experience at Kingsbridge Hearing Care. From a very young age she has been living with hearing loss, so it was a pleasure to be able to meet with her and discuss new options for her to try, and to be able to offer her something she hadn’t seen or heard of before.
“I was 2 years old when I was first referred for a hearing assessment, this is when my family discovered I had no hearing at all in my left ear and only 10% hearing in my right ear which must have been quite a shock. At the time, the Ear Nose and Throat consultant at the Health Service Executive (HSE) recommended I had a hearing aid fitted for my right ear and I have been wearing one ever since.
When I started primary school, I had to sit in front of the teacher’s desk so I could lip read but I struggled if she moved to the blackboard or walked round the room. I was assigned a visiting hearing teacher who provided a radio aid (a box with a wire connected to my hearing aid and a microphone for the teacher) so I could hear my teacher’s voice even with the other noises in the classroom. It was great, I was able to join in during lessons and the visiting hearing teacher came to see me at school every couple of weeks to check my hearing aid, radio aid and my personal and academic progress. School became more challenging when I moved to secondary education. Frequently changing classrooms, subjects and teachers throughout the day made it difficult to use the radio aid. I found some of the teachers hard to understand, some spoke very quickly, and it was difficult to hear them clearly. It was hard work trying to hear my friends too, especially if they were all talking at once, sometimes it was just easier to tune out.
During my primary and secondary school years, I went to the HSE for my hearing appointments. They did the basic hearing tests and provided me with new ear moulds as I grew up. I had some issues with infections in my right ear over the years and had just started college when my mould stuck in my ear, causing another infection and a trip to A&E to have it removed. It was after this I decided to go to the private sector to see what they could offer.
There was a private hearing clinic in my hometown and the Audiologist was a lovely man. He explained lots about hearing loss and the brand of the hearing aid he recommended. He provided great aftercare, but I was not 100% happy as I still found it hard to hear when I got together with family and friends especially in places with lots of noise.
I’m in my thirties now and at the end of 2021, I was introduced to Kingsbridge Hearing Care, and it turned my life around.
Stephen and his team are amazing, they all made me feel at home and took time to get to know me before starting my hearing appointment. Some of the tests were brand new to me, especially the background noise test, I couldn’t help wondering why I’d never had these done before. The team showed me the Phonak range and explained all the features and options, I was mesmerised by it all. I was given time at the end of my assessment with Stephen to think about it all financially. I knew I wanted to get it as it would change my life, so I went ahead and purchased a Phonak hearing aid and Phonak Roger On.
The minute Stephen turned the Phonak hearing aid on, the sound felt so natural and calm. The aid itself and the mould are so comfortable and fit my ear perfectly. There was no fidgeting around unlike other hearing aids I have had. As my hearing aid is rechargeable, I no longer need to buy batteries (or keep spares everywhere) but the best bit about it for me is the Bluetooth. My phone is connected to my hearing aid by Bluetooth, when it rings, I can talk away without having to hold the phone to my ear and no one around me can hear the conversation. It’s the same for playing music, when I go for a walk, I can stream my playlists from my phone to the hearing aid and I no longer need to take my hearing aid out to use earphones.
A few days after wearing my new purchases I felt I needed the sound adjusted. I am 4 hours away from Belfast by car, so I contacted Stephen and was able to use the remote support feature, it was so easy to do, Stephen connected to my hearing aid via my app and adjusted my volume within a few minutes while I was still at home!
Phonak Roger On is like a much more sophisticated version of the radio aid I used in primary school, minus the wires! It picks up speech in situations a hearing aid alone would struggle in. I have used it in so many places, like restaurants with friends and in many of my local Choral Society committee meetings. It has made such a difference, especially as I can only hear in one ear. I can hear everyone so clearly and I have the option to turn off one or many sides around me if I just want to participate in one conversation etc. I am so looking forward to my review with Stephen and his team and to be able to say what a wonderful life investment I have made with Kingsbridge Hearing Care. I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs hearing care.”
If you would like to get in touch to discuss hearing assessments, hearing aids or any other concern, please call us on 028 9066 7030 or by filling out our Online Enquiry Form