Express & Star

New lease of life for woman after hearing check

A Staffordshire woman is looking to make a noise about hearing loss and encourage people to get their hearing checked regularly.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care audiologist Stuart Spencer and Staffordshire Search & Rescue volunteer Dawn Hopley

Dawn Hopley from Hednesford said she had discovered a new lease of life after years of frustration from experiencing hearing loss.

But, thanks to a recommendation from one of her colleagues on the team, the 56-year-old went to Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care on Upper Brook Street in the town for a free hearing screening and hasn’t looked back.

Ms Hopley said her hearing issues started in her twenties when surgery affected the hearing in her left ear and, over the years, her right ear over compensated for the hearing loss and due to the stress placed on it, her hearing in that ear has also started to deteriorate.

She said: “I have always lived a full and very sociable life, but in recent years I found myself struggling at group events and parties.

"I did all I could to avoid such occasions as they left me feeling stressed and full of anxiety because I struggled to hear conversations.

“Hearing loss often happens gradually over time as we get older, which is what happened to me with my good ear, so I hadn’t clocked that my change in behaviour was down to that.

"It wasn’t until I got an ear infection and went completely deaf, which was incredibly frightening and disorientating, that I thought I really need to do something about this.

"Thankfully, a friend recommended Scrivens and the experience has changed my life for the better as the difference is so huge that I have hearing in both ears now, not just the one.”

Ms Hopley said she opted for digital hearing aids that she can control through an app on her smartphone for different environments.

She said the emotion of being able to hear with such clarity has been one of her biggest surprises

She said: “I attended a wedding in the summer, and I usually dread these types of occasions, but I had such a lovely time thanks to my hearing aids and was overcome with emotion.

"And recently on a training mission with Staffordshire Search & Rescue Team, who I volunteer with, the sound of raindrops on the autumn leaves brought a tear to my eye.

"You can’t beat the sound of nature.”

Now, Ms Hopley said she is urging local people to listen up and make sure they don’t suffer in silence by going for regular hearing checks.

Scrivens audiologist, Stuart Spencer, who tested Ms Hopley's hearing and prescribed the solution, said: “Dawn’s experience is not unusual, and it is so rewarding to see the difference hearing aids can make to someone’s quality of life.

"Communication is vital, and we want to make sure everyone can confidently express themselves, no matter their age or hearing ability.

"You shouldn’t have to miss a moment just because you might struggle with your hearing.

“Better hearing can improve your personal relationships, reduce stress, increase your motivation and improve your overall peace of mind.

“The fact so many older people are impacted by their hearing is something we want to help with and rectify.

"That’s why we would urge anyone over 50, or who is concerned about their hearing, to book a free hearing check.”

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