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News Shopper reporter Robert Fisk hears life differently when he becomes 'deaf' for a day
Little things in life like crossing the road safely are something ROBERT FISK takes for granted. But they became much more difficult when he became deaf for the day.
AS A keen gig goer who is often left with ringing in his ears at the end of a night I am increasingly worried about the damage I am doing to my hearing.
And it was for this reason I took up the invitation from Specsavers to be deaf for the day by having my ears filled with a blue foam which made me only able to hear about 60 per cent of normal levels.
Before the registered hearing audiologist Kiran Kaur started the procedure I had to take a hearing check where she assessed my hearing was where it should be for a 32-year-old.
Then my temporary deafness began as she filled my first ear with a thick blue foam before moving on to the second one.
Everything was muffled as if I had my hands over my ears and when I left the store in Orpington High Street it felt like I was in a different world.
I can usually rely on being able to hear cars before I see them but during my deaf day the opposite was true and I felt a lot safer relying on pedestrian crossings.
And arranging to meet up with a friend for lunch was very tricky with me unable to hear the difference between him being 'locked' in at his house and his car being 'blocked' in by his mother-in-law’s vehicle.
The only positive part of being hard of hearing when I was approached by a man who I assumed was going to ask me why I had bits of blue foam sticking out of my ears.
Instead he asked me whether I wanted to work for peace and I could joyfully pretend I could not hear him.
The scariest part of my day was not the sense of isolation I felt as I struggled to understand what people were saying it was the sounds I simply could not hear at all.
When I washed my hands I could see the water coming out of the taps but I could not hear it.
And as I watched some Canada Geese while eating lunch experience told me they must be making some noise but I could not hear a sound.
Hearing birds tweeting again after my hearing was fully restored made me realise how much I missed out on during my experience.
If I suffer from hearing loss I will make sure I do not suffer in silence and will seek help as soon as I spot the signs.
SOME SIGNS YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARING LOSS
- People sound like they are mumbling.
- Difficulty understanding what people are saying, especially in noisy situations like restaurants.
- Frequently asking people to speak up, speak more clearly, or to repeat themselves.
- Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio.
- Withdrawal from conversations.
- Avoidance of some social settings.