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.

News Shopper: Registered hearing audiologist Kiran Kaur fills Robert Fisk's ears with a blue foam

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.

News Shopper: Deafness makes simple errands like buying fruit from stall holder Barbara Arnold more difficult

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.

News Shopper: Sounds were muffled when Robert Fisk was 'deaf' for a day

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.


- 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.