Amanda Barrie, who acted in the series Coronation Street, told the Daily Mail about her hearing loss, and getting fit with hearing aids after struggling to follow conversations with coworkers and friends. When she felt like background noise was drowning out their voices, she says she slowly came to realize, “maybe it’s not the restaurant, maybe it’s me.”
Barrie’s friends encouraged her to take a hearing test that confirmed that she has an age-related hearing loss, a condition that affects nearly half of U.S. adults older than 75.
Shortly after receiving her new hearing aids, she says she proudly wore them and flaunted them to her friend. Her friend pointed out that it is good Amanda can hide her hearing aids under her hair, a stigma that is often attached to wearing hearing aids.
Read more: NEWSFLASH: Hearing aids are cool
Barrie recently appeared on the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) and revealed that she regrets not packing her hearing aids to wear during her time in CBB house.
She told the Daily Mail that she didn’t bring her hearing aids because they were so small she was afraid they would get lost, not out of embarrassment. However, at times they would call out tasks over announcements and she couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“I couldn’t understand what we had to do, and the whole place would get a punishment if you didn’t do it,” she said to Daily Mail.
There is a common misconception that hearing aids are huge and unsightly, however, Barrie, along with a wide group within the deaf community, debunks that myth as she explains to Daily Mail how small her hearing aids are and how confident she feels when wearing her hearing aids.
“You could almost wear them instead of earrings, or perhaps as a hearing aid with an earring attached,” she told the Daily Mail. “There’s a good idea: add a bit of glitter, a hoop and a drop off the end. I’m sure somebody will get on to that one!”
Her theory fits in well with the current trend of decorating hearing aids, as more people are personalizing their hearing technology and sharing on social media. The result is it breaks down stigmas and showing that hearing aids aren’t something to be embarrassed about.
There are lots of pretty ways to decorate and customize your hearing aids. You can use stickers, colored hearing aid hooks or earmoulds and tube clips from organizations like Skinit or Tubetastic Pimps. Check out these #coolhearingaids.
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There's nothing nicer than getting new earmoulds… and some awesome new @skinit stickers for my @phonak Hearing aids! I'm feeling Festival ready for @deaffest and @goodvibrationsmusicfestival this month! #festival #hearingaids #deaf #hearingloss #phonak #hearo #phonakhearo #skinits #stickers #pimpmyhearingaids #personalise #cool #quirky #fashionable #clean #snazzy #festivalfashion #festivals #hearing #music #deafie #blogger #blog #deafiscool #hardofhearing #phonakhearingaids #skyq #turquoise #love
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Does Barrie’s story sound similar to yours or someone you know? She is encouraging for people over the age of 55 to get their hearing checked regularly.
“There’s no point in struggling when you could be enjoying life more… hearing aids make a difference in being able to join in conversations, I’m really pleased I did something about it” she says.
If you feel you’re finding it difficult to follow conversations or seem to be turning the volume up on the TV, think about taking the next step to visit an audiologist.