Hearing aids inspire Swedish man to get active, lose 90 kilos
Hearing technology not only improves hearing, but also self-esteem, leading one man in Sweden to loose 90 kilos.
Ola Pettersson, 47, stopped believing in himself as his hearing deteriorated. Eventually he avoided social situations and stopped exercising – something he had always enjoyed.
Until, one day…
“I saw a post on Facebook that Phonak was searching for people willing to try the Phonak Roger Pen and I signed up,” Pettersson says. “The difference was extremely big for me. Now I have a new life and lost 90 kilos in weight.”
“I have a new life and lost 90 kilos in weight.”
Noise led to impaired hearing
Ola was born with hearing loss, but his hearing loss has deteriorated over time, largely due to his noisy job working as a truck driver.
“(My hearing) has most certainly has deteriorated from 20 years of driving a noisy truck all over Europe,” he says.
Today, he has 24 percent hearing in his right ear and is completely deaf in his left ear. His hearing loss has affected his entire life, especially in the last four years.
“I pulled away more and more from social activities,” he says. “I couldn’t hear what people were saying at parties so I stopped participating. I’d rather not go shopping since there was often music playing so loud that I couldn’t talk to the shop staff. Finally, I stopped exercising since I couldn’t hear traffic while running or cycling. I was a threat to myself as well as to others. On a few occasions I was nearly hit by a car.”
“I stopped exercising since I couldn’t hear traffic while running or cycling. I was a threat to myself as well as to others. On a few occasions I was nearly hit by a car.”
Ola lived abroad for many years and it was not until he returned to Gothenburg, Sweden, that he started to resolve his hearing problems. He got his first hearing aids in 2009, but was intrigued about the advances in hearing technology in the last five to 10 years, he says.
In order to get information about the latest technology, he says, he turned to Facebook.
“It’s not always through the traditional channels that one gets support and tips about new solutions,” Ola says. “Social media is good in that way. I follow several companies on Facebook and Instagram. A post from Phonak became the turning point for me. The company was searching for people interested in trying and evaluating their hearing solutions for 14 days. It turned out extremely well.”
Ola was able to test the new modern hearing aids, which had updated technology compared to his old ones, including better water resistance. Additionally, he tested the Phonak Roger pen, which makes it easier for him to speak on the phone, and the Phonak Roger Table Mic for larger meetings at work.
“My hearing solutions have not only affected by hearing, but also my self-confidence,” he says. “I have regained my belief in myself and now I can go back to doing the things that I enjoy. I’m back on my Osano, a racing bike for highways, cycling between 50 and 150 kilometers four times a week. The rest of the weekdays I run. Thanks to the exercise and a new diet, I have lost 90 kilos. My life has changed completely.”
“I have regained my belief in myself and now I can go back to doing the things that I enjoy… My life has changed completely.”
New personal goals
With the new water resistant and colorful hearing aids from Phonak, Ola will participate in a half marathon this spring, a marathon in 2018 and ”Ultravasan”, a running race of 90 kilometers, when he turns 50.
“I cope with the physical challenges and I feel more energetic, strong and vibrant,” he says. “But I am also ready to open up and become more social. That is something that I also work on. The other weekend I was at a birthday celebration with lots of people, music and fun. I can manage that well now that I have my table microphones and my Roger Pen.
“Next time I might even try to dance.”