I’m an active 36-year-old with a family and children. I live a busy life, both at home and at work. I often take part in meetings and lectures involving anything from five to up to a hundred participants. My job, at the Hospital in Halmstad, Sweden, is to provide information, coordination and training to people to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
When my hearing loss was discovered. I was called in to see the school nurse and then shuttled back and forth between the hospitals in Örebro and Lindesberg for checks. I just sat and pressed the test buttons at random. All I wanted was to get out of there. In the end, I found out I’d been suffering from hearing loss since birth and I couldn’t be a pilot. That didn’t really worry me very much. I just carried on as usual, and it wasn’t until I got to college that I had problems.
The lecture halls were huge, the acoustics were awful and I had a hard time taking notes. I sat and stared at the lecturers so that I could read their lips, but as soon as I looked away I couldn’t follow what they were saying. I couldn’t hear a thing.
A new world, but not good enough
It wasn’t until 2005 that I got help. On the first day I used my hearing aids, I called my husband and told him there was a sound coming from the light switch and that the water made a noise when it came out of the faucet. That was really quite an experience.
But even though a new world had opened up to me thanks to her hearing aids, I was still having problems. I had been given an older type of hearing aid that didn’t filter out certain sounds.
I was really tired after a day wearing my hearing aids – completely exhausted, in a way I’ve never experienced before. I was absolutely incapable of anything after a day at work. When I got home, I took out my hearing aids so that I could enjoy the silence. I’m an active person and I enjoy being outdoors, exercising, spending time with my family and friends. I wasn’t happy, and I only used my hearing aids occasionally.
Lecture changed everything
But then, quite by accident, everything changed again. In early 2015, a colleague, an ENT specialist, asked me whether I liked to take part in a lecture and tell people what living with hearing loss is like.
When I finished my lecture, I hung around and listened to other people talking. They were mentioning new technical solutions and the products available. And that was when I realized my hearing aids were ancient. So I got in touch with the medical services and ended up meeting a really good audiologist who talked with me about what I actually needed. I’ve got some amazing hearing aids now. But if I hadn’t gone to that lecture, I’d never have known that such great products exist.
Test score: Best
These days, I wear my hearing aids at meetings and lectures every day. An ordinary working day involves a lot of ordinary office work, sometimes a couple of meetings as well, and lectures take place regularly – sometimes involving five people, and sometimes with up to a hundred participants.
Additionally, now I have used the new Phonak Roger Table Mic and I’m really pleased with it. For large meetings I can set out several microphones in the room for optimum sound capture. We often arrange the tables in a horseshoe shape for larger meetings. The mic offers circular sound capture, which captures the sound from participants around the tables really well. This equipment is really simple and easy to use.
By far the biggest benefit of the Roger Table Mic is that I knows for sure what’s being said in the room. I feel 100 percent secure in the knowledge that I’m hearing everything correctly, and that’s a fantastic feeling.
The security of actually being able to hear
It was totally by chance that I found out that modern technical aids exist that really make a difference.
Now, I don’t need to strain to hear as much, so I never feel completely drained after a day at work anymore. I can be the active person I want to be, together with my family. It’s made a huge difference in my life.
Karin is living in Halmstad in Sweden together with her husband and two kids. She is 36 years old and working as a nurse at Halmstad Hospital. Her favorite leisure activities are training and other outdoor activities.