A HEARCARE assistant spent the day in her customers’ shoes by going ‘deaf for the day’ to mark Deaf Awareness Week and highlight the importance of regular hearing tests.
Meg Winter, from Specsavers Hearing Centre Hastings, experienced what it was like to have hearing loss in a bid to raise awareness on the condition.
Store audiologist, Lisa Spencer, muffled Meg’s hearing with clinical foam to reduce the sounds she could hear by around 40 per cent to experience the day-to-day difficulties people who are hard hearing face.
Meg said: “Taking part in the deaf for a day was a truly eye-opening experience. I was slightly nervous at first, despite being in the hearcare business it was hard to know what to expect. Reading about symptoms of hearing loss is one thing, experiencing them first hand is another. One of the most noticeable things I felt while taking part was the sense of isolation, I just felt so removed from what was going on around me. Not having the familiar sounds of the store going on around me was very odd. I would catch the odd conversation, but the effort and strain I had to put into hearing anything was exhausting.”
John Marsden, hearcare director at Specsavers Hastings, said: “Hopefully Meg’s experience, along with Deaf Awareness Week, will help to highlight the importance of looking after your hearing health. I think people tend to take hearing for granted, and Meg experiencing hearing loss has given her a new understanding of the difficulties and challenges people with a hearing impairment face. A hearing screening is free and should be something everyone takes advantage of. We do this for every other part of our body, so why wouldn’t we do it for our hearing?”