The boss of an Aberdeen business has told of his new lease on life after being fitted with hearing aids.
Neil Gordon, who runs Aberdeen-based Sentinel Subsea, had to lip read at work meetings before he decided to take action.
The 58-year-old had battled ongoing hearing loss for years – an issue caused by a condition called surfer’s ear.
Growing up in the Caribbean, this developed as a result of the water and wind exposure he encountered.
However, this year, he took the plunge and booked an appointment with Scottish optician and hearing care specialists Duncan and Todd.
Despite experiencing hearing loss for at least five years, Neil said he had avoided audiology appointments and the potential of hearing aids, due to feeling self-conscious about his image.
He said: “People come in and they’re now wearing glasses, and you just accept it and get on with it,
“However, someone comes in wearing hearing aids and you worry that this might make you look older, and not necessarily more ‘wise’ or ‘mature’ but going a bit ‘soft in the head’.”
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After having his hearing aids fitted, however, Neil says he no longer needs to worry about missing anything in meetings, and can enjoy his favourite programmes on TV without subtitles.
He said: “It’s been a fundamental change for me, and really has had a profound impact on my life. There are the benefits of them for work and life – listening to others, watching the TV, etc.
“But there’s also the absolute clarity of being outside and hearing birds singing and life going on around you. Who knew the world was so loud!”
David Carswell, audiologist at Duncan and Todd’s Union Street practice, said: “With more than 40% of people over 50 suffering from hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70, the stigma attached to hearing loss is reducing significantly.
“We are targeting patients over 40 in the hope of making hearing difficulties something patients are used to talking about before they suffer such loss.”
Services at Duncan and Todd include a free screening test, free hearing assessment and free unlimited service appointments, as well as the latest digital technology in hearing aids.