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Old Codgers Online - Going deaf at the Opticians

Alan needs his ears testing
Alan needs his ears testing

The Eyes may have it, but one of our local opticians decided the Old Codgers – given our advancing years – probably needed some help with our hearing.

The other two promptly volunteered me.

Off I trooped to Leightons in Hempstead Valley for a poke in my shell-like.

The audiologist found one of my ears was not picking up the sibilants (noises characterised by a hissing sound) that my other one could hear.

So it was straight off to the doctor – well, when I could get an appointment a week later.

“I’ve been to the opticians who tell me I’m a bit Mutt and Jeff,” I said.

His eyebrows went up.

“Say that again – an optician is doing hearing tests? Ridiculous!” he said.

Well, they are branching out, I said. And they are quick.

He had a poke around and said it wasn’t serious enough to warrant further action.

So I popped in to the nurse – after waiting another week, of course.

After a quick squirt of the bubbly stuff I was hearing echoes in the consulting room again.

So, back to Leightons a few minutes later, where normal hearing was recorded.

Catherine Brown, the audiologist, said: “We can make an appointment for you, assess your needs and provide you with the best hearing aids suitable for your needs.”

It’ll cost you upwards of £600, but you can chose the type of hearing aid you want. Nowadays it’s no different to glasses. You can have NHS frames – or the ones to suit you.

“We wanted to elevate the way hearing services and after-care are provided,” said business development manager Ryan Leighton, whose grandfather started the firm.

“That’s why our hearing assessment is so thorough, because we want to gain a full understanding of an individual’s hearing loss, lifestyle requirements and needs.”

Demand for hearing services is growing. Half the bus pass generation suffer some degree of hearing loss. Usually it is irreversible.

Possibly it’s caused by getting too close to 1960s bands, or wartime bombs and bullets. But hearing deteriorates when you become a Codger.

Do you wait for months to get a hospital appointment, or a few days for the eye specialists to look in your ears? It’s up to you.

I thought I’d walked into another of those traditionalists versus newcomers battlefields. But I’m reassured that I can hear most things OK.

Don't miss The Old Codgers' Club in the print edition of the Medway Messenger every Monday

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