As Hearing loss becomes a more prevalent part of many people’s day to day lives, with an estimated 18 million adults in the UK having some degree of hearing loss, we are beginning to see more clearly the impacts it has on not just those with hearing loss but those around them. In the case of Helen Travess, her experiences with hearing loss spans generations.

Helen’s experience with hearing loss started out when she was younger with her father experiencing hearing loss as well. For her, it was a memorable part of her formative years where she would often feel frustrated and annoyed at needing to repeat herself often. Fast forward to today where she found herself with tinnitus and difficulties hearing her teenage son. “I decided to get a check to prove that it was him mumbling, not my hearing – but that proved to be the incorrect hypothesis!” she recalls. Her son’s frustration with needing to repeat himself and Helen’s struggles to keep up with conversations were some of the things that made it clear that Helen had some form of hearing loss. Her realisation that there was a parallel between hers and her father’s hearing loss brought on a mix of frustration, annoyance, embarrassment, and fear, as she had realised that her family was experiencing the same emotions and feelings about hearing loss that she had years before.

Each person who has hearing loss will have their own descriptions of how they describe the sensation of having it, Helen compares it to being in a crowded room with lots of background noise, trying to understand a low-volume TV. “Even though you’re concentrating really hard, you simply can’t catch all the words or make sense of what’s coming out of the TV,” she explains. The battle to understand speech, combined with the mental fatigue from trying to keep up, highlights some of the many challenges that those with hearing loss face on a daily basis.

Helen’s hearing loss gradually affected her day-to-day life where she adapted without realizing it, though her son and husband often accommodated her needs. In her job as a consultant in orthodontics, the noisy environment of her clinic presented additional challenges. “There is often an awful lot of extraneous noise in the surgery,” she notes, making it difficult to hear patients and colleagues. Her recent specialisation in treating cleft lip and palate patients, who often have hearing loss and speech issues themselves, added another layer of difficulty to her hearing loss. Despite her hearing loss, Helen feels that the shared experiences between her and her patients sometimes helps her connect better with them thanks to their shared communication issues.

When it comes to socialising, Helen prefers small gatherings over large groups, where she often has difficult in conversations. “I really do struggle in restaurants with keeping up with conversations, especially if larger groups are at the table” she admits. Despite these challenges, her friends have grown use to her occasional misunderstandings, and she now pre-empts those around her about her hearing loss.

Helen’s prior assessment for tinnitus did not result in a recommendation for hearing aids but based on her father’s experiences with hearing loss and access to hearing care, she opted for look at private care for more options. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, Helen booked an appointment with Aston Hearing, where she was booked in for a test with their audiologist Paula. At Aston Hearing, she found comprehensive support from the audiologist stating:  “Paula was very engaging and thorough. She explained my issues well and gave me tips and suggestions for how to make the most of my new aids.” Based on Helen’s hearing loss, Paula recommended that she should be fitted with a pair of hearing aids and suggested Oticon Intent for Helen’s needs.

The latest hearing aids from Oticon introduces high-tech AI which actively adapts to the environment around the wearer, to allow them to hear clearly in even the noisiest of situations. Along with exciting new technologies, Oticon Intent strengthens the standard features you’d expect from top of the range hearing aids with increased wireless connectivity options and a better battery life, meaning users can hear better for longer, and in more environments than ever before.

Helen’s experiences with her Oticon Intent hearing aids brought noticeable improvements where she appreciated the enhanced directional focus: “I do try to use other functions, especially the restaurant setting in much louder settings” she notes.

Helen had some very simple advice to those concerned about their hearing: “Don’t feel afraid to acknowledge to yourself there may be a problem. Have an assessment and if advised, try a pair of hearing aids.” She also emphasised the importance of wearing aids consistently, unlike her father, who would often take his out, frustrating those around him. “Having digital aids that can charged overnight is really easy too,” she adds, also noting that her behind-the-ear aids are discreet and have become a seamless part of her daily routine.

Helen’s experiences show the importance of recognizing hearing loss early and seeking professional help. Her story reflects the impacts that hearing loss can have on the families of those with hearing loss.  By sharing her journey, Helen hopes to encourage others to take steps towards managing their hearing health, ensuring they remain engaged and connected with the world around them.

If you have been experiencing issues with your hearing or would like to talk to someone for your hearing health, book an appointment with Aston hearing by visiting our website at www. or by calling 01494733840.