Looking back, I’ve been exposed to excessive noise all my working life. A boilermaker by trade and working in the mining industry, I was constantly around compressed air machines, noisy equipment and huge extraction fans. At times the noise was overwhelming, and I wore hearing protection as much as I could. Early in my younger life I was conscripted into the South African military and was often exposed to gun fire and shelling, and of course it wasn’t always possible to protect my ears. The upshot has been that my hearing took a battering with the inevitable by-product of tinnitus ever present.
I think over time I got used to not hearing, and had learned to live with the ringing tinnitus noise. The fact I had shied away from socialising was one thing, but the crunch really came when I had to ask my supervisor to repeat four times what he’d said to me, and not being able to see his face to lip-read made it extremely embarrassing for me. After thinking about hearing aids for 6 years, I realised that I could not put it off any longer and I went and saw Brad.
Since I’ve got back to my Pilbara mine sites there have been constant meetings and my hearing aids have meant that I can participate in discussions, confident that I can hear what is being said. I am absolutely happy and have been since the moment I met Brad and he steered me towards what I needed to help me hear, not what I thought I wanted. He has worked with me to ensure that I am very comfortable with my hearing aids so that I get the most out of them.
When I first walked out of Brad’s rooms, I was startled at what I was hearing – a car idling, birds singing, my shoes crunching on sand, sounds that were new to me because my world, apart from the tinnitus, had been a pretty quiet place for such a long time. It was overwhelming initially because I hadn’t heard these sounds in so many years. In truth I have needed to go through an adjustment period, but I have to say that like so many others have said in Brad’s ads, this is one of the best investments I have ever made.
Thanks to Brad and his Staff at Midland for such a great experience. I am very confident now to get on with my life without the hindrance of hearing and tinnitus problems.
Brad Hutchinson with Nick Swart