Sleaford mum Anna Tilley in bid to raise awareness of hearing loss
A SLEAFORD mum is trying to raise awareness and understanding of hearing loss in a bid to relieve some of the stigma of wearing hearing aids.
Anna Tilley, 33, had struggled with moderate hearing loss since being at school but only took the step to wearing hearing aids in the last 13 months after her son was also diagnosed with the condition.
Now, Anna wants to encourage anyone who suffers with hearing loss but are too embarrassed to wear hearing aids to make an appointment with their GP for a referral.
Anna said: "I recall at school being asked a question by my teacher, which I did not know the answer to as I'd been unable to hear, and then being told off for not following the book.
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"The teacher raised his voice and became very annoyed. I blushed whilst he made me read the whole chapter out in front of the rest of the class, feeling humiliated and stupid. I am sure this teacher did not realise I was hiding a hearing loss."
Anna was inspired to finally get hearing aids after her 18-month-old son was diagnosed with a moderate hearing loss in both ears at just six weeks old.
Anna said: "I am over the moon that my son will not have any barriers in his life the way that I did.
"As long as he wears his hearing aids his quality of life will be the same as anyone else and importantly he will not miss out on a thing."
Lack of knowledge about the price of hearing aids can be a problem according to Anna who said on many occasions people had asked her how much her hearing aids cost.
She said: "They didn't cost me a thing, yet people are under the impression that you can only get them free if you're over the age of 60."
The thought of the size and visibility of hearing aids can also be an issue that puts people off but Anna says this shouldn't be a concern.
She added: "Hearing aids are so much more discreet than what they used to be.
"They are smaller and mine are not inserted in my ear by a mould just a small plastic tube - barely noticeable.
"When first worn, they were very tinny and if I am totally honest - unbearable, but after a few weeks they were my saviour and I do not leave the house without them."