02 Mar Hearing aid a real life-changer for Jay
Jay Wynd has had hearing issues in his left ear as long as he can remember, but the last 12 months have been by far the easiest thanks to a new life-changing hearing aid.
The 40 year-old father of five from Boorcan agreed to talk to Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) to help mark Australian Hearing Awareness Week (March 1-7).
Jay said wearing the hearing aid didn’t worry him one little bit and he liked it when people asked him about it because he could tell them how amazing it was.
“I’ve had trouble with my hearing for years – just the left ear, my right ear is perfectly fine. As a kid I had the usual grommets, and all that, and then I ended up with a hole in my eardrum when I was a teenager,” he said.
“They fixed that, but then I always had ear infections and I ended up with a cholesteatoma which is a tumor in the middle of the ear – behind the eardrum.
“People in third world countries die from that. The surgeons went in, drilled a hole in my skull to get to it and cut my tumor out just before my 21st birthday.
“There were a few other bones in my middle ear that had to go with it…my hearing was pretty much stuffed after that.”
Jay said he lived a normal life for about a decade, playing sport, working as a farmer and coping with very little hearing in his left ear.
“I’m sure some people probably thought I was arrogant because I’d ignore them. People who didn’t know just thought I was rude but half the time I just couldn’t hear,” he said.
“I used to get my wife to always sit on my left so that she could nudge me if someone on that side was trying to talk to me.
“Playing cricket, the boys knew they had to yell at me and when we had a beer after the game they’d know and help in different ways. I just coped with it.”
Jay said he was 33 when specialists decided they were going to reconstruct the ear and restore his hearing.
“My inner ear is fine, but the middle ear is missing bits and pieces, so they had bits of bone and everything made to reconstruct it but then we discovered the cholesteatoma was back,” he said.
“They had to get rid of it again and that was the end of it – they couldn’t rebuild it anymore because there wasn’t enough left.”
Jay said a couple of years later he took the only available option he had left, a hearing aid.
“I walked out of the audiologist’s and I could hear the birds. I mean, I have one good ear, but this was different to hear like that,” he said.
“It was one of those over the ear ones though and I never really wore it that much. It used to whistle and carry on. It sounded like when you put a seashell over your ear.
“Then last year I got a top of the range inner ear one with Bluetooth and it’s amazing – it really is…life-changing. They’re not cheap, but they are life-changing.
“Now I can go out to the pub with family and friends and I’m not lip reading and guessing and nodding all the time. It’s changed everything for me – it’s amazing.
“It Bluetooths to my phone so all my phone calls come though it straight into my ear…it’s like an Apple AirPod I can even listen to the cricket or footy through it while I’m milking.”
Jay urged anyone with hearing issues, whatever their age, to take action, make an appointment with an audiologist and restore their quality of life ASAP.
- Tim Rayner delivers audiology at TDHS on a monthly basis providing hearing assessments, hearing rehabilitation and hearing aid prescriptions, repairs and fittings. To make an appointment for Timboon please contact 5560 5833. Our doctors at the Timboon Clinic can also assist with initial hearing queries and they can be contacted by calling 5558 6088.
Jay Wynd’s hearing aid is barely noticeable.