Kevin Sinden - Teaching Assistant
Struggling to hear his son at home and working in a demanding classroom environment, Kevin Sinden decided to seek out the best hearing aids for him and his active lifestyle. Widex accompanied him on his journey.
Teaching assistant, wedding photographer, father-of-two, fiancé, brother, son, nephew, hockey team captain; 29-year-old Kevin Sinden has many roles in his active, busy life. All of which have been affected in one way or another by his hearing loss. But he hasn’t let this stand in his way – neither in his career nor home-life. The beginning of a new year often leads to resolutions, and for Kevin, this year it was to findthe right hearing aid for him – a resolution that led him to be fitted with a pair of Widex Dream aids.
Kevin was first diagnosed with a hearing loss at the age of 16. “I got avirus on a school trip to Holland,” he says. “My hearing went down and never came back up. I had to see a few doctors and consultants, and it was decided that I had nerve damage.”
At present, Kevin works as a teaching assistant, a role which can be demanding given his hearing impairment. Prior to being fitted with his new Widex aids, he said, “My biggest problems are background noise in classrooms. The general hubbub of a mainstream secondary school means that I can struggle to hear the questions posed to me by the children that I work with. Other things such as lesson bells are also very difficult to hear.”
As well as finding work-life demanding, Kevin’s hearing impairment was also proving a source of concern in his homelife. He said, “My biggest worry at home has been not hearing my children; I’ve lost most of the higher frequencies and have been struggling to hear my little boy, whichis quite upsetting.” .
At the beginning of 2013, Kevin decided to visit private, independent hearing aid dispenser Imperial Hearing. “The Audiologist, was able to give me much more information than I had previously had within the NHS, and the test itself was in the comfort of the consultation room rather than inside a soundproof booth, which in my case helped with the tinnitus that I sometimes have.”
After an in-depth discussion about Kevin’s needs, he was fitted with Widex Dream aids, accompanied with assistive listening devices: M-Dex (for use with a mobile phone), TV-Dex (for streaming high-quality audio to the aids) and Phone-Dex (a cordless phone that streams sound directlyinto the aids).
When fitted with new, powerful digital aids, it is often overwhelming and takes several hours or days for the wearer to adjust to the new levels. “The amount of new sounds is astounding,” Kevin concedes. “It took around a day for my brain to adjust to the aids, but I soon got used to hearing car engine noise more clearly, the central heating boiler and many other ‘background noises’.”
Kevin is now adjusting to life with his new aids and assistive listeningdevices. “The products are fantastic,” he says. “They are barely noticeable, and the accessories all link into the hearing aids seamlessly. I now have much greater control over them, which has greatlyenhanced my hearing experiences.”
He adds: “The sound quality is much higher than my previous hearing aids. There’s less distortion and feedback, voices are clearer and it’s easier to filter out background noise. My new hearing aids have already exceeded my expectations.”