Nicola Alexis - Actress
Meet Nicola Alexis, an inspirational woman who hasn’t let her hearing impairment affect her career ambitions. She reveals why she turned to Widex for a pair of aids that were cosmetically small with excellent clarity.
“I’ve recently played a couple of roles where my character was hard of hearing or used hearing aids, and it was great to utilise my personal experience,” says London-born actor Nicola Alexis. “I’ve always had an artistic side, but it was really during my final years at university that I knew acting was something I just had to try, or risk regretting for the rest of my life,” she says. Nicola has now been acting professionally for more than 13 years. Over that time, she has worked across stage, screen and radio productions; her television credits include EastEnders, Holby City, and The Bill; while her stage roles boast Lady Macbeth in Macbeth for the Orange Tree; Jane Fairfax in Emma, and the lead role in the Francis Matthews production Lucky You.
“About eight years ago, I became aware that my hearing wasn’t as good as others around me,” she explains. Like many however, she was reluctant to go and see her GP about her suspected hearing impairment. “It took another year or two before I went to my doctors,” she says. “They then sent me to the ENT department to have a hearing test.” Since that first consultation, Nicola has been adjusting to life with a hearing loss, in both her professional and
However in the summer of 2012, Nicola decided to visit private, independent hearing aid dispenser Harley Street Hearing. After a significant battery of tests and a full discussion about her needs, the actor was fitted with a pair of Widex IICs, a decision that she does not regret, “These are definitely the ones for me,” she says. “I find them extremely user-friendly and I like having the control over when I can take them out and put them in. I often forget that I’m wearing them – so comfort gets top marks.”
Given her profession, visibility was a large consideration for Nicola when choosing the type of hearing aid she wanted. “Size and visibility is a major thing for me and these are very discreet, even with my ears being very small,” she says. “The sound is something I have become used to very quickly. Adjusting to new aids and indeed aids in general can be hard and the more natural the sound quality the better. I often forget I’m even wearing these, so I feel they must be doing everything right.”
For some people, the challenge of a successful acting career combined with a hearing impairment might have been too much, but not for Nicola. When her hearing impairment was diagnosed, she was determined to continue doing what she loves and says her new aids have changed her life in many ways. “Just being able to hear more is a major confidence boost, in terms of how you then react in groups large or small,” she says. “Personally, now I don’t worry about being in nosy environments or it being my fault if I just can’t hear someone.”
And have her new Widex IICs made aspects of her profession easier? “Absolutely,” she says. “When using hearing aids and performing, I’ve found that I can regulate the volume of my own voice and my general projection more accurately according to the given environment.
“Things like after-show talks, auditions and so on are no longer things to be dreaded or cause for concern. And having just the right amount of confidence in my career is very important.”