A Brechin woman’s life has changed after she became the first woman in Scotland to receive the new Bonebridge hearing implant.
Karen Thomson (43), was given the hearing implant last year after searching for a solution to her hearing problems.
Karen, who is a healthcare assistant and mother of two, had been plagued by recurrent ear infections for years, and was unable to wear hearing aids and other treatments, such as grommets, had been unsuccessful.
So she was delighted when the audiology team at Kings Cross, NHS Tayside told her about a new type of hearing device which had just become available for patients like Karen, who suffer from a conductive hearing loss.
Speaking about the change since she had the implant, Karen said: “My quality of life has gone up tenfold and I feel like a part of life again, I feel more included.”
Before her implant, life for Karen was stressful at home and work, as she constantly asked work colleagues, friends and family to repeat themselves, which was frustrating for everyone.
When socialising, she would often find herself clock-watching, eager to go home where she didn’t have to pretend to hear everybody. She felt really isolated.
“It got me down having to mention my hearing loss all the time. But now I don’t feel the pressure to mention it to anybody.”
A year after her implant, Karen finds life much more relaxing and feels much happier.
Simply being able to hear the telephone or doorbell ring or the washing machine finish its cycle makes everyday life much easier.
With her new found confidence, she has even encouraged work colleagues to have hearing tests. She said: “Don’t suffer in silence. Because when you can’t hear, that’s what it is, you’re in a world of silence.”