Broadcasting icon Tony Blackburn, whose career has spanned 50 years in the music industry, has revealed that he is suffering from age-related hearing loss.

Tony seeks advice from Specsavers

The 72-year-old radio DJ, who was the first presenter to launch Radio 1 when the station first went on air in 1967, now wears hearing aids following a recent test at Specsavers Hearing Centre Edgware Road.

A word from Tony

Tony said: ‘For years I’ve worked in an industry where my hearing is crucial. I love listening to music, and so I struggled to come to terms with the fact that my hearing was deteriorating.

There’s a bit of a stigma attached to wearing hearing aids and people believe they are bulky and very unsightly, but I’ve since realised that this is not the case. Now that I’m a bit older, and due to the nature of my work, I decided it was important to have my hearing checked.

I was surprised to see just how small and discreet hearing aids are nowadays - there's really nothing to be ashamed of. It seems silly not to seek help and I’m so pleased I did.’

Regular healthcare routine

Tony, who has also been battling with tinnitus over the last 10 years, first noticed that his hearing was deteriorating when watching television. He also began struggling to follow conversation in noisy social situations.

He continued: ‘As we get older, our hearing – just like our eyesight – starts to deteriorate, yet people don’t seem to mind wearing glasses or having their sight checked on a routine basis.’

Advice from a professional

Colin Campbell, director of professional services at Specsavers Hearing Centres, said: ‘Tony suffers from a moderate high frequency hearing loss, which means that he often had to ask people to repeat themselves, especially in noisy or busy environments.

Hearing loss is something that affects everyone as they get a little older. Often people refer to the onset of hearing loss as 'cocktail party syndrome', because those affected tend not to be able to follow conversation in busy social gatherings.

His age and working environment have resulted in Tony losing clarity in the sound of speech, particularly hearing speech in background noise , which means he can still hear, but he can’t hear clearly and speech can sound muffled as though people are mumbling.’

Fun for all the family

Following his hearing aid fitting at Specsavers, Tony is now able to enjoy conversations with family and friends. He added: ‘Wearing my hearing aids has made such a noticeable difference to my social life, and my family are also thrilled that they no longer have to listen to the TV at full blast. I would definitely recommend having a consultation if you’re worried about your hearing.’

You can read more about Tony’s experience in the Spring/Summer edition of the Specsavers customer magazine, available in store now.

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