A staff member at Specsavers Hearing Centre in Watford has hit the headlines as part of the group’s Listen Up! campaign to encourage the nation to get regular hearing checks.

Hearcare director Emma Handford was selected to take part in a shoot with one of the most recognisable voices in British radio, Jo Whiley, after the star revealed that she suffers from tinnitus.

Jo has graced the UK’s soundwaves for nearly 25 years, but she’s now paying the price after announcing that she suffers from the condition, which affects six million people in the UK.

'I wish I'd protected my hearing'

Speaking about the condition, Jo said: ‘My tinnitus tends to flare up if I’ve been at a gig, DJing at a club, or wearing headphones for long periods of time which is frustrating as I love live music. It can affect me for days afterwards and I have a constant whistle in my ears which can be hard to live with.

‘However it’s hardly a surprise. I wish I’d protected my hearing throughout my career but I always felt that I couldn’t truly hear the music, so I never bothered. It’s made me realise just how important it is to protect your hearing.’

'Delighted to take part'

On meeting the star, Emma said: ‘I was delighted to take part in the shoot and spend a little time chatting to Jo. As a mum of four she’s keen to ensure her children look after their ears better than she and her husband did, as he suffers too.

‘Jo was able to tell me that in some ways she feels like she is actually in the right job, as she gets to distract herself from the tinnitus by constantly being surrounded by music, but still wishes she’d taken better care of her ears.’

Whiley is the latest celebrity to support Specsavers Audiologists Listen Up! campaign, joining X Factor judge Louis Walsh and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp.

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