As a life-long music lover and DJ, whose passion for the hits of Elvis Presley spawned one of Wigan FM’s most popular shows, hearing loss was a life-changing experience for Valerie Boardman.

Better known to her Thursday night digital radio listeners as ‘DJ ValElvis’, the 55-year-old mother-of-four has described how popping into Wigan Specsavers for a routine hearing test has meant she can ‘properly enjoy’ the ‘King’s’ songs for the first time in years.

Life changing experience

Delighted with her Specsavers hearing aid, Valerie is encouraging all Wigan music lovers to look after their ears, especially when listening to music, and to make sure they get any problems checked out.

She said: ‘Music is a huge part of my life and I’ve been an Elvis fan ever since I heard a song called ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin’ when I was about 12. To this day, his voice is one of the greatest sounds I’ve ever heard.

‘I saw an advert for new Wigan FM DJs a few years ago and it has been a wonderfully fun experience ever since. I host my Elvis show and I also now present a ‘pickamix’ show of hits from all eras. I love DJing and making the listeners happy with what I broadcast.

'Music a huge part of my life'

‘In recent years, I had been struggling to properly hear the songs I was playing and conservations with my colleagues and my family had become increasingly difficult.’

Valerie, a proud ‘Wiganer’ who was born in Hindley, says she was inspired to get her hearing checked after chatting with fellow presenter and Specsavers audiologist, Darren Glancey.

Valerie said: ‘I already get my eyes checked at Wigan Specsavers, and after a chat with Darren, I decided it was high time I popped in to find out about my ears.

Amazing transformation

‘The transformation with my new hearing aid has been amazing. The first sound I heard when I got home was a robin outside, and I realised it was the first time I had heard the background noise of my garden in years. I was overwhelmed.

‘Losing your hearing really is a life-changing experience and, after such a long time, so was getting it back.

‘It’s never too late to get your hearing checked out and I was extremely impressed by the care I received from the Specsavers team.’

Help is at hand

Graeme Gardner, store director at Specsavers Wigan, added: ‘It’s vital to understand the challenges faced by those with hearing difficulties, challenges which often leave people feeling frustrated, embarrassed, isolated and unconfident.

‘The majority of those who are partially deaf or hard of hearing can be assisted with the help of a hearing aid, but it’s thought that up to a million people who would benefit from wearing one remain undiagnosed, having failed to get their hearing regularly checked.

Checks recommended every two years

‘Remember it’s important to have hearing checks as regularly as you would have a sight test, which is recommended every two years. This becomes even more important past the age of 55, when age related hearing loss is most likely to occur.

‘We’re delighted to have been able to help Valerie, and long may she continue to fill the airwaves with the King’s greatest hits!’

Valerie Boardman presents the ‘Pickamix Show’ from 7-8pm and ‘Val’s Elvis Show’ from 8-9pm every Thursday on the Wigan FM digital radio station.

All Wigan store information