Paul Talbot hails from Birmingham, England. He left school when he was 14 years old, excited to become an Indentured Apprentice Electrician – earning one and sixpence three farthings an hour.
As his career expanded, so too did his exposure to loud work environments. Unsurprisingly, Paul eventually developed industrial deafness.
We talked to Paul about his hearing journey…
How has your work history affected your hearing?
I worked around noisy machines for more than 40 years.
After becoming an electrician, my family immigrated to Australia, arriving on 11th March 1973. My daughter Amanda learned to walk on the ship and my wife Yvonne was sick every day of the voyage. We were called ten pond poms back then.
I got my first insight into HVACR (heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration) working for Kelvinator Australia. By the late seventies, I started working with really big noisy machines. These noisy machines were called centrifugal chillers and are equivalent to standing next to a jet engine.
While these machines are being replaced with much quieter compressors, you can still find them in Sydney. In fact, there are still three Centrifugal Chillers at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation head office in Ultimo.
What made you decide to get a hearing test?
The last time I got tested was some 20 years ago but nothing eventuated.
Then one day I received a letter in the mail advising that I was eligible for a free hearing test and was badgered by my family into making an appointment. My first visit to Freedom Hearing was on on 14th June 2019.
I found the hearing test very relaxing; I could easily have fallen asleep in the sound booth with my earphones on. All I needed was some three tenors or Lennon and McCartney playing. The Freedom Hearing audiologists have been extremely professional on all occasions. They were well-prepared for my questions and put my mind at rest.
What difference has hearing aids made to your life?
My hearing aids have made a big difference to my social life. Friends and family have certainly noticed a difference in my newly enhanced gift, they can’t get away with talking behind my back anymore!
I went for my first hearing test in more than 20 years, after being in denial of my industrial deafness from working around very noisy machines for more than 40 years. I guess deafness just creeps up on you and it’s not until you get told to turn turn the telly down by the wife, kids and grand kids that you start to understand that you really do have a problem.
Why is it that hearing loss is stigmatised? We all seem to accept wearing glasses when our eyes start to wear out. How many people do you know that have lost their sense of taste or smell, or are colour blind?
Well, my wife and daughter are back now with coffee and breakfast, yum. I can still hear the clock ticking while we are conversing about this and that. Now I can hear Emily down stairs on Skype talking to someone working from her home office.
Our hearing must be treated as one of our very precious senses because it sounds and feels like a smelly colour. Don’t put it off any longer, go to Freedom Hearing and they will take care of you, you won’t regret it and you can turn the telly down again.