Hear Kurt’s Story – Oticon Opn hearing aid user


Hi, my name’s Kurt Munro, I’m 30 years old I’ve been a lifeguard on the Gold Coast for over 15 years now. I have severe hearing loss 50/55 percent in both ears, I have been since I was a little kid so it’s a big part of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing, to be honest, it’s a big part of who I am, my personality.

The school was tough, but I wish these hearing aids were out back when I was a kid, things are bit different but no complaints. Kurt has a very severe sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally, and then I’d fitted the Opn hearing aids for a while in when they first came into Australia, and I’d been doing quite well with the product, and I really liked it, so I wanted to put it on Kurt and see what his thoughts were and here he is today wearing them and it’s just been fantastic, very emotional. The first five seconds of trying the new Opn 1 hearing aids was the most emotional ten probably minutes of my life. It’s like something just switched and it was like ‘ah’ that’s what I guess sound’s supposed to sound like for normal people, it was really soothing and it’s something I wasn’t expecting, it’s just a really kind of soothing sound, and for the first time I was able to relax and not kind of concentrate on what that sound was, it was just, yeah, it was amazing. These pick up the sound from everywhere whereas I’m used to the more traditional ones where wherever you’re turning, the sound’s focused on there.

So you know there’s sounds… if people are having a conversation behind me I’m never usually able to hear them whereas now it’s like all ‘oh’! Just being able to interact with, you know, if you’re in a group with people all around you, it’s straightforward now. Something that I’ve never been able to do and even if you’re in the grocery store and you hear the microphone in the background, I can now hear that which is amazing. I guess having different feedback and different sounds with old hearing aids was always really difficult it’s exhausting you need to concentrate on every word that someone’s saying, and I needed to lip-read as well where are these it’s…it does take a few weeks to get used to having all the sounds around, but once you get used to it, it’s perfect. You know, for the first time I can have conversations with people and be relaxed and enjoy the conversation. And not work so hard to, you know, have a normal interaction with people. Kurt’s been struggling for the last two years I’d say we didn’t realize he became withdrawn and excluded himself from a lot of conversations especially by night time because he was so tired of trying to keep up through the day.

Six months ago his life was changed, and Opn opened his world, his new hearing aids his audiologist suggested he try them which he did, and it has changed his world. Yeah, my energy levels with these hearing aids compared to previous … it’s the most significant difference I’ve noticed and not just myself, my girlfriend and other people around me, you know, after a big family dinner I’m the first person to leave because I’m so exhausted and just trying to have a conversation with everyone and lip-read off people. Whereas with these it’s…I’m the last person to leave now, and I really enjoy having a conversation, and it’s a game changer for me because you know, I can now have energy, you know, when I have a conversation with people which, it’s massive.

He can now hear birds singing and waves and the rain, he hasn’t heard rain for a long time or footsteps, toilet flushing, all those things that we take for granted … or the lyrics to a song. He used to download all the words and then look at the words to see what the song was actually saying. When I got the hearing aids, I was driving home and connected the app and start listening to music and instantly… Dad was in the passenger seat, and I just bawled my eyes out, you know, for the first time I could understand lyrics in the song whereas previously I’d listen to the lyrics and then I’d have to Google lyrics you know to read the lyrics to understand the song and for the first time I could understand it all and it was my favourite song it was Ed Sheeran ‘Photograph’.

I’m a sucker for the romance so I just started bawling and then I told Dad and he started bawling and it was, it was amazing I guess for the last 15, 20 years I’ve never been able to pick up words in a song so that was amazing, yeah..

As found on Youtube