From navigating an echoing boardroom teleconference to the noise of a busy cycling route, the need for maintaining good hearing health is clear across all facets of Giles Smith’s life.
An engineer by trade, Giles spends much of his spare time on his beloved road bike, both as an avid cyclist himself and as a coach with CAMS Cycling Collective in Brisbane.
Giles said he was prompted to have an assessment after his wife noticed his hearing had seemed to recently decline.
“Particularly because I ride a lot and coach cycling in groups of anywhere from three to 20 people, being able to hear is a significant safety issue – so when the opportunity for me to have my hearing tested arose, I jumped at it,” said Giles.
“As a cycling coach, I sit at the back of the group and need to hear the calls from the riders in front of me. This is critical, because I’m ultimately responsible for ensuring the group can safely navigate traffic and so need to stay aware of what’s happening both in front and behind me.”
Giles said that retaining his hearing was also important for his day-to-day business, such as during video calls where “you lose the ability to read body language and facial expressions that sometimes covers for not hearing things correctly in face-to-face meetings.”
Giles said the process of having his hearing tested was “smooth, easy and non-invasive”, and that his assessment had picked up a very mild hearing loss that he would continue to monitor and have regularly reviewed.
“I am also following my audiologist’s advice of wearing hearing protection when mowing the lawn and other noisy activities – all that exposure adds up and reminds me that having a good check on my hearing health is vital,” said Giles.
“I also did a lot of DJing in my university days which likely hasn’t helped my hearing now, and an early diagnosis could save a lot of pain and effort later in life.”