Boxing and Hearing Loss

Boxing is not the only sport where a trauma or sudden blow to the head can cause a form of hearing loss – however we are getting more and more ex boxers coming to us with hearing related issues from the sport they love.

These include damage to the cochlear, ruptured or perforated ear drum, fractured bones within the ear and swelling and bleeding. These can range from the relatively mild through to the more serious but all of them have resulted in some form of hearing loss.

A heavy blow or blunt edge trauma can cause tissues within the ear to swell which leads to a build up of fluids and an increase in air pressure. This results in pain, discomfort and impaired hearing. There is also the risk of tinnitus developing although this is usually a short-lived condition, however can become a distressing side affect.

Contact sports such as boxing can cause ear injuries such as cauliflower ear and bruising and swelling in general. But you can prevent this from happening by wearing a head guard. Motor sports are another potential cause of head and ear injuries although a well fitting helmet can help reduce the risk of that happening.

But any activity which involves physical contact or travel at fast speeds is risky and injuries do occur so it’s wise to take precautions where you can.

You can help to protect your ears by wearing a head guard, and regular visits to see an Audiologist to basically keep an eye on the health of your ears.  We have the experience and knowledge to care for your ears, so you can carry on enjoying the sport you love!

Would you Like to know more about my Daughters Cochlear Implant?

I am lucky to be surrounded by people who out of kindness and curiosity want to know more about my two daughters cochlear implants.

My eldest daughter and youngest daughter were born profoundly deaf and wear bilateral cochlear implants. Whilst I am so happy and comfortable answering people questions about the cochlear implant and I feel very proud talking about how the Cochlear Implant has helped our girls and our family.  I know that some parents of children with hearing technology find it hard to talk about or explain to someone about them. Especially those whom have never had experience with a cochlear implant user before.

In this post I am going to cover common questions I am asked, and tell you the best way that I answer them!
It is also a good idea to help your child address and answers these questions as they get older, as they are inevitably going to face the exact same interest from their peers.

Are you still a deaf person if you have a Cochlear Implant?

Grace and Ava is and always will be a person who is deaf. A cochlear implant or hearing aid is not a cure for the hearing impairment problems. It’s similar to wearing glasses for bad eye sight. It will hopefully improve your hearing, but once they are removed, the level or hearing returns to its natural level. In our girls case, there hearing loss is profound -meaning they can’t hear anything without their cochlear implants on, cant hear their own heart beat only feel very loud sounds via vibrations.

Was it an amazing moment when his Cochlear Implant was activated?

Of course when Grace’s Cochlear Implant was switched on nearly 6 years ago and Ava’s 3 years ago both, were really special days and will be etched on our minds has the cochlear implant has completely changed our lives. But they didn’t necessarily have an “amazing” reaction.   A cochlear implant is turned on ever so quietly to begin with, especially for children, so their reaction is usually very subtle, if at all.   Graces reaction was to cry and the first words she heard was her dad saying ‘hello, my beautiful little sweetpea’ Avas’ reaction was a smile the biggest smile a toddler could muster.


Does a Cochlear Implant work immediately?

Not necessarily. When someone first has their cochlear implant switched on it is pretty much the very start of stimulating the hearing nerve and it takes a long time to “wake” that nerve up. It is almost like training it to be able to hear which can take weeks and even months to start translating into sound.

What does it sound like through a Cochlear Implant?

It is so difficult for us with natural hearing to describe what life sounds like for them as the girls have nothing to compare it to. If someone has lost their hearing previous to getting a cochlear implant they may be able to tell you the difference.  A lot of those people say that at first everyone and everything sounds very high pitched – like Mickey Mouse – but that after a while their brain adapts and it sounds very similar to their old hearing. The sounds have been described by Grace after the mickey mouse sounds has calmed down slightly that it can be described as robotic.

Will they always need to wear a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant doesn’t cure deafness, so yes, Grace and Ava will always need to wear their cochlear implants if they wants to be able to hear. Technology is advancing though, so I’m sure their devices will become smaller and even more efficient with every upgrade. The newer implants are starting to be connected to IPhones to stream music and telephone calls directly into the recipients cochlear implant to help improve clarity.

Will they need to have more Surgery?

Hopefully not. The device is life-proof so the internal part will stay the same. Sometimes, like any electrical device, they can fail though, which would require more surgery. Ava, our youngest daughter her magnet had moved, we are still not a 100% sure why this had happened however, she required surgery to rectify this.

Can people with cochlear implants travel on a plane?


Yes of course! We always make sure to carry an ID card for both processors so that the security staff know what they do and why the metal detectors will go off. Most of the airports we have visited seem to know what a cochlear implant is and will bypass the girls and avoid going through the body scanner, we have to avoid these as they can wipe the map of the implant off, causing the implant to fail. So security who are aware tend to carry a pat down search. And a lesson learnt is to carry all the equipment you need in your hand luggage.

Can people with cochlear implants have a MRI scan?

At the moment with the girls implants they are not able to have an MRI scan because of the magnets in their skull, which can be affected by the MRI process. Talk to your audiologist or doctors if you have health questions like this.

Thank you to everyone that have ever taken an interest in our girls cochlear implants.


Inclusion in the Workplace

Working in both the NHS and Private sector of Audiology I have great experience in dealing with every question out there relating to hearing loss.  However, when the question comes up ‘my employers know I have a hearing loss but don’t help me!!’ I’m a little stuck, mainly has I have ask myself is this because the employers as the employees sees as they just don’t care or is it simply that the employer just doesn’t know how best to support you as an individual?

How many times when speaking on the phone does a conversation due to hearing related issues becomes difficult to understand what the other person has said and you end with the words ill send you an email?

Feeling stressed and excluded

Working in a busy office or factory floor or any busy environment can make hearing conversations very difficult but more so when that individual suffers from a hearing loss.  It can become very stressful and lonely.  However, the worse thing that you can do is to hide the extent of the challenges you are facing because you are worried how the employer will address the situation with you, whether you are struggling on the phone, finding it difficult to have a clear and concise conversations or not being able to hear people approaching you from behind while you were at your desk causing you a real fright when they tapped you on your shoulder.

From talking to patients I have seen over the years the lack of deaf awareness amongst their colleagues mean that they feel they would often miss out on not just the work related conversations but the banter leaving them feeling more anxious and excluded.

Talking was the Breakthrough

So, what could you do about it? Approach your line manager and explained the situation.  You can then take the decision to do a  Workplace Assessment.  It would identify the impact of your hearing loss at your work and offer solutions to improve your working environment, including helping with well-being and inclusion in the workplace.

Some times people worry about what solutions the assessor might recommend and how this might impact your work colleagues causing negative feedback and reluctance in supporting you.  But we at St Josephs Hospital Audiology can help you with this and give advice and guidance on the extra discreet technology available to you.

How RG Hearing at St.Josephs Hospital can Help You!

We will listen carefully to what you need, all your issues, reservations, stresses and productivity concerns.  Knowing you have the support of us and your employer will help ease all the above.   We will demonstrate the use of mini mics to help and can be used as a conversation listener to improve clarity in meetings and also as a telephone clip.   This could stream phone calls direct into my hearing aids with the help of a hearing aid receiver.

Deaf awareness training for your colleagues

Finally, if you feel that your works could benefit from deaf awareness training in the workplace.  We will happily attend a training day and offer the right level of training whether face to face or electronic with personal tips on deaf awareness.

Not Alone!

Its hard to forget sometimes that hearing loss affects so many people in completely different ways, and with help and support you might just help another colleague out the same way, with out even knowing it.


We look forward to helping you!!

Streams conversations directly to your hearing aids