Jayne Bryce is trying to make the north-east hear about health when it comes to your ears. The audiologist is passionate and wants to inform people on a matter on which not many people are aware. We have our eyes tested every few years and visit the dentist every six months, so why are we not keeping tabs on our hearing?
The 47-year-old qualified as an audiologist in 1990 when she lived in Manchester. The course involved going from Manchester University on day release to gain practical skills. Now there are specific degrees and courses available to those who wish to choose that career path, yet they are hard to come by in Scotland. Queen Margaret University offers a Diploma in Higher Education in Hearing Aid Audiology, which is one route for those interested in that career.
By raising awareness of one of our important senses, Jayne might be able to change attitudes and provide people with more information. She worked in the NHS for seven years after qualifying before meeting her husband at a conference in America. He ran a successful practice in Aberdeen and Jayne found herself working alongside him in George Street before she opened her own Rose Street practice in 2014.
Starting a business is challenging for anybody, but Jayne was lucky that she had the support of her husband and brother-in-law. With more than 25 years of experience, Jayne is able to set herself apart from her biggest competitor – the NHS – by giving a more personal and quicker service which someone might prefer.
Her practice, Bryce Hearing Services, is hosting Aberdeen’s first show dedicated to hearing. It will raise awareness of how to preserve your hearing and what to do if you find a problem. People attending will be able to find out more about the hearing services available from the NHS, North East Sensory Services and the private sector. The charities Jayne approached were very keen to get involved in an event which Jayne hopes will become a regular fixture. Speakers at the event will include a representative from Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, Mr William McKerrow, an ENT Consultant, and Brenda Beattie who wears a Lyric hearing aid. Visitors will also have the chance to find out about tinnitus, wax removal, new technology from leading hearing aid manufacturers and other hearing services.
Jayne said: “The idea behind the hearing show is people are usually reluctant to get their ears checked. There is a bit of a stigma attached to it. We would like it to be more acceptable and for the public in Aberdeen to know what services are available.
“I have a customer who is getting a hearing dog, which is much less known about than a guide dog. There will be someone from the Department of Audiology to give the NHS position as well. I am very passionate about it, I want everyone to know everything that there is to offer.”
One of the many issues Jayne mentioned was noise protection. People put themselves in danger every day in activities such as motorcycling or going to concerts. She suggests you should get your ears checked every couple of years, just like you do with your eyes, to make sure there are no problems. And if there are any issues, then someone is able to talk through the solutions with you.
The Aberdeen Hearing Show is on November 2 at Aberdeen Town House from 10am to 3pm. Members of the public are welcome to drop by at any time and all visitors will be entered into a prize draw. See www.brycehearingservices.co.uk/aberdeenhearingshow