A WOMAN from Kinross has been chosen to win a free pair of digital hearing aids from high street hearing specialists Hidden Hearing.

Ellen McKay was selected as part of the company's support for the National Campaign for Better Hearing, to help raise awareness of the importance of having annual hearing tests at 55.

The sales advisor, who makes kilts in her spare time, found herself becoming withdrawn and isolated, constantly making excuses for not going out as a result of her hearing loss.

She also struggled to communicate with her children and grandchildren.

She says, “My job is very customer-service based and I struggled to listen and speak with my customers, I had to get right up close to them to hear what they were saying, which I found embarrassing.

"It was also the simple things like hearing the radio and the television that affected me.

"My daughter came over to my house one day, heard the TV on full blast and said, ‘Mum, you need to sort this out’.”

Ellen’s story touched the expert panel, consisting of GP and health broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones and royal correspondent and celebrity ambassador for the Campaign for Better Hearing, Jennie Bond.

She had her ears tested at her local Hidden Hearing centre in Perth and, thanks to the National Campaign for Better Hearing, was nominated for a free aid by audiologist Daniel Merrett.

Daniel said: “Many people ignore their hearing problems until it’s too late which can affect their health and quality of life. 

"This is particularly important for those aged in their 50s and above.

"This campaign is a great initiative and we’re encouraging everyone in the area to ‘test your ears at 55 years’.”

Now, the lucky winner's family are delighted to get the old Ellen back.

She said: “Since having my hearing aids fitted, I’ve noticed such a big difference - my TV’s now on 30 not 90!

"I can hear my family much better, including my grandchildren, it’s so nice not having to ask them to constantly repeat themselves.

“I have a wedding reception coming up which I’m really looking forward to.

"I previously would have avoided it and made my excuses not to go but now I can hear properly, I can’t wait to speak with everyone and not feel self-conscious about my hearing.

"I really am a different person, it’s given me a new lease of life.”

Each month, Hidden Hearing is donating up to five pairs of hearing aids, one for every 1,000 free hearing tests that they carry out nationwide.

The initiative is part of Hidden Hearing’s commitment to get everyone in the UK aged over 55 to have a regular hearing check so they can enjoy more of life’s magic moments. 

For more on the campaign, visit the website here.