As a youngster, Kyle Moir got to know Warrnambool audiologist Tim Rayner’s sound booth very well.
He underwent numerous tests in the booth that found he had severe hearing loss in his right ear and put him on a path to regain much of that loss.
Now aged 24, Mr Moir is back in the booth but this time as a trained audiologist.
Mr Moir, from Panmure, underwent several operations after lots of ear infections as child left him with ear disease problems and about a 75 per cent hearing loss in his right ear.
He had a cyst removed from the ear, his ear drum rebuilt and his middle ear reconstructed to reduce his hearing loss to only about 20 per cent.
He said the hearing loss in his right ear did not isolate him much from his peers when he was growing up but it still gave him an insight into the wider social impact that hearing loss can have.
“Looking back, I did not realise how much my hearing loss had impacted me.
“On the school bus, the classroom, it takes a lot more effort to listen.
“Anywhere where there was background noise, it makes it harder to communicate.
“Because hearing loss is sometimes incremental, you do not realise that your hearing is worst than others,” Mr Moir said.
“After school you might be tired from listening, but you did not attribute that to your hearing loss.
“I did not realise how bad my hearing was until I was checked for this disease.
“It was picked up when I was 13,” Mr Moir said.
He said his experience dealing with his hearing loss had exposed him to what an audiologist did and led him to six years’ study to get his Masters of Clinical Audiology.
His experience had helped him in his consultations with children who had hearing loss as well with older men, he said.
Some old men might resist getting a hearing aid but he was able to tell them of the broader effects of hearing loss such as getting tired from the effort of listening.