It's Fiddly Putting in a Hearing Aid with No Fingertips; He Has Trekked to the Poles and Conquered Everest. Now Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes Is Facing Another Great Challenge - Overcoming Age-Related Deafness

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), April 1, 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

It's Fiddly Putting in a Hearing Aid with No Fingertips; He Has Trekked to the Poles and Conquered Everest. Now Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes Is Facing Another Great Challenge - Overcoming Age-Related Deafness


Byline: Kay Goddard

Over the past few years, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, one of the world's foremost explorers, has battled a litany of health problems. In 2003 he underwent a triple bypass after suffering a major heart attack that left him in a coma for three days.

He has also fought prostate cancer, lost the fingertips of his left hand to frostbite - he famously amputated the blackened ends himself with a saw in his shed in frustration at having to wait for a hospital appointment - and has developed arthritis in his right hip and right hand. He attributes the latter to sleeping in wet and cold conditions during his expeditions, which include treks to the North and South Poles.

So it will come as no surprise to learn that the 67-year-old former SAS officer, who made history by becoming the first British pensioner to conquer Everest, refuses to give in to his latest health setback without a fight. Sir Ranulph is suffering from age-related deafness.

His hearing problems started about three years ago and are, like those of most sufferers, irreversible. 'I wasn't really aware of it at first as it never affected my day-to-day business,' he says.

'And it was never a problem on any of my recent expeditions. Admittedly, I had a couple of problems when I was climbing Everest in 2009 but I put that down to my climbing partner, who refuses to use walkie-talkies.

'But when my wife Louise kept telling me I had the television on too loudly or that I kept saying ''what?'', I suspected something was wrong. Like many people, I explained away my symptoms, often accusing Louise of mumbling.

'The hearing had deteriorated in my right ear, so I could only hear people properly when they were on my left side. But the main problem was when I struggled to hear what people were saying during the question-and-answer sessions after lectures.'

Like many people, Sir Ranulph - a cousin of actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes, and also of the Prince of Wales - chose to ignore his hearing problem until last summer, when he made a trip to Boots in Exmoor, Devon, where he lives with Louise and daughter Elizabeth, five.

'They were offering free hearing checks and I thought, why not. I had nothing to do that day and so took advantage of the offer. I didn't tell Louise I was going, because she'd been telling me for ages to go and have a test and I didn't want her to think she'd been right all along.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

It's Fiddly Putting in a Hearing Aid with No Fingertips; He Has Trekked to the Poles and Conquered Everest. Now Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes Is Facing Another Great Challenge - Overcoming Age-Related Deafness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?