Chesterfield author to become face of new ‘runny ears’ campaign

Chesterfield-based author Melanie Hancock.
Chesterfield-based author Melanie Hancock.

A Chesterfield-based author has become a face of a campaign to raise awareness of a rare condition called ‘runny ears’.

Melanie Hancock, 51, grew up having to deal with a smelly discharge from her ears: a problem caused by chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) - a chronic inflammation of the middle ear and mastoid cavity - and exacerbated by her wearing hearing aids since the age of five.

At times the discharge was almost constant, affecting Melanie’s confidence and her self esteem.

But then in her mid 40s, Melanie was fitted with the first of two Cochlear Baha bone conduction hearing implants - improving her hearing and reducing the recurrence of infections.

Melanie said: “My life has changed dramatically. My hearing is so good, my speech has improved tremendously, ear infections are rare nowadays, I feel more balanced and I have gained heaps in confidence.

Her positive experience has inspired Melanie - a former radiographer - to write a children’s book about a deaf girl fitted with baha technology before she embarks on a new career, possibly as an audiologist assistant.

“It was difficult as a teenager,” Melanie said. “My confidence and self esteem were low, as the hearing and ear infections made me feel isolated and made social and making new friends difficult. I did have a small group of good friends, who did support me.”

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