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Campaign for Better Hearing Makes a Difference to Kildare Native Edwina Kane’s Life

Edwina Kane, 22, from Kildare suffered from poor hearing from an early age which affected her ability to learn in school. However, through Hidden Hearing’s “Give-Back” campaign Edwina has discovered a new way of life having been fitted with top of the range Oticon OPN hearing devices.

Edwina Kane from Carbury, Kildare has always been a driven young lady, but her hearing issues caused a setback from an early age. It started when she was five when her grommets dislodged from her ear drums. This affected her hearing which subsequently deteriorated. It wasn’t until she was in primary school that she began to realise her hearing health declining as she used to listen to the TV at the top volume which raised alarm bells in her parents’ minds, as well as stalling in school which has since been put down to not being able to hear the lessons properly.

Edwina has always been a hard worker and an active Irish dancer.  Life became more difficult for her as her hearing deteriorated more and more.

Edwina said:I got my first hearing aids in primary school. I had to spend an extra year in primary school to make up on what I missed. Mum said that she always thought there was something wrong with my hearing. She noticed it more when my sister was born because all my nursery rhymes where backwards or I would miss half of a rhyme. I have always suffered from hearing loss – but I didn’t notice just how bad it was until I was fitted with my first hearing aids in 6th class and it made me realise the depth of my hearing loss.”

Edwina’s mother Claire Kane said: “We decided to get help privately as we knew she was missing out on school. At the dinner table, we noticed she looked like she was missing out on so much. There was one morning that I woke up to our bungalow nearly rocking – Edwina had the TV up over 40Db. You could feel the vibration down the hall. We knew there was a problem”.

Edwina realizes this hearing difficulty has impacted on her life in a lot of ways, especially in school, she says; “I was told by a teacher when I was younger that I would never get a Junior Cert or Leaving Cert because of my hearing loss but since I was fitted with private hearing aids, I accomplished both & my teachers even noticed an enormous difference. One of them even cried tears of joy for me!”

Edwina has come a long way academically and in dance. She has been Irish dancing since the age of 4 and has traveled to many countries across Europe. Her dance group at the Ann Kearney School of Irish Dance, has won various medals and are score champions. She is also pursuing college-level education at Blanchardstown IT. She is studying Applied Social Studies and Social Care and hopes to work with people who have intellectual disabilities. She continues; “I have done my placement in this area for the last two years and would love to continue, it’s nice to be able to give back to people.”

Tony Johnson, an audiologist based in Hidden Hearing’s Newbridge branch is delighted that the devices have made such a difference to Edwina’s life. Tony says; “the technology used in these OPN hearing aids is astounding, it’s a very sophisticated technology. I noted Edwina’s left ear was weaker than her right one. Her hearing loss has impacted negatively on learning, social settings and dance classes for this young lady”. With the help of these new state of the art hearing aids, Edwina will not struggle as much anymore and can keep working hard to pursue her dreams.

Tony nominated Edwina to be part of Hidden Hearing’s Give-Back campaign because he was so impressed with her ambition. He said; What made me nominate Edwina was her motivation to succeed. She’s a fantastic person. She has a strong character and has pushed herself to succeed even when it was tough. Many people would have given in, but she didn’t. She stood up for herself and carried on. I am delighted to be able to help Edwina hear better with the hearing she has. Edwina is now on the road to better hearing & communication”.

ABOUT HIDDEN HEARING’S “GIVE BACK CAMPAIGN”

Free hearing testing is available in over 75 state-of-the-art Hidden Hearing clinics throughout Ireland, as part of the “Campaign for Better Hearing” which was launched earlier this year by Daniel O’Donnell and Majella O’Donnell, proud supporters of the Campaign for Better Hearing. The campaign aims to improve the hearing health of the communities around the various Hidden Hearing branches nationwide.  Education and information in relation to prevention and treatment, as well as hearing aid technology, is also part of the year-long hearing health campaign.

Around *70% of hearing loss in Ireland is untreated, for various reasons; an element of which is the perceived stigma at wearing a hearing device.

*Hearing loss is shockingly prevalent in Ireland. In fact, 1 in 5 adults suffer from at least a mild hearing loss. Even among younger adults ages 18- 24, they are showing early signs of noise induced hearing loss. By the age of 55 ¼ of the population report a significant deterioration in hearing and by 65 this rises to 1/3.

In the region of 100,000 people may be risking the knock-on physical and psychological impacts of untreated hearing loss, which recent research has shown to include social isolation, depression, dementia, diminished heart health and stroke.

According to Hidden Hearing, Marketing Director, Dolores Madden, over half the population between the ages of 60 and 80 are likely to have measurable hearing loss.

The Give-Back Programme, which is an integral part of The Campaign for Better Hearing sees all branches of Hidden Hearing nominate a member of the community to get a free hearing device fitted. Hidden Hearing want to drive the message of the importance of good hearing and improve hearing health in those who they feel need it, because life is worth hearing.

You can get involved by nominating a person you feel would benefit from having a hearing test- they could be selected to receive a free pair of hearing devices through the Campaign for Better Hearing’s Give-Back Programme.

All you need to do is email: nominations@hiddenhearing.ie with your name, number, address and the name of the person you’re nominating, along with a brief summary of why you are nominating that person for a free hearing test, and potentially a free pair of hearing devices.

More information is available on www.hiddenhearing.ie

You can also call 1890 80 40 50 to learn more about the Campaign for Better Hearing or to book in for your free hearing test.

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