Campaign for Better Hearing Recipient
With family in Northern Ireland, Germany and the UK, being able to keep in touch on the phone was a lifeline for Dubliner Joan Evans. But severe hearing loss in both ears meant frequent broken conversations with her sons and daughters, which the lively and active OAP found upsetting.
“My sons would often say, Mam, are you not wearing your hearing aid, because I kept asking them to repeat things for me. And, I have two young granddaughters, Molly and Beth, and, between their northern accents and my hearing loss, I was at a total loss as to what they were saying”, Joan admits.
Thankfully Joan’s plight came to the attention of Enda Dooley, the hearing aid audiologist with Hidden Hearing in Ballsbridge in south Dublin, who nominated the grandmother for new hi-tech hearing aids, as part of the ‘Give Back’ element of Ireland’s Campaign for Better Hearing.
Now fitted with brand new world-leading Oticon Opn™ hearing technology, Joan couldn’t be happier. She can talk for hours on the phone, and has renewed an active social life with more vigour than ever.
Hearing Loss Resulted in not attending Social Outings
“I have two coffee mornings coming up and, usually, I wouldn’t go, because I found it hard to chat to people. Everything seemed so loud before, and I couldn’t make out a word. I’m much more confident now with these hearing aids, and they’re so light that, other than the fact that I can now hear, I could forget I’m wearing them”, Joan says.
The retired gift shop worker was also in a ladies’ club that she had to leave, saying it got embarrassing, always picking up things people said incorrectly.
“In the past, it was tiring trying so hard to make out conversations. Now I hope to join more social outings, and my hearing certainly won’t be an issue”, she laughs.
The ‘Give Back’ Dublin recipient had previously been wearing one single hearing aid, which was not suited to her type of hearing loss, but was fitted through the public health system. Unfortunately this was totally inappropriate, as she had quite a severe hearing loss in both ears.
“Joan has a profound hearing loss, especially in her left ear. She was only wearing one hearing aid too, which would have made hearing a massive struggle for her”, her Hidden Hearing audiologist explains.
Having never worn a hearing aid in her left ear, Joan’s brain is adjusting to processing the new sounds and being able to hear clearly in both ears.
“I’m hearing sounds that I haven’t heard in years, perfectly clearly, now. It’s strange to hear on my left-hand side, but I cannot thank Enda and Hidden Hearing enough for the care and patience in getting to the root of my hearing problem”, she says, adding that her appointments with audiologist Enda Dooley and the process of diagnosing and treating her hearing loss could not have been simpler.
The new hearing aids also include a fitting for ‘the loop, which will amplify her hearing ability in public places. When Joan goes into a bank or a church, cinema or airport where there is a symbol for the loop system, she presses a button on the back of the hearing aid to connect in. So, tricky situations, like in the bank when you are talking to someone behind a glass panel, are no longer a problem.
HEAR ARE the FACTS
Around *86% of hearing loss in Ireland goes untreated, for several reasons, even though 1 in 5 adults suffer from at least a mild hearing problem. By the age of 55, one quarter of the population report a significant deterioration in hearing and, by 65, this applies to one third of people.
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.
“Of all the senses, hearing fundamentally affects our quality of life and has important health and safety implications. Hearing loss is a simple fact of life, as we age, and needs treatment like any other health condition.
Good hearing facilitates communication, social interaction, relationships and day to day activities. It also means we are alerted to danger and more conscious of it”, Dolores Madden explains.
In the region of 100,000 people may be risking the knock-on physical and psychological impacts of untreated hearing loss which, Hidden Hearing reports, has been shown to include social isolation, depression, dementia, poor heart health and stroke.
Hidden Hearing’s Campaign for Better Hearing is fronted by Daniel and Majella O’Donnell and aims to educate the public on taking care of their hearing, just as they would look after their teeth, eyesight, blood pressure or cholesterol.
The campaign encourages everyone over the age of 50 to have a free hearing test, and the Hidden Hearing “Give Back” programme fits complimentary hearing devices for deserving recipients.
Free hearing testing is available in over 75 state-of-the-art Hidden Hearing clinics throughout Ireland, as the healthcare provider drives home the message that taking care of hearing is essential, not least because life is worth hearing!
Simply being able to talk to her family on the phone has been life changing for Joan Evans in Dublin, and has given her a new-found freedom and an enjoyable social life.
“When the phone rings now, I can’t wait to answer it and catch up with friends and family on all their news”, she says.
Book A Free Hearing Test
If you think you may have hearing loss, the first step is to book a free hearing test with an experienced audiologist as soon as you can. Our friendly team can help you to find the best approach to improve your hearing experience, and you can benefit from advice and information from the experts.