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Ireland & Northern Ireland are helping people hear better again through the Give Back Programme!

Campaign for Better Hearing 2018 Review

The Campaign for Better Hearing is an initiative established with 3 simple goals.

  1. To inform and educate people about hearing health and the dangers of untreated hearing loss.
  2. To provide free hearing tests to everyone over the age of 50.
  3. To make hearing devices accessible to people who otherwise could not afford them via a Give Back Programme.

In 2018, the Give Back Programme saw 17 people presented with FREE state-of-the-art hearing devices. Hidden Hearing is pledging to double this number in 2019.
Local awareness-raising events across the country, news coverage and paid advertising support the initiative. Free hearing devices are provided to locally nominated clients using funds raised by an €8 donation to the Campaign for every hearing test performed at one of Hidden Hearing Ireland’s clinics.

The Campaign’s Give Back Programme saw Leona Egan, a girl as young as 13, receive a FREE pair of hearing devices from Peter Noel Cullen, Senior Audiologist of The Middle Abbey Street Branch. Fitting in is important for schoolchildren, but not hearing properly makes that task even harder, as Ms Egan discovered in early childhood. Leona’s poor hearing was noticed by a teacher when she was aged just 4, in junior infants.  Her mum was told she wasn’t picking up things as much as the other children. Leona was diagnosed with hearing the loss in both ears and treated with grommets, which fell out after a while; but Leona’s hearing never returned properly.

“I was very young when I realised I was different, but not quite sure why.  I would notice other kids listening to things and laughing, or acting on instructions from teachers that I simply couldn’t hear.  It was confusing and frustrating”, the teenager explains.

Leona now says she would love to study audiology when she is older, such was her great experience of the treatment she had from Noel Cullen and the team at Hidden Hearing.

“I have learned so much, and found out what a huge difference the right hearing aids can make, that I’d like to be able to help people to hear better too”, Leona Egan says.

The Campaigns eldest recipient, 82-year-old Terry Griffen a sporty, adventurous and lively person, had noticed his hearing ability deteriorating after a near-fatal car crash in November of 2017, and a regular check-up at his local branch in Artane confirmed that. Terry and his wife, Eileen, credit the team at Hidden Hearing’s Artane branch, particularly Audiologist Teodora Daneva for helping to put his life back together again.

Terry and Eileen’s car crash significantly damaged Terry’s physical and emotional health also. Terry recalls thinking neither of the two would survive the crash and the shock of it affected Terry’s hearing health. Unfortunately for Terry, this serious car accident was not the first time he was unlucky on the roads- he crashed his bike in 1966 during a ten-day cycling race, leaving him unconscious for ten days with a fractured skull. He has also had two heart stints fitted and a hip replacement so all of these incidents began to take their toll on his hearing and confidence.

Eileen noted that this strained hearing caused her to constantly shout and repeat herself when talking to her husband, and she became exhausted from this. His hearing also impacted the way he socialised, and he withdrew because he found it so hard to hear in group situations.

After being selected as a candidate for Hidden Hearing’s “Give Back” community scheme, things have since improved immensely for both Terry and Eileen.

Terry says; “I am so grateful to Teodora the audiologist in Hidden Hearing Artane for nominating me to be part of this campaign. I would not be here speaking to you now if it weren’t for the amazing technology in these hearing devices. From having been hospitalised after my cycling accident, having two titanium stints in my heart, a hip replacement, and now this, if I hadn’t received this new hearing aid, I would be a shadow of myself. Now I am excited to get out and about, it’s given me a new lease of life. I can hear everything, I feel great.”

Eileen is truly grateful and credits Hidden Hearing for opening the channels of communication again between her and her husband saying; “We really appreciate these new hearing devices and everything Hidden Hearing is doing for us now. I’m a woman of great patience but repeating myself and shouting to be heard, it really takes it out of you. Now I am so happy – I’m sitting here beside him and haven’t needed to repeat myself once. Thank you so much, Teodora”.

Hidden Hearing’s audiologist Teodora Daneva based in the Artane branch hails the technology behind the devices Terry received saying; “These devices have won awards, they are the best you can get. I am thrilled to see Terry’s reaction and to be able to assist the couple in this way. They have been through a hard time and obviously, a massive car accident is going to have an impact on your life in a big way so it’s great to give someone the gift of hearing better.”

Other Recipients of the 2018 Give Back Programme are listed below:

You can click on each one listed below to read about their stories.

  1. Michael Corrigan, Santry, Dublin
  2. Pat Fitzpatrick, Annacotty, Limerick
  3. Bernie Fox, Darndale, Dublin
  4. James Heatley, Killester, Dublin
  5. Edwina Kane, Carbury, Kildare
  6. Des O Sullivan, Newbawn, Wexford
  7. Patsy Murphy, Bagenalstown, Carlow
  8. Sylvia Stewart, Malahide, Dublin
  9. Stella Joyce, Crumlin, Dublin
  10. Joan Evans, Sandymount, Dublin
  11. Timothy Fitzgerald, Youghal, Cork
  12. Maurice Hannon, Listowel, Kerry
  13. Joanne Gibson, Omagh, Tyrone
  14. Leroy Dempster, Coleraine, Londonderry
  15. Marna Savage, Larne, Antrim
  16. Leona Egan, Ballyfermot, Dublin
  17. Terrence Griffin, Coolock, Dublin

86% of Hearing Loss Untreated        

Over three-quarters of hearing loss in Ireland goes untreated, for various reasons, even though 1 in 5 adults suffer from at least a mild hearing problem.   By the age of 55, a quarter of the population report a significant deterioration in their hearing and, by 65, this applies to one-third of people.

Dolores Madden, the Hidden Hearing Marketing Director, says that over half the population between the ages of 60 and 80 are likely to have measurable hearing loss, which they really need to address.

“Of all the senses, hearing really affects our quality of life and has significant health and safety implications.  It is a simple fact of life that, as we age, everyone’s hearing gets worse.  It can be a nuisance though and isolating, so hearing loss must be treated, just like any other health condition”.

Hidden Hearing’s Campaign for Better Hearing is supported by Daniel and Majella O’Donnell and is designed 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.

Hidden Hearing branches countrywide offer help and advice for anyone worried about hearing loss, and can provide detail of grants for medical card holders, tax relief and PRSI treatment benefits.

Free Hearing Test available

Free hearing testing is available in over 80 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!

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