Dolores has been a leading figure in the hearing healthcare sector for the past 27 years, having first qualified as an accountant technician (MIATI) and then studying audiology and qualifying as an Audiologist (ISHAA, MSHAA) in 2002.
She has worked across all aspects of the business within Hidden Hearing, serving as Operations Manager for 4 years. For six years she was Branch Manager/Senior Audiologist for the Cork Branch, and Team Leader for six audiologists in the Southern Region.
A leading media commentator on hearing loss issues, Dolores Madden planned and implemented Hearing Awareness Week. Running since 2007, this annual event has significantly raised the issue of hearing loss on Ireland’s health agenda.
She also launched the Hidden Hearing Heroes awards scheme in 2011, a CSR initiative to recognise unsung heroes in communities across Ireland.
Find Out More About Dolores
Like any new technology, mastering how to get the most out of your hearing aids will take a little time and study. One of the most important things to learn is how to adjust your hearing aid so that you can find the settings that work best for you.
Of course, this may vary from situation to situation and from person to person. However, there are a few tricks worth knowing about that could improve your current experience and make a life a little easier.
The first thing to be aware of is how the volume on your particular device is controlled. Older models of hearing aid usually have a manual volume control – this can either be controlled with your fingertips and come with a dial that can be turned up or down – or take the form of a an inset that has to be adjusted using a screwdriver.
Hearing aids that fit into your inner ear, the volume control will usually be located on just one of your earpieces, but will usually work on both, so don’t bother searching for controls on both!
Sometimes your hearing device will even come with a remote control, which can make the whole process a lot easier, while a few of the newer models now offer automatic volume adjustment, saving you the trouble of having to make any manual tweaks. If you’re at all unsure about which model you have, check the user manual that comes with your hearing aid, or ask your audiologist for help.
Certain situations, such as a change of environment, may also require a switch in settings to maximize sound quality. For instance, if you want to talk on the telephone, you may want to switch or slide on the toggle that controls noise suppression which minimizes feedback and background noise so that you can hear the voice on the other end more clearly. Sometimes this will be labelled as telephone mode, depending on your device.
By contrast, activating the control that handles high tones in situations where there is a lot of high pitched background noise, such as in a restaurant or in the street, will help to minimise loud sounds such as the clatter of dishes and cutlery or traffic noise. In general, high cut tone control reduces the feedback that make hearing aids squeal, so is well worth knowing about, as this can be quite an unpleasant experience.
Gain control is another adjustment worth knowing about when it comes to fine-tuning your hearing aids. This enables you to make loud sounds less amplified – helpful at a party where there may be loud music playing, which may drown out lower tonal sounds such as a conversation. This removes the need to lower the volume, which would simply reduce all sounds, so can be very useful to know about.
Of course, your device may well have automatic settings for different situations, some of which can be individualized to your personal preferences. If in doubt, ask for help – a small tweak or tip from your audiologist could make all the difference to your overall quality of life.