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
New insight into why antibiotics cause deafness
Seeking to stem the tide of permanent hearing loss from the use of life-saving antibiotics, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have found that patients stricken with dangerous bacterial infections are at greater risk of hearing loss than previously recognized. Inflammation from the bacterial infections substantially increased susceptibility to hearing impairment by increasing the uptake of aminoglycoside antibiotics into the inner ear, the researchers report. Their findings are published in online in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
“Currently, it’s accepted that the price that some patients have to pay for surviving a life-threatening bacterial infection is the loss of their ability to hear. We must swiftly bring to clinics everywhere effective alternatives for treating life-threatening infections that do not sacrifice patients’ ability to hear,” said Peter S. Steyger, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, Oregon Hearing Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. “Most instances in which patients are treated with aminoglycosides involve infants with life-threatening infections. The costs of this incalculable loss are borne by patients and society. When infants lose their hearing, they begin a long and arduous process to learn to listen and speak. This can interfere with their educational trajectory and psychosocial development, all of which can have a dramatic impact on their future employability, income and quality of life.”
Aminoglycosides, antimicrobials that are indispensable to treating life-threatening bacterial infections, are toxic to the ear. Relied on by physicians to treat meningitis, bacteremia and respiratory infections in cystic fibrosis, aminoglycosides kill the sensory cells in the inner ear that detect sound and motion.
When Steyger and colleagues gave healthy mice a low amount of aminoglycoside, the rodents experienced a small degree of hearing loss. If the mice had an inflammation that is typical of the infections treated with aminoglycosides in humans, the mice experienced a vastly greater degree of hearing loss.
The study lays the groundwork for improving the standard of care guidelines for patients receiving aminoglycosides. To shield patients’ hearing, the researchers called for the development of more targeted aminoglycosides and urged clinicians to choose more targeted, non-ototoxic antibiotics or anti-infective drugs to treat patients stricken with severe infections.