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
With the New Year upon us, a lot of people are taking up exercise. Exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle, and is helpful in maintaining your hearing, too. You should be aiming to get your blood pumping faster, increasing your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, five times per week, for optimum health benefits.
One fitness program in particular, which is rapidly gaining a cult following across the nation may have some negative consequences for your hearing if you are not careful. CrossFit is varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. These are the core movements of life. They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximising the amount of work done in the shortest time. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work divided by time—or power. The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness. (https://www.crossfit.com/what-is-crossfit)
What does exercise have to do with my ears and hearing loss?
Lisa Packer a well-known writer at HealthyHearing.com mentioned “There are two common practices that can occur during the weightlifting portion of CrossFit. The first of these is straining. Straining causes intracranial pressure (pressure within the brain) which in turn leads to pressure within the ears. The next is breath holding, which some swear gives them an extra boost in weight lifting by solidifying the core and supporting the spine. However what happens when you hold your breath? More pressure in the inner ear”
“The pressure in the inner ear can lead to changes in the hearing during or after intense exercise as a result of a perilymphatic fistula, or PLF, which occurs unexpectedly and which most people aren’t aware of right away. Simply put, a PLF is a small tear or defect in the thin membrane between the inner ear and the middle ear. The tear itself can be caused by the pressure in the inner ear due to straining; hearing changes occur when the strain of subsequent workouts causes fluid from the inner ear to leak through the tear and into the middle ear”
Read our 10 tips below to ensure you are taking care of your hearing while working out.
- Get a hearing check immediately if you experience any change in hearing during or after exercise, You can visit one of our 75 clinics for a free hearing test and discuss any hearing problems with our audiologists to find the best solution for you and your lifestyle.
- Turn down the music
- Use the 60:60 rule. To enjoy music from your MP3 player safely, listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. All MP3 players bought within the EU have a ‘smart volume’ feature, so use it if you have one. It will help you regulate the volume.
- Turn down the volume on your TV, radio or hi-fi a notch. Even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing. If you need to raise your voice to be heard above the sound, turn it down.
- Reduce the weight you’re lifting to reduce strain. Reducing the strain will reduce the intracranial pressure, and possibly prevent a PLF from occurring.
- Protect your hearing in the gym. Wear earplugs to safeguard against loud music, or keep headphones at a reasonable volume to avoid long term damage in the form of noise-induced hearing loss
- As you age, do less straining during exercise, especially in the form of heavy lifting.
- Banging the weights when weight lifting. That sudden noise can reach a level as high as 140 decibels, which is like being exposed to a gunshot or explosion.
- Give your ears time to recover. If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes every so often in order to let them rest.
- What’s more, researchers have found that your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out.
When to seek help?
What should you look for? Symptoms such as fullness in the ears, muffled hearing or dizziness after intense exercise are definitely not normal, and should be checked out by a medical professional. Have a healthy 2017, just make sure to keep your hearing healthy at the same time.
Book A Free Hearing Test At Hidden Hearing
Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions is Hidden Hearing, with a national network of over seventy-five branches and clinics. If you have any concerns about your hearing, book a free hearing test with us and find out how we can help you.
We have a fantastic range of the newest digital hearing aids for you to try, including invisible hearing aids that sit right inside the ear canal and offer a highly sensitive hearing experience. Contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch