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
What is selective hearing?
Selective hearing is also known as hearing loss by attention. It affects many people and refers to the unconscious blocking out of sounds while engaged in another stimulating activity. For example, missing the sound of a telephone ringing due to focusing on a computer game or book.
Selective hearing loss is not the result of one noise making another inaudible, but a choice by the brain to focus on one stimulus over another.
How does selective hearing work?
Studies show that selective hearing can occur when two sounds are presented at the same time, when the brain will focus only on the preferred stimulus. For example, when researchers presented two different speakers simultaneously, the patients reacted as if only the first speaker was talking, not acknowledging the second at all.
Why does selective hearing happen?
Current research suggests that selective hearing may be the result of limited brain capacity to take in multiple stimuli. It becomes necessary to be selective because there is simply an overload of information if this does not happen. Cues, such as visual elements (in a film or sports game) or familiar and interesting words being spoken by a speaker, can shift the focus of attention to a new stimulus.
What is the problem with selective hearing?
Selective hearing may present a danger if warnings or hazards are not noticed by the brain due to concentrating on other stimuli. Being unaware of alarms or sirens while walking or driving, for example, could be extremely dangerous. As well as this, you may miss important or useful information, or find that your relationships with friends and loved ones suffer when communication is compromised.
What can I do about selective hearing?
It is possible to train the brain to pay attention to potentially important new information and to lower risk by concentrating on one activity at one time. Multitasking increases the likelihood of selective hearing, so avoiding this can help. Listening to music or using social media during daily activities can overload the brain, so ensure you take some time to pay attention to your environment and allow yourself to notice and appreciate the details around you.
Take A Free Hearing Test At Hidden Hearing In Ireland
Do you often miss information or ask for things to be repeated? If you are experiencing selective hearing loss, your friends or family may notice this first and it is worth taking steps to address it to avoid putting yourself at risk. If you feel that you may be developing hearing loss, you should make an appointment for a free hearing test as soon as possible.
Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics. Our audiologists are on hand to help you to find the best hearing solution for you and your lifestyle, so contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch.