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
How close can a hearing aid get to normal hearing? Many people do not understand that hearing aids do not restore perfect hearing, especially as glasses can give perfect vision back to their wearer. However, the ears are extremely delicate and complex organs, and no amount of sophisticated technology can mimic the incredible job they do.
Here at Hidden Hearing, we have an excellent range of hearing aids and our most advanced designs have many features that make the hearing experience better and more straightforward. They also offer useful additional features such as compatibility with smart phones, which can make life much easier for their wearers. They still cannot come close to the sounds heard by those with ‘normal’ hearing, however, and here’s why:
Why Can’t Hearing Aids Hear Normally?
- The ears process sounds in many different ways, using all of the parts of the ear, and more than 25,000 tiny hair cells are involved in refining the sounds heard in a ‘normal’ hearing experience. Although digital hearing aids often use dozens of channels to process sound, this cannot create a comparable hearing experience.
- The ear is shaped perfectly to collect and funnel sounds into the ear canal, before they reach the middle ear. This makes hearing high pitched sounds easier, which is vital for understanding speech. Although hearing aids throughout history have modelled this shape, including the ear trumpets often seen in the past, no device can re-create this precisely enough to collect and funnel sounds in the same way.
- There are thousands of precisely tuned nerve cells playing their part in translating the sounds that are heard in ‘normal’ hearing. When this hearing process is interrupted by hearing loss, the electronic replacement for these nerve cells simply cannot create such a specific sound.
- The human hearing system is designed to hear in different environments and those with ‘normal’ hearing can adapt to their surroundings without even being aware of it. Modern digital hearing aids do a great job of moving between many different channels to produce the best quality sound for wearers, but this will always be inferior to the way it works naturally.
Of course, the use of the word ‘normal’ is arbitrary, since normal is different for each individual. This term is used with caution here, to describe the way in which the ears of an individual without hearing loss will generally hear and process sounds.
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Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over sixty-five branches and clinics. We provide free hearing tests and our experienced team of audiologists will help you to find the best solution for your lifestyle.