As a fully qualified Fellowship member of both the British, and the Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, he has years of advanced training both locally and nationally.
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Over a quarter of all adults over 55 admit to having hearing difficulty according to new research from Hidden Hearing, Ireland’s premier professional provider of hearing healthcare. Hidden Hearing made the announcement at the launch of Hearing Awareness Week, Hidden Hearing’s annual awareness event, which offers free hearing tests throughout the country from the 9th – 13th March 2015. The Research, which was conducted by Hidden Hearing on over 250 people reveals that managing their hearing is still not a priority for people over 55 despite the fact that a significant proportion of adults over 55 experience some hearing difficulty. The research also revealed:
- Only 13% of adults consider their hearing a top health priority.
- Blood pressure is the top health priority amongst the over 55s.
- Hearing and sight become higher health priorities for over 65s.
- When asked to choose between an eyesight test, a blood pressure test or a hearing test, only one in ten over 55s said they would get their hearing test first.
- Just over a quarter (26%) of respondents aged over 55 said they had suffered from Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ears with significantly more males (35%) than females (23%) reporting to have experienced this hearing impairment.
Speaking at the launch of Hearing Awareness Week, Noel Cullen Hidden Hearing’ Senior Audiologist said: “Statistics available to us reveal that hearing problems in Ireland are on the increase. Today, there are almost half a million people in Ireland with some form of hearing loss. 20% of people aged 50 years and older experience a disabling hearing loss (225,000 people in Ireland), while 44% of people aged 70 years and over experience a disabling hearing loss (145,000 Irish adults). Based on current trends, we are expecting this number to rise dramatically in the coming years unless we do something about it.”
Dolores Madden, Head of Marketing at Hidden Hearing said: “We believe that everybody must know someone who has problems hearing. Unfortunately many people suffer in silence despite the fact that the hearing difficulties can significantly disrupt their lives. For example, people with hearing problems may withdraw from social situations because they find it hard to engage in conversations in groups or crowds, they regularly have to ask people to repeat themselves and they might turn up the television and radio above normal decibel levels at home. Even more worrying is that some people might not be able to hear the doorbell or the phone ringing at home which puts their safety at risk.”
Alf Smyth, Hidden Hearing Audiologist continued: “The evidence shows us that from approximately 20 years of age, our hearing starts a gradual decline. This is completely normal and does not always lead to total loss of hearing. However, hearing problems, if left untreated, can worsen over time and can also cause auditory deprivation which means that sufferers can lose their ability to recognise certain sounds in addition to their hearing loss. Early intervention with hearing loss is critical to minimise auditory deprivation and prevent hearing problems becoming more complicated than they need to be.”
This year at Hearing Awareness Week, Hidden Hearing is launching its ‘HEAR’ information campaign. The campaign asks people to ‘Know the Signs’ of hearing difficulty in their family members and friends and to encourage anyone with hearing difficulties to avail of a hearing test.
‘Know the Signs’ of Hearing Difficulties:
H- OME – Do you find it hard to hear the telephone, doorbell, radio or TV at home?
E- NGAGE – Do you find it hard to engage in conversation with others in crowds?
A - SK – Do you have to ask people to speak more clearly?
R – EPEAT – Do people often have to repeat themselves for you?
Hearing Awareness Week’s main event is a free health check event in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin on 9th March. Hosted by RTE’s Joe Duffy, the event will offer a range of free health checks for people including blood pressure, blood sugar, ear wax removal, foot examinations and hearing tests. Hidden Hearing’s mobile screening clinics will also visit towns around the country including Galway, Meath, Louth and Westmeath offering free hearing tests. Free hearing check-ups will also be available in Hidden Hearing’s branches nationwide.
For further information on free hearing tests and the free health event visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.