Living With Hearing Loss – Galway Independent

Living With Hearing Loss

Living With Hearing Loss: Galway Independent Wed Jan 26

People forget the impact that good hearing has on the quality of their lives and, unfortunately, they feel that hearing loss is just something they should put up with.

However Dr Nina Byrnes, Hidden Hearing’s Medical Consultant strongly disagrees. “A certain amount of hearing loss is normal with age, but you don’t have to tolerate it. If you notice that you are suddenly favoring one ear over the other or are finding that you are not hearing as well as you normally would, it is important to get it checked out,” she says.

Living with Hearing Loss

Dr Nina talks about hearing loss.

Dr Nina explains that at Hidden Hearing, the hearing test takes and hour and is completely painless. The hearing specialist takes a complete medical history, examines the ear, and goes through the various grades of hearing. Then, depending on the results, they may recommend you get a hearing aid. Hidden Hearing has a comprehensive range of aids available, and they can tailor them according to your needs. “At hidden Hearing, the hearing tests are genuinely free and you are under no pressure to buy a hearing aid,” Dr Nina reassures. “It’s a decision you make with your family.” For more information or to book a hearing test, cal  1800 882 884 or visit

This reproduction is from the publication The Galway Independent dated Jan 26 and is extracted in it’s entirety.

My father is going deaf, but will not have a hearing test The TV presenter and comedian Graham Norton advises readers


Graham Advises



Dear Graham

My father is becoming increasingly hard of hearing, but he is a very stubborn alpha male and suggestions that he get a hearing test fall on deaf ears.

He was always rude and impatient with his own parents if they failed to wear their hearing aids, and doesn’t seem to see the irony in following in their footsteps.

He has to have the television so loud that nobody else in the house can sleep. He looks bored and miserable when other people are talking as he can’t join in. We speak to him loudly and slowly, but even then are berated for ”muttering’’. I feel especially sorry for my mother, who has to spend all her time shouting and being shouted at.

He is comfortably off so could afford the best, most discreet hearing aid available, if only he would consider the idea. I don’t know if it’s possible to buy them as gifts, but even if we did, I think it would take a lightning bolt of realisation for him to try them. Kate W, Bristol

Dear Kate

Please believe me when I tell you that I do understand your frustration, but whatever

you and your mother are going through is nothing compared to what is happening to your father.

He must know he is going deaf, but for whatever reason he isn’t ready to admit it yet. I imagine it’s because if he accepts his loss of hearing he has to acknowledge his age and the various indignities that come with it. He must remember what his own parents suffered and understandably isn’t ready to join that club just yet. Give him time to acknowledge it. Nobody gets glasses when they need them, they buy them to cure blinding headaches or after walking into a wall.

Provide him with the phone numbers, leaflets and websites he needs and then let him decide when the time is right. He may not be able to hear what you are saying, but nor can you feel what he is feeling.


Rise in suicides among elderly people




INCREASING isolation and the closure of traditional meeting places has been blamed for the rising number of suicides among elderly people.

Pointing to newly released suicide figures from south Kerry, the coroner, solicitor Terence Casey, said the worrying trend had been particularly noticeable since 2005.

The warning comes after the Offaly County Coroner warned earlier this week that suicide is now “rampant” in rural society.

Figures from the Offaly office and provisional figures from the coroner in Clare highlighted a growth in the number of suicides in both counties.

Mr Casey said the common perception that suicide was something that occurred mainly among the young had been turned on its head in recent years.

In the past five years, he said, older age groups made up the highest numbers of suicides in the south Kerry region, which includes the wider Killarney, Caherciveen, Kenmare and Killorglin areas.

Mr Casey said it was important society asked why the trend was changing.

Separately, suicide awareness campaigner Shane Maher said the issue of post-retirement suicide needed to be addressed across the country.

The head of the Campaign Against Suicide, Mr Maher has been lobbying for a drop-in centre to be opened in Limerick city for people who are suicidal.

“People lose their sense of purpose; their routine changes and they can become isolated. It is a sudden jolt,” Mr Maher said.

“Sudden withdrawal from occupation, routine and work colleagues, which can sometimes be accompanied by the death of a spouse, can be devastating. We propose the introduction of retirement clubs and job sharing post-60 to address suicide post-retirement.”

According to figures released by the south Kerry coroner, four of the 12 people who took their own lives in 2005 were over the age of 60; four were between the ages of 30-50; three in the 20-30 age group and one under 20.

Similarly, in the years since, seven of the nine suicides in 2006 were over the age of 40.

Four of the seven suicides in south Kerry in 2008 were over 50 and two of these were aged over 60. In 2009, four of the 13 suicides were aged 60 and over; three in the 40-50 age group and two aged over 30.

Provisional figures for 2010 showed eight verdicts of suicide were returned. Three of the dead were people aged 50 to 60.

The overall figure is likely to increase as all of the 2010 inquests have yet to be held, Mr Casey said.

“The age profile is changing to older people,” the south Kerry coroner said, describing the suicide issue in the county and elsewhere as “extremely complex”.

Mr Casey also urged people to talk about their problems and suggested most of the suicides were in rural parts of the county where meeting places like the local pub and the creamery no longer existed and the mail was left at collection points rather than the post office.

“There is a gap in social life in rural Ireland. We have to question the suicide trend in the older age groups,” Mr Casey said.

Earlier this week, figures from the Offaly County Coroner’s office and provisional figures from the coroner in Clare highlighted a growth in the number of suicides in both counties.

The latest published figures for suicide in this country produced by the Central Statistics Office show that there were 527 cases, up from 424 the previous year.

An additional 195 “deaths by undetermined intent” were recorded.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, January 28, 2011


Deaf Rave @ Tripod

Intrepid Entertainment Productions in association with Hidden Hearing bring you Irelands Largest Ever Club Night for the Deaf Community and their Friends in Dublin’s Tripod on Thursday Jan 13th 2011

Tickets available through Ticketmaster and Outlets

Thursday Jan 13th 2011

Irelands Largest Ever Club Night for the Deaf Community and their Friends

Thumping Bass, Throbbing Beats

Dubstep, Pop, Hip-Hop, Dance & Awesome Indie

Come join us for the biggest ever event for Deaf People in Ireland. Direct from London, DJS




Free Style Hype-Up Sign


Aroma Jockey

Drinks Promos

Laser Show

Games Area


The One Party You Can Not Miss!

Bring Your Friends!

Check Out

for more details

Tickets available through Ticketmaster and Outlets

Booking fee may apply

€14 Earlybird Ticket available till Dec31st

€17 Tickets available after and on door

€15 Tickets available TXT 085 842 1670

Over 18’s Event






Presented by

Intrepid Entertainment Productions

Ear problems can signal hearing, balance and other health issues

We’ve all experienced the discomfort of stubborn water remaining in the ear after a dip in the pool or a shower, a ringing sensation after attending a loud sporting event or a concert, or the sudden sensation of the room spinning, after standing up too quickly.

Our ears are made of tiny bones, passages and structures that not only control our hearing, but also our sense of balance and equilibrium. This delicate, intricate system can be thrown out of whack by many things: a cold, an infection, medication or an injury.

The three parts of the ear — outer, middle and inner ear — are all used in hearing. The outer and middle ear conduct sound waves, while the inner ear creates and sends the nerve impulses to the brain, where they are recognized as sounds. The inner ear also controls balance, which is why disorders of this part of the ear are particularly troublesome and can impact quality of life.

A common problem that affects more than 50 million Americans is tinnitus. With tinnitus, an abnormal ear noise such as roaring or ringing is heard in the ear. The noise has nothing to do with actual sound waves in the ear, but rather, is a “phantom” sound that’s heard either intermittently, or all the time. It can develop in the outer, middle or inner ear — and it can affect not only hearing, but balance too.

Tinnitus is challenging to diagnose and treat. It can be caused by many things and is generally a symptom of an underlying condition, such as damage to the inner ear by illness, injury or abnormal tissue growth.

Tinnitus can occur in one or both ears. The phantom sound can be constant or occur in episodes, and can be accompanied by vertigo — a spinning sensation or loss of balance. The condition can be caused by excess fluid, infection, disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum, advancing age, loud noise exposure, or medication. There are more than 200 medications — over-the-counter and prescription drugs — known to cause balance disorders. Sometimes, discontinuing the medication will reverse hearing and balance problems, but permanent damage is possible.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, tinnitus can be brought on by a variety of conditions, including impacted wax in the outer ear, an ear infection, middle ear tumors, vascular problems (circulation disorders), noise-induced hearing loss, heart problems, TMJ (chronic inflammation of the jaw), auditory nerve tumors, epilepsy, or Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear in which inner ear fluid is not properly regulated.

Unfortunately, for many tinnitus cases, there is no known cause or cure. Often, tinnitus goes away on its own, but if it persists, untreated, it can cause permanent ear noise and disability. Balance issues, an associated symptom, are difficult to manage. While the human body can learn to adapt to reduced balance control, it’s important to see a doctor, since compromised balance can lead to other problems, particularly in seniors who are prone to falls and injuries.

The first step in treating tinnitus is a medical evaluation by your doctor, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, or an audiologist, if hearing loss is suspected. Other diagnostic tests may include an MRI or CT scan to rule out the small possibility of a tumor on the balance or hearing nerve. Your doctor can locate the cause and recommend medical or surgical treatment, or suggest methods to alleviate tinnitus symptoms, if no identifiable cause can be found.

By Dr. Stephen Tai

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center