mobile clinic ireland

Hidden Hearing's Mobile Clinic Will offer FREE hearing tests

The public can avail of free hearing tests as part of Hearing Awareness Week taking place from Monday 21st March. Hearing Awareness Week is a national awareness campaign run by Hidden Hearing highlighting the issue of hearing loss. This year the campaign will focus on family and friends as an important influence to encourage people to take action about their hearing loss.

Hearing Awareness Week will feature a national advertising campaign encouraging people to take action about their hearing loss and encouraging family members to talk to their loved one about hearing loss. It will also feature a mobile hearing test clinic which is visiting some of Ireland’s cities and towns to provide free hearing tests and Hidden Hearing is also offering free hearing tests in its 60 clinics nationwide. Hearing Awareness Week will also see the launch of new research into the effects of hearing loss on individuals and their families.

Dr Nina Byrnes Medical Consultant with Hidden Hearing

Discussing Hearing Awareness Week, Dr Nina Byrnes, Medical Consultant, Hidden Hearing said: “We’re delighted to be launching Hearing Awareness Week which should encourage people to take positive action around their hearing loss. Those with hearing loss tend to delay getting treatment which can affect their social and family life and generally family and friends have a key role to play in encouraging them to eventually seek help. I’d call on anybody who notices that their loved one may be suffering hearing loss to encourage them to get a free hearing test as part of Hearing Awareness Week.”

Daniel O’Donnell talks to Ryan Tubridy about mother Julia’s hearing

Singer Daniel O’Donnell said his mother Julia’s hearing has been restored

Singer Daniel O’Donnell is music to his elderly mother’s ears again after the 91-year-old had her hearing restored following years of problems.

The Irish star said he was delighted his mother had been helped and was now able to enjoy conversations.

Julia O’Donnell was fitted with two miniature hearing aids that solved a decade of difficulties and her heart-throb son said a weight had been lifted from the family.

“She suffered from quite a severe hearing impairment, so conversation became increasingly difficult for her,” Daniel said.

“It also put quite a strain on the rest of the family. We are so thankful that we have found a solution for Mammy.”

The 48-year-old star is renowned for his approachable and affable manner. He has even invited followers to his home in Kincasslagh, Donegal, for tea. He has spoken of being very close to his mother, who also lives in the village.

Julia said: “If you are lucky enough to get to my age, you’ll realise just how important your hearing is to you,” she said.

“Enjoying conversation with your family and friends or a good sing-song is what keeps me going. For instance when Daniel is off touring, I really look forward to his telephone call every day, but with my deteriorating hearing I was finding it very difficult to hear him properly.”

Daniel said that despite her age Julia travelled to his concerts around Ireland this summer, including those in Cork, in the far south of the country, and Cavan.

She has had hearing problems for around 10 years and tried various hearing aids but none was successful. After a free check-up at a Hidden Hearing clinic, she was fitted with the digital devices.

Daniel O’Donnell Interviewed on The Tubridy Show 20.10.10

Click on the Radio to hear the interview

Hearing Problems not uncommon in middle age



Hearing Problems Not Uncommon in Middle Age




One in 10 adults ages 45 to 54 had a hearing impairment, a large cohort study showed, and some of the risk factors are modifiable.


Among more than 2,800 adults with an average age of 49, 14.1% had hearing impairment, according to Scott Nash, MS, a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, and colleagues.

The prevalence increased steadily from 2.9% in those ages 21 to 34 to 42.7% in those ages 65 to 84, and was consistently higher in males than females, the researchers reported online in Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

They identified some modifiable risk factors that were associated with the odds of hearing impairment, including central retinal venular equivalent, hematocrit percentage, statin use, and mean intima-media thickness.

The findings suggest “that hearing impairment, if detected early, may be a preventable chronic disease,” Nash and his colleagues wrote.

The researchers examined data from the Beaver Dam Offspring Study, an epidemiological cohort study of aging that included the children of participants in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study conducted in Wisconsin.

The analysis included 2,837 individuals who underwent a hearing examination, which included otoscopy, tympanometry, pure-tone air- and bone-conduction audiometry, and a test of word recognition both with a quiet background and with another person talking.

The pure-tone average was calculated using the thresholds from the 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 kHz frequencies. Hearing impairment was defined as a pure-tone average greater than 25 dB hearing level in either ear.

The mean percentage of words identified correctly on the recognition test when there was a competing voice in the background was 64%.

In a multivariate model, the following factors were independently and significantly associated with hearing impairment:

  • History of ear surgery, OR 4.11
  • Male gender, OR 3.80
  • Less education (12 or fewer years), OR 1.79
  • Larger central retinal venular equivalent (fourth versus first quartile), OR 1.77
  • Age (per 5 years), OR 1.70
  • Noisy job, OR 1.57
  • Higher hematocrit percentage (per 5%), OR 0.77


Factors associated with a lower score on the word recognition test were similar, with the addition of increased intima-media thickness and statin use (P=0.005 for both).

Central retinal venular equivalent and hematocrit could be considered risk factors for cardiovascular disease along with intima-media thickness and statin use, according to the researchers.

“These results suggest that there may be cardiovascular antecedents of hearing impairment, as measured by pure-tone or speech audiometry, which are detectable even in middle age,” they wrote.

They noted that the finding that increasing hematocrit was associated with a lower chance of hearing impairment was opposite what would be expected because of its proposed correlation with blood viscosity, which has been associated with higher blood pressure and greater risk of ischemic heart disease.

Nash and his colleagues proposed some explanations for the apparent discrepancy.

First, they wrote, hematocrit may be an imperfect surrogate for blood viscosity.

Second, the blood vessels may be less athersclerotic in younger adults and thus more resistant to the negative effects of increasing blood viscosity.

And finally, hematocrit in younger adults may be more a reflection of diet or vitamin use.

The authors acknowledged some limitations of the study, including the cross-sectional design, which precludes the establishment of causal relationships, the possibility that some of the associations were attributable to type 1 errors, and the fact that more of the participants had a history of parental hearing loss than nonparticipants.


Deaf Managers – Facing the Challenge

Deaf Managers Training


Training for Deaf Managers

Deaf Managers – Facing the Challenge

A Training Course at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

16-17 May 2011

How to get the best out of Deaf staff and managers ?

How can Deaf People succeed in management?

A new course aimed at breaking down the barriers faced by Deaf people in management.

Essential lessons in management for:

•  Managers responsible for Deaf Staff, including Deaf Managers

•  Deaf Managers and Executives

•  Aspiring Deaf Managers

Run by top management experts and top BSL experts from Heriot-Watt University’s School of Management and Languages. Guest lecturers with experience in Deaf management from the UK and other countries, including Finland.

More details – webpage:



Dementia and hearing loss seem linked, researchers say


brain scan

Hearing Loss can indicate dementia




Dad began losing his hearing long before we recognized any signs of what turned out to be frontotemporal dementia. Now I’m wondering, thanks to recent headlines, whether his hearing loss is related to his dementia.

Dr. Frank Lin, from the Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, published a paper saying hearing loss in older adults is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. It might be that dementia is overdiagnosed in people who have hearing loss. Or, people with cognitive impairment may be overdiagnosed as having hearing loss. Lin says it’s possible one underlying neuropathologic process is shared by the two conditions. They could also be causally related, he told MedScape Today, “possibly through exhaustion of cognitive reserve, social isolation, environmental deafferentation, or a combination of these pathways.”

For his study, he worked with 639 people from ages 36 to 90 years, over an almost 12-year period. Fifty-eight of them developed dementia, including 37 cases of Alzheiemer’s disease. He says the risk of developing dementia increased linearly with the severity of baseline hearing loss. His work is published in the Archives of Neurology and concludes by saying, “whether hearing loss is a marker for early-stage dementia or is actually a modifiable risk factor for dementia deserves further study.”

Isn’t that interesting — just the thought that, perhaps, treating/fixing hearing loss could possibly have an impact on the development of dementia?

Turns out that’s not a new idea. Other research, in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, has shown deficits in central auditory speech-processing may be an early manifestation of probable Alzheimer’s disease and may precede the onset of dementia diagnosis by many years.


further information;


Over 50’s Show, Belfast, 26th & 27th Feb 2011

SeniorTimes Magazine Over 50’s Show

26th & 27th February 2011 – Ramada Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge

Show Times: 10 – 6pm Saturday, 11 – 6pm Sunday

After repeated requests from exhibitors and the general public alike we are delighted to announce that we are bringing the event to Northern Ireland. According to official statistics there are over over 500,000 people living in Northern Ireland who are over 50.

What’s On in Belfast

  • Free Screenings for Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Hearing (Limited Availability)
  • Free Genealogy Workshops and Presentations from the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
  • Benefit and Debt Advice from ‘Beat the Recession’ part of the Citizens Information Bureau
  • Making the Most of Your Money Workshops from Money Made Clear part of the FSA, the Financial Regulator
  • Free Golf Lessons
  • Home and Abroad Holiday Offers
  • Spanish Language Lessons for Beginners
  • Live Music, including a performance by Hugo Duncan (Sunday 27th only)

For more information:

On ‘Apprentice’, Marlee Matlin tells unsuspecting Busey he’s deaf, too

Before anyone could push Gary Busey under the “Celebrity Apprentice bus, Marlee Matlin made sure he could hear it coming.

During the month-long taping of Donald Trump’s latest “Apprentice” series, Matlin –the Oscar-winning actress who’s been deaf since the age of 2 — realized that Busey was suffering from severe hearing loss and didn’t know it.

“Jack Jason, my interpreter, kept signing that someone kept yelling ‘What?! What?!’ ” Matlin told The Post.

“I asked him who it was and he said [Busey],” she explains.



SOUND OFF: Marlee Matlin (left) saw something (else) wrong with Gary Busey during "Celebrity Apprentice."




“It took me five seconds to figure out he must be partially deaf. I’ve seen it too many times not to figure it out just like that.”

SOUND OFF: Marlee Matlin (left) saw something (else) wrong with Gary Busey during “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Matlin confronted Busey and arranged for him to see her former doctor, Dr. Bill Austin, who heads up the Starkey Hearing Foundation. (Celebrity contestants on the show pledge to donate their winnings to a charity of their choice. The charity Matlin was playing for was Austin’s foundation.)

Cameras in the show’s famous boardroom caught the moment Matlin persuaded Busey that at least some of his problems might be because he was going deaf.

A trip to the doctor confirmed her diagnosis.

“He told me I was only using 40 percent of my ear canals,” Busey said last week.

The doctor “fit me with a hearing aid I can actually plug into my iPod,” said the mercurial actor. “Things are much better now.”

Busey, who suffered a severely fractured skull after a motorcycle accident in 1988 (it is not clear if the hearing loss was related to the accident), recognized that Matlin’s help as a charitable gesture was outside the boundaries of the TV competition.

“That was a gift from her heart,” gushed Busey.

“The moment [Busey] returned back from seeing [Austin], his whole demeanor had changed,” Matlin said.

“He kept holding my hand and saying ‘Thank you, thank you.’ ”

On other reality shows Busey has been on — most notably, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” — fellow cast members were rarely so helpful.

Busey’s erratic, angry behavior wore heavily on others’ nerves during earlier shows.

On the Trump show, which debuts early next month, the hearing aid did not cure Busey’s penchant for uttering unintelligible gibberish that frightens people.

“He has a good heart but sometimes he says the most off-the-wall things,” Matlin said. “But that’s why I love him.”

Read more: