Showband Legend Dickie Rock is full of praise for Hidden Hearing

Showband Legend Dickie Rock is full of praise for Hidden Hearing

Recently, Irish music legend Dickie Rock was gracious and appreciative enough of Hidden Hearing’s service to send in a wonderful Testimonial.“I’ve been blessed with a really enjoyable music career but I suppose it was no surprise that it would eventually impact on my hearing. I didn’t really notice when my hearing started to deteriorate a few years ago, but my wife and children started to notice that I would have the television turned up too loud. I can’t say enough about the guys in Hidden Hearing, who provided a first class service from day one and they continue to provide an excellent aftercare service.”

9 year old Courtney gets a “Heroes” type award

Courtney DeJoie was honored for helping to change people's perception of people with hearing loss.

We came across this article from New Jersey via North where a Hidden Hearing style heroes awards program doing similar work awarded a special cert to a very courageous 9 year old. An article appeared about how 9-year-old Courtney DeJoie, who overcame the challenges she faced when, as a first-grader, it was found that she had a hearing deficit, was published in Community Life. After extensive testing, she was fitted with hearing aids in the summer before she began second grade. Her mother, Donna, said, at first, she was “very resistant” about wearing them. But that summer she met three children – triplets – who would soon become her best friends. Two of them are hearing impaired. Her mom said that meeting them made all the difference.

By the time the school year started she wasn’t self-conscious about her hearing aids. But she faced another challenge, this one academic. She struggled with her school work because it had been difficult for her to keep up before she got her hearing aids. She got the academic support she needed by switching to Brookside School, where the triplets went to school, and goes to classes with her hearing impaired friends.

Her second grade teacher at Washington School invited her to come and speak to her current students about what it’s like to be hearing impaired. And she wrote a book about how she met her best friends.

Her story inspired her audiologist at Valley Hospital, Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, who diagnosed her hearing impairment, and Tom Higgins, of Advanced Hearing Services in Ramsey, who fitted her with hearing aids, to nominate her for an, “Oticon Focus on People Award,” offered by Oticon, a company that designs and manufactures hearing aids. Connelly said Courtney, “exemplifies everything wonderful about being a great kid, first, and, second, about not letting hearing loss impact at all in a negative way.”

Although Courtney wasn’t a finalist, she received an honorary award in recognition of her achievements, dedication and spirit, demonstrating that hearing loss does not have to limit a person’s ability to succeed.

If you have any questions about the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards or anything about hearing loss or hearing aids contact Hidden Hearing.


Hearing Expert Martyn graduates from Cambridge

Dundalk's Martyn Mulry Graduates from Ruskin University Cambridge

A hearing expert from Dundalk has received one of the highest accolades in audiology having graduated recently from the Angela Ruskin University in Cambridge. Martyn Mulry audiologist with Hidden Hearing, Dublin Street Dundalk graduated with a Degree in Sciences in Hearing Aid Audiology. The Cambridge course was undertaken as part of a continuous training program me which Hidden Hearing audiologists undertake. The hearing Aid Audiology course is renowned internationally as being one of the most advanced courses of it’s kind. This is added to Martyn’s numerous qualifications including a registered member of the panel with the Dept. of Social & Family Affairs for processing Medical Appliance Benefits. If you are lucky enough to live close to Dundalk you can avail of Martyn’s expertise if you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids. Hidden Hearing offer free hearing tests.

“iPod oblivion” a safety risk to pedestrians

Listening to music players to loud can cause hearing damage

Walking with your head in the clouds can be dangerous – but not as perilous as listening to your iPod. The number of people suffering serious injury or death while wearing headphones for electrical devices such as MP3 players has tripled in six years, according to a US study.

An increase in the use of headphones while walking in the street has led to a dramatic rise in the number of injuries, with teenagers, men and young adults the most at risk from hurting themselves while their thoughts were elsewhere, the study says.

In compiling the study, experts studied data from 2004 to 2011. They found that 116 people in the US wearing headphones had died or been seriously hurt during that period. The number of people who died or were injured leapt from 16 in 2004-05 to 47 in 2010-11.

Most victims were men (68%) and under the age of 30 (67%), with about one in 10 of all cases under the age of 18.

Of the accidents studied, 89% occurred in urban areas, and more than half of the victims – 55% – were struck by trains.

According to the study, published online in the journal Injury Prevention, 81 of the 116 incidents, or 70%, resulted in death.

The study – which did not extend to cases involving mobile phones, including hands-free sets – found that the wearing of headphones may in many cases have played a direct part in the incident, as the users could not hear warnings that they were in danger. In 29% of the cases, an explicit warning – such as a shout, a horn or a siren – had been sounded before the accident.

The experts concluded: “The use of headphones with handheld devices may pose a safety risk to pedestrians, especially in environments with moving vehicles. Further research is needed to determine if and how headphone use compromises pedestrian safety.”

Previous studies have shown that people wearing headphones – or who are distracted because they are talking on a mobile phone – can be affected by “inattentional blindness”, a reduction in attention to external stimuli that has also been dubbed “iPod oblivion”. This can result, for example, in people paying less attention to traffic when crossing the street. Headphone wearers have also been shown to suffer a reduced ability to hear a range of ambient noises.


Audiologists can identify hearing loss in children of any age and early detection in vital.

Up to 3 babies in every 1,000 are born with a hearing loss in one or both ears

Studies conducted in developed countries have shown that hearing loss is the most common birth defect with an incidence rate of 3 for every 1,000 babies born every year.

A newborn cannot communicate with the parent, making it difficult for the doctor or parent to identify the defect early on. Babies who do not hear your voice, a lullaby or a nursery rhyme may have problems learning to talk.

It is important to have your baby’s hearing tested before you leave the hospital after delivering the child. Hearing problems need to be identified as early as possible so that you may take the necessary actions that give your baby the best chance to develop speech and language.

Hearing loss is a hidden disability — that’s why it is so important to have your baby’s hearing tested. Each year, more than 4,000 babies are born with hearing loss. Most babies born with hearing problems are otherwise healthy and have no family history of hearing loss.

It is important for you to be sure that your baby has normal hearing. The first year of life is critical to the development of normal speech and language.

Newborn hearing screening is a simple method of checking if a baby’s hearing is intact. It is performed with the use of sophisticated instruments that will not affect the baby.

Good hearing is essential to the social and intellectual development of infants and young children. Audiologists can identify hearing loss in children of any age.

The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, October 2007 and US Public Health Services Healthy People 2010 health objectives recommend that all newborns:

Be screened for hearing loss within the first month

Have diagnostic hearing testing to ascertain the degree and type of loss within 3 months,
Enrol in an appropriate intervention programme by six months of age (known as the 1-3-6 protocol).

The following are guidelines for development and answers to common questions.

How will my baby’s hearing test be done?

There are two types of hearing screening tests that may be used with your baby. Both tests are safe and it takes only minutes to evaluate each ear. Most babies sleep through their hearing screening.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) are measured directly with a miniature microphone and sent to a special computer to determine your baby’s hearing status. It tests the outer hair function of the cochlea.

Normal hair cells create an emission in response to tone. Presence of the emission is consistent with the normal outer hair cell function. When outer hair cell function is normal the child’s ear is interpreted as functioning normally. If the OAE is absent or abnormal then a further test, namely the ABR, is required.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) tests the infant’s ability to hear soft sounds through miniature earphones. The click stimulus, usually at 35 dbHL, is delivered to the infant’s ear via small ear phones. A pass or refer response is determined. It can be used us an effective tool for screening infants younger than 6 months.

In the follow-up testing, a further diagnostic ABR can be used to determine the degree of hearing loss and also the nature of the hearing loss.

If you have any questions or need information about hearing tests or hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Hands On, 15th January, 12.25pm, RTÉ One



The world of Deaf sport was rocked in February last year when, for the first time in history, the Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia was cancelled. It would have been the games’ 17th run. Rumours of corruption and poor handling of the games travelled fast, while Jaromir Ruda, the head of the Slovakian Deaflympic Committee, was arrested for fraud and embezzlement. Following the scandal in Slovakia, Athens withdrew their bid for the 2013 Deaflympics, leaving the future of Deaflympics looking shaky. Ciarán Moloney finds out what really happened and what this means for the future of the Deaflympics.


Take 5! Cathy Heffernan

The world of journalism is cut-throat and competitive, but Irish Deaf woman Cathy Heffernan made it! She defied the odds and landed a job at The Guardian newspaper in London. Eddie Redmond sends roving reporter Sarah Jane to find out the secrets behind Cathy’s success! Cathy is a woman of many talents – not only is she a sub-editor for The Guardian, but she recently produced a documentary, ‘Deaf Sisterhood’ for the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust. She shares his experiences with Sarah Jane and offers advice to other Deaf interested in getting into media.


Emergency SMS

For years the Irish Deaf Commmunity has been in the unenviable and dangerous position of having no way to independently contact the emergency services.  The emergency relay service was the only option up to now – messages were sent via the minicom, an outdated technology that relies on a landline – no good in case of an emergency outside the home or a fire that requires a quick exit!  Finally, after years of campaigning from the Deaf organisations, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has finally launched an emergency SMS service for Deaf people and people with speech difficulties which means that in emergencies, you can now send a text to the number 112 to contact the ambulance service, Gardaí or fire brigade. Seán Herlihy finds out how to register and how it works!

To register or find out more about the new Emergency SMS text service, check out:

It is okay to enjoy music, but at reasonable levels please!

Audiologist Sandra Baker cringes when she can hear loud music emanating from another person’s headphones while on the bus or walking down the street.

“If you are listening with headphones and someone is talking to you in a normal voice at an arm’s length away, you should be able to hear them,” Baker told the Georgia Straight over the phone. “If you can’t, if they have to raise their voice to hear them, it’s too loud.”

“What will happen is people will start to lose those high-frequency sounds and, over time as we age, we start to have more problems hearing those things more clearly,” Baker understands that sometimes people can’t resist blaring their favourite song. But the registered audiologist says cranking up the volume on personal music players, like iPods, needs to be done in moderation.

“Hearing loss is not at this point a curable thing,” Baker said. “Once hearing loss occurs, there is no way of reversing it.”

Dr. Kapil Khatter says that’s all the more reason that governments should start regulating how loud default volume settings can go on personal music players.

“By having this default-level setting, it also tells people what a safe level is,” Khatter, a family physician says. “When you are sitting there turning the volume from one to 10, you probably don’t know what a safe volume is, but a default level, it says, ‘This is what the standard says is okay for me.’ ”

In 2009, the European Union changed the standards manufacturers of personal music players must follow to bring their product to market. Personal music players must have a default volume limit of 80 decibels, and their makers must provide consumers with warning labels on products that could exceed a safe listening volume.

“We don’t think about hearing the way we think about other illnesses, and the effect that it has on people is long-term,” Baker said. “It is okay to enjoy music, but there are reasonable levels and there are levels that will cause you damage over time, where you will get to a point where the music you enjoy now—you won’t be able to hear it.”

If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids contact Hidden Hearing.