Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards – Place Your Entry

The search for the 2012 ‘heroes’ of the deaf and hard of hearing community will begin shortly as Hidden Hearing launches the call for nominations for the 2012 ‘Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards’ at the end of this month.

A joint initiative between Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, the Heroes Awards honour those who are deaf or hard of hearing and have made a significant contribution to society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence.

Members of the public will be able to nominate their ‘hero’ who they feel deserves to be recognised for an award and nominees will also be able to nominate themselves. Submissions made by email, post or sign language video will be accepted.

Our online entry form is here click ENTRY FORM >

How our children hear

A parent’s responsibility while raising children is a never-ending task. From their health to their education from their social skills to providing a nurturing and safe environment, there is so much to do!

One issue that is so often overlooked is how our children hear. Our hearing connects us to the world around us and it is only through the ears of a child that they learn how to speak and how to listen, develop social skills, and build relationships. At school, what they hear and what they listen to can propel them to a brilliant career or a life of manual labor.

The earlier hearing loss is diagnosed and treated the more chance the child has of successfully adapting to amplification and developing good speech and language skills as well as having healthy social relationships.

Some warning signs of hearing loss that parents can look out for are:

Birth – 2 years old

Chronic ear infections
Constant pulling or tugging at the ears
Not responding to loud noises around them
2 – 5 years old

Delayed speech development
Speech that is mushy and unclear
No response to being called by name
Excessively loud speech
5 – 12 years old

Slurring of speech
Excessive volume on TV or radio
Difficulty hearing in the car
Declining grades at school
Teens

Excessive volume levels in TV or speaking
Declining grades in school
Increased social isolation
Aggression
Any of the above red flags or a failed hearing test at school indicates the need for an in depth hearing exam. The hearing exam should include pure tone testing (hear the beep, hit the button) as well as speech testing. These tests can be performed by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist. Children under the age of 5 require specialized equipment and should be seen by a pediatric specialist.

Once a child has been diagnosed with hearing loss there are many questions that need to be answered. First, it is important to understand what type of hearing loss your child has. The two types are conductive and sensorineural.

Conductive hearing loss is a problem with the mechanics of the ear and may be temporary. For example, too much ear wax in the ear canal can block the sound from getting to the eardrum causing some hearing loss. Most conductive losses can be treated through an office procedure, medication or an operation.

Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and happens in the inner ear in the cochlea. Each cochlea has thousands of hair cells that send the hearing signal to the brain. If these hair cells are damaged or never form, there is no way for the sound waves to be transmitted (in part or in whole) to the brain. A Sensorineural loss will most often be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids should be worn all waking hours and it will only take a couple of weeks for your child to adapt to this improved hearing. They will need you to cheer them on in their new sense of hearing as it will be different and difficult in the beginning. Once they have adapted to hearing they will appreciate the ease of hearing they receive from their devices.

In the case of deafness (no measure of hearing), cochlear implants and lip reading classes will be top on the list of treatments.

If your child has good hearing, it is important to keep their hearing healthy and to help them develop good listening habits. Ear level devices like I-Pods or MP3 players when used with headphones can be very detrimental to your child’s long-term hearing health. Teach the 60/60 rule: all ear level devices should be used at no more than 60% of the available volume for no more than 60 minutes. Never allow your child to sleep with devices in their ears.

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

Children exposed to HIV may suffer hearing loss

Children exposed to HIV before birth may be at high risk for developing hearing loss by the age of 16.

A study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) said that the risk of hearing loss was 200 to 300 times higher compared to national averages of hearing loss among other children. According to researchers, an estimated 9 to 15 percent of HIV-infected children and 5 to 8 percent of children of mothers who had HIV infection suffered from hearing loss.

Medical Daily had reported another NIH led study earlier this year that said that children who are exposed to HIV are more likely to suffer from language impairments.

“Children exposed to HIV before birth are at higher risk for hearing difficulty, and it’s important for them—and the health providers who care for them—to be aware of this,” Dr. George K. Siberry of the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) said in a statement.f.gif

The age of children evaluated in the present study was between 7 and 16 years. They were evaluated on three parameters: physical structure of ear, middle ear function and the ability to hear tones on a microphone.

“If parents and teachers know the child has a hearing problem, then they may take measures to compensate in various communication settings, such as placement in the front of the classroom or avoiding noisy settings,” said Howard Hoffman, director of the Epidemiology and Statistics Program at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

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

What Can I grow in my small garden?

10 edible things you can sow/grow now in a small or City garden.

 Chicory (seed)

Pak Choi (seed)

Lettuce (seed)

Rocket (seed)

Coriander (seed, deep container)

Basil (seed, sunny windowsill)

Chervil (seed)

Nasturtium (young plants) Carrots (seed, in a container at least 20cm deep)

Chillies (buy as young, well-established plants, keep on a sunny windowsill, don’t forget to hand-pollinate flowers)

Sligo-based company quickcrop.ie stocks a wide range of raised-beds growing systems which it will deliver, assemble, and plant up on site with a range of vegetable, salad and herbs

Date for your diary

The Steam Museum and Lodge Park Walled Garden, Straffan, Co Kildare will be open on Saturday, June 30th and Sunday, July 1st (2-6pm) and there will also be a musical BBQ/children’s sports event taking place in the gardens from 7pm on Saturday, June 30th. All proceeds in aid of Celbridge Multiple Sclerosis Self-Help Group.

Hidden Hearing offers free information on hearing loss and hearing aids packs see Hidden Hearing >

Hidden Hearing helps Chernobyl Children’s Trust

Deena Walsh, Director of the Chernobyl Children’s Trust in Cork tells the story of Lydia a special young girl whose life was dramatically altered after visiting Hidden Hearing. Twenty year old Lydia has been coming to Cork since she was twelve years old. This bright Belarus native was profoundly deaf and painfully self conscious having been fitted with analogue aids through the health system. “This was inadequate as it amplified all sounds, including passing lorries,” Deena says. “After we noticed her becoming withdrawn, we contacted Hidden Hearing and Phil Cornwall. She was tested and

Lydia was fitted with new digital hearing aids.

We couldn’t believe how small it was and lydia learned to hear all over again.” Lydia recently returned to Belarus and is studying computer science and living a life she never imagined she would.

“Only 20 per cent of people who could benefit from a hearing device actually wear one”. This shocking statistic reveals that too many people in Ireland are suffering in silence and not caring for their hearing. Christine Allen discovers how one Cork company reaches out to help people recover their hearing

“Having a hearing problem and ignoring it can cause you to strain your hearing, causing further deterioration in the ear, reducing your ability to hear and your quality of life,” says Phil Cornwall, Hearing Aid Audiologist with Hidden Hearing, Marlboro Street.

Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading provider of assistance and treatment for people with hearing loss.

Without good hearing, people find themselves unable to participate in many things and certainly unable to reach their full potential. Bad hearing can prevent you from communicating well with other people, participating fully in social or business gatherings, enjoying your favourite music or entertainment or even hearing the doorbell or telephone ring.

According to Mr Cornwall, this stress and strain is unnecessary and is linked to other health problems. “People don’t need to suffer in silence, our advice is to take care of your hearing and if people suspect they have a hearing loss to get their hearing checked.” What many people don’t know is that hearing difficulties affect almost one in six people in Ireland. If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards to Return

The search for the 2012 ‘heroes’ of the deaf and hard of hearing community will begin shortly as Hidden Hearing launches the call for nominations for the 2012 ‘Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards’ at the end of this month.

A joint initiative between Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, the Heroes Awards honour those who are deaf or hard of hearing and have made a significant contribution to society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence.

Members of the public will be able to nominate their ‘hero’ who they feel deserves to be recognised for an award and nominees will also be able to nominate themselves. Submissions made by email, post or sign language video will be accepted.

Our online entry form is here click ENTRY FORM >

Sudden Hearing Loss the facts!

Most people think of hearing loss as a congenital condition or something that happens slowly over time as we age. However, a startling number of people actually fall victim to a severe hearing loss out of the blue and without warning. This condition is called sudden hearing loss (SLH), and it can be mysterious and alarming to those affected by it.

Facts:

*The loss is experienced immediately or over a short period of time, up to three days.

*Sometimes it is accompanied by a loud pop or sound in the ear.

*Many people report dizziness or vertigo.

*Up to 70 percent report experiencing tinnitus, a buzzing or ringing in their ears.

In most cases, professionals are uncertain of the cause of the sudden loss. It remains one of medicine’s greatest mysteries. This sudden loss happens either with or without pain. Sometimes it happens after attending an event like a concert or a fireworks show, sometimes this sudden loss happens after taking prescription drugs or with head trauma, an allergic reaction or certain viral infections.

Statistics:

*SHL is rare, occurring in an estimated five to twenty individuals per ten thousand annually.

*Ninety percent of those who suffer from SHL are affected in only one ear.

*Only 10 to 15 percent of people know the cause of their SHL.

Some people regain their hearing over a relatively short amount of time without any treatment at all, but about 15 percent experience loss that worsens over time. Steroid treatments will benefit some and in certain cases surgery will be recommended. For those that don’t respond to these treatments, hearing aids can help to regain some or all of the hearing.

Successful treatment depends on the immediacy of treatment. If you wake up with sudden hearing loss, get to a doctor right away. An ear, nose, and throat specialist is best trained to address this loss.

If you have any questions about SHL or any type of hearing question contact Hidden Hearing.