Olympian with the US men’s volleyball team wears hearing aids in both ears.

Coach John Speraw had the ”David Smith Rule” for his star middle blocker. ”That means, `When David wants it, David takes it,’ ” Speraw said. ”Because in the middle of a play, you can’t call him off.”

The reason? Smith is nearly deaf and primarily uses lip reading to understand his teammates. In volleyball, such face-to-face communication is not always possible.

Hence the David Smith rule. It was easy for Speraw to institute the rule because when Smith gets the ball, he knows just what to do with it. ”He’s mitigated any issues he has by being a great all-around volleyball player,” Speraw said.

Smith was born with his disability. He says that his doctors believe that that his hearing loss is in the 80-90 percent range and he has worn hearing aids in both ears since he was 3.

”Every once in a while it affects me,” he said. ”But this is the only way I’ve ever known how to play.”

Really, the main problem is that sometimes when he sweats a lot, the hearing aids go out.

”But I just got these before the Olympics and I don’t seem to have any problems,” he said, raising both hands to his ears.

Smith was something of a surprise addition to the US team in London. The 6-foot-7 middle blocker was not on the roster when the men qualified for the London Games at the NORCECA Olympic qualification tournament in May.

”It has been a crazy summer, that’s for sure,” he said. ”There were some opportunities that came up for me to show what I could do, and I think I did a good job with that. I wasn’t counting on being here, but I knew I was capable of being here.”

Four years ago, the United States won the gold medal in Beijing, going undefeated and upsetting favorite Brazil in four sets in a thrilling final.

The men are currently ranked No. 5 by volleyball’s international governing body and are coming off a silver medal finish in the FIVB World League. Since volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1964, the US men have won three gold medals, at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, the Seoul Games in 1988 and in Beijing. The men won the bronze in 1992.

The team is in a difficult pool in London, joining top-ranked Brazil, perennial powerhouse Russia, Serbia, Germany and Tunisia. The other pool includes Italy, Poland, Argentina, Bulgaria, Australia and host Britain.

Smith picked up volleyball in high school. He originally committed to another college, but Speraw persuaded him to come to UC Irvine and he was part of the team that won the 2007 national championship.

He graduated from Irvine with a degree in civil engineering. He has his license, even though engineering is on the back burner for now. Like many players at his level, Smith plays professionally overseas for a living. Last season he played in France.

”I think the thing that separates him from some of the other players is his physicality,” Speraw said. ”He really does jump very well, so he can physically match up with players who are much bigger than him. That physicality is what we saw that we thought would separate him.” But Smith never dreamed he’d be an Olympian. ”I still can’t believe it,” he laughed.

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

Source Fox News: Read More>

Justin Bieber sued for hearing loss at concert

A mother who took her daughter to a Justin Bieber concert is now suing the teenage idol for $9.2 million. The mother claims that she is suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis caused by Bieber’s concert.

Stacey Wilson Betts is suing Justin Bieber after taking her daughter to one of his concerts in July 2010. The court documents state, that the mother now suffers from hearing loss, severe tinnitus and hyperacusis in both of her ears from Bieber’s concert.

Betts is suing for $9.2 million, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon. She stated that she was injured by noise that “exceeded safe decibel levels” and that this was “due to an unforeseen aspect of the show.”

According to the mother, the unforeseen aspect of the concert was when Justin Bieber “climbed into a heart shaped, aluminium/steel gondola and was pulled out over the crowd” creating a “wave like effect of screaming” that “enticed the crowd into a frenzy of screams by continuously waving his arms in a quick and upward motion”.

Betts explains that the steel gondola acted as “a sound conductor,” creating a “sound blast” that has damaged both her ears”.

Stacey Wilson Betts is suing both Justin Bieber, his record label, Def Jam, for “loss of quality of life and permanent disability and impairment” to both her ears.

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

What should a hearing aid user pack on holidays?

Regardless of your mode of travel, consider putting together a small travel bag filled with the essentials you’ll need to keep your hearing aids working efficiently while you’re away from home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Batteries. The average hearing aid battery lasts between 5-14 days. Make sure you have enough batteries to last for the amount of time you’ll be gone. Hearing aid batteries are typically available from hearing aid centers and most major pharmacies; however, if you’re traveling outside the United States or EU to a remote location, you’ll want to make sure you have your own supply.
  2. Hearing aid dryer. If you don’t already have this equipment, consider investing in it. A hearing aid dryer, also known as a dehumidifier, is specifically designed to eliminate accumulated moisture in your hearing aids overnight.  If your vacation involves the beach or sport-related activities that exposes you to water or causes you to perspire, this dryer will remove any remaining moisture after you wipe them down. There are many varieties available on the market today, most of which are the size of a small cosmetics jar or jewellry box.
  3. Cleaning Tools. More than likely, your hearing aid center provided you with a cleaning kit when you purchased your hearing aids. Even though you’re on holidays, it’s still important to maintain a daily cleaning schedule. Consider purchasing an extra cleaning kit to keep in your travel bag.  they usually include a wax removal brush, wax removal pick, tube vent cleaner, hearing aid battery door opener, and battery magnet.
  4. Other accessories. If you wear a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, consider packing a few extra tubes. Plastic tubing is one of the first part of a hearing aid to wear out. You might also want to consider purchasing a hearing aid sweat band or sleeve for your BTE. These sleeves can keep your hearing aid dry and free of environmental debris, such as sand or dust.

Finally, if you have time before your holiday, consider scheduling a visit to your audiologist for a pre-holiday inspection. Your audiologist can check the fit and condition of your hearing aid, which may help identify impending problems before they occur.

For further information or to book your inspection contact Hidden Hearing.

Source Healthy Hearing: Read More >

Suddenly I was deaf – It just came out of the blue!

As Chris Cooper switched on the car ignition to begin his half-hour journey home, a loud, unexplained humming began in his ears. By the time he drew up outside his home near Winchester, he could barely hear the music on his car radio. ‘The sound was like a lawnmower, and at first I thought it was coming from outside,’ says Chris, 54, a business director. ‘I turned up the radio but couldn’t hear the music. ‘I began to panic, but tried to reassure myself that I probably had wax in my ear.’The next morning Chris was still barely able to hear a thing, and when his wife Gill, 50, spoke to him it sounded like ‘a muffled Dalek’.

He was shocked to be told that he had suffered sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or sudden deafness — a condition which affects thousands of Britons each year, and which can occur without warning, affecting one or, as in Chris’s case, both ears. Chris had never heard of the condition before.

The condition can be triggered by various things, says Andrew Camilleri, ear, nose and throat surgeon at the University Hospital of South Manchester and the Alexandra BMI Hospital in Cheshire. ‘The blood supply to the ear may be suddenly cut off by a blood clot or thrombosis in the cochlear artery. ‘This can happen randomly, though the overweight, elderly and those with a history of vascular problems are also more at risk. Sudden hearing loss can even be triggered by a virus, such as a cold, which can go on to attack the ear, damaging blood vessels and the cochlea.  Or a bacterial infection can also trigger it.

Modern medicine is yet to offer any real hope, other than a cochlear transplant — a surgically electronic hearing device, often referred to as a bionic ear — to those who are profoundly deaf in both ears.

Patients are unlikely to get full hearing and have to wear a microphone, speech processor and radio transmitter coil.

This has left Chris with no choice but to get used to life without clarity of sound.

‘At first I just thought this is so bloody unfair. And I desperately wish I’d have been treated sooner.

‘But I tell myself lots of people have far worse disabilities, such as losing limbs or their sight. I used to be a windsurfer instructor, and when I really want some therapy I go sailing.

‘Out there with nature I can enjoy the silence.

‘In everyday life I have no other choice but to endure it, so I do the best I can.’

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

Source Daily Mail: Read More >

Is there anything worse than noisy neighbours?

Madonna reportedly upset neighbours with the “music and shouting” emanating from her garden party.
The 53-year-old singer put on a spectacular show in Hyde Park, London Tuesday.
At her home in Mayfair, Madonna threw an after party with good friends Stella McCartney and George Michael along with other merrymakers.
Neighbours were incensed at the noise level after midnight and were compelled to phone authorities.
“When officers arrived, they could clearly hear music and shouting,” a source told British newspaper The Mirror.
“In their opinion it was unreasonable on a weekday evening so they served a noise abatement notice on the owner of the house.
“As soon as the notice was received, the volume was turned down and there were no further complaints.”
According to an unidentified neighbour, Madonna’s party didn’t end until many residents were knocked out of sleep by the ruckus.
“It went on until quarter past two. It was all out in the garden – it woke me up,” the insider recalled. “She is a pain.”
Source Belfast Telegraph: Read More >

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

Derek Mooney is on a search for heroes from the deaf community.

The RTE broadcaster says too many celebrities get awards for no reason when there are hidden heroes everywhere.

He is supporting Hidden Hearing, in partnership with the Irish Deaf Society, which wants nominations for people with hearing impairments for the 2012 Heroes Awards.

“Recognising anyone who does something good in the community is important. So many actors and musicians and politicians get honorary doctorates for doing nothing. These kind of awards mean so much to the unsung heroes,” said Derek.


Speaking at the launch, Hidden Hearing managing director Stephen Leddy said “There are many people in the deaf and hard of hearing communities who are living proof that being deaf or hard of hearing does not have to hold you back in life.”

He described how the awards can bring people who have lost their hearing out of their shell and show them that they can still do great things.

“They are important in recognising people, deaf and hard of hearing, who do fantastic work which normally goes unacknowledged.”

There are nine Award Categories in total this year:

  • ·         Social Contribution Award – recognising contributions to society / communities
  • ·         Workplace Award – an award for someone who has excelled in the workplace
  • ·         Youth Award – for those aged between 6 – 18 who have achieved much in their young lives
  • ·         Grandparent Award – nominations for a special grandparent
  • ·         Sportsperson Award – recognising outstanding sporting achievement
  • ·         Media Award – for a campaigner who has highlighted topics related to those who are Deaf or hard of hearing
  • ·         Lifetime Achievement Award – for an individual who has played a key role over their lifetime.
  • ·         Student Award – an award for a Deaf / hard of hearing student who has excelled at second or third level education.
  • ·         Organisation Award – for an organisation that works on behalf of or in conjunction with Deaf / hard of hearing communities.


You can enter your nominations by clicking here >

Win a Hamper in our Celebrity Faces Competition!

We have a great competition for you. Simply identify the 4 Irish celebrities in our mixed up photo and be in with a chance to win a Town and Country Hamper. The Hamper consists of Bottle of Karmine Pure Apple Juice 75cl, Box of Regale Baci di Dama Almond Chocolate Cookies 175g, Danucci Luxury Dark Assortment Chocolates 43g, Lily O’Brien’s fresh tasting Peppermint Cream Chocolates 200g, Bar of Butlers Jameson Irish Whiskey Chocolate and a Coaster with inscription. 1 lucky entrant will be selected at random. And here are some clues 1 is a radio star, 1 was a radio star, 1 is an actor and 1 a great singer/ entertainer.   Enter Here >