Hidden Hearing Announces Partnership with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Hidden Hearing to sponsor Guide Dog to assist an individual who is blind, vision impaired or may have Usher Syndrome

 Hidden Hearing and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind today announced a new ten year partnership which will see Hidden Hearing sponsor the training of a Guide Dog to help assist an individual who is blind, vision impaired or may have Usher Syndrome.

 

A leading cause of deafblindness, Usher Syndrome is a genetic disorder which affects hearing and causes progressive loss of sight from the teenage years onwards. In developed countries such as Ireland about four babies in every 100,000 births suffer from the condition, while approximately 3 to 6 per cent of all children who are deaf and another 3 to 6 per cent of children who are hard-of-hearing are affected.* 

 

Welcoming the new partnership, Hidden Hearing’s Marketing Manager Dolores Madden said, We are delighted to support Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and to fund the training of a Guide Dog.  Specially trained Guide Dogs from IGDB act as a constant companion and greatly help improve the quality of life of their owners.  We hope our partnership with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind will be beneficial for all and it is our intention to continue working with them well into the future as part of our corporate social responsibility programme.”

 

Commenting on Hidden Hearing’s support, Padraig MallonChief Executive of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said, “We are very grateful to Hidden Hearing for their support in helping to cover the cost of a Guide Dog for a person who is blind, vision impaired or may have Usher Syndrome. With this dog the person will experience greater mobility, independence and a significant improvement in their quality of life.  The support of companies like Hidden Hearing, its employees and their customers is vital to our efforts to raise the funds we require to develop and deliver our life-changing services.  We have ambitious plans to train more people in 2013, this donation and the continued support of our volunteers and donors gives us the confidence that we will be in a position to achieve them.” 

 

The new partnership is the latest programme to be assisted by Hidden Hearing’s corporate social responsibility initiative.  In 2010 the programme aided the fundraising effort to help establish Console House in Wexford Town, which offers professional counselling to people who are suicidal and those who have been bereaved by suicide.  Hidden Hearing also funds the annual ‘Heroes Awards’ in association with the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) – Ireland’s national awards honouring the achievements of those who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

 

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is Ireland’s national charity dedicated to helping persons who are blind or vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.  Established in 1976, IGDB provides a range of training programmes such as, Orientation and Mobility Training (Long Cane), Independent Living Skills Training, The Next Step Programme (To help young adults with the transition to life in college / work) and The Companion Dog Programme along with its Guide and Assistance Dog programmes.

For further information on any of the services provided by IGDB or to see how you can help visit www.guidedogs.ie.

For further information on any of the services provided by Hidden Hearing visit www.hiddenhearing.ie 

 

*Source: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/usher.aspx

Will I go deaf like my parents?

My late mother and father both became quite deaf in their seventies and it caused them a lot of discomfort in their final years. I remember them having some difficulty with hearing aids. I’m 55 now. Is it inevitable that I will also lose my hearing? Is there a hereditary element to hearing loss?

Avril

Sound is the way most of us receive life’s narrative. That is, until age-related hearing loss starts messing with the volume. High-pitched voices get harder to understand; phone calls are more difficult to decipher. The stories become muddled. Frustration grows.

There are many reasons why hearing loss and deafness happen. Loud noise, illness, medications such as hormone replacement therapies – all can play a part in a person’s losing the ability to process sounds.

Aging, however, remains a leading contender.

“It’s really something that affects every family with older relatives,” says audiologist Dolores Madden of Hidden Hearing.

It took nine years to complete a University of South Florida formal study, but last month the University’s Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research linked age-related hearing loss to a protein-producing gene in the inner ear. Mutated versions of the gene make the ear unable to translate sounds into nerve impulses interpreted by the brain.

People with a family history of hearing loss can can be tested — and warned — years earlier if that one gene isn’t just right, says the USF study, published in the journal Hearing Research in October.

The research also takes a significant step past what’s already known about how aging changes the inner ear. That includes the understanding that older people should be concerned about damage or death to the tiny hairs inside the ear, which are essential to catching sound waves.

This knowledge might nudge some to take more care with their hearing earlier in life. They might decide to wear headphones while mowing the lawn, or avoid standing too close to speakers at a rock concert. ”If you do know, you can take more precautions,” Madden says. ” The earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer free hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.”

You should be aware that modern digital hearing aids are now smaller and more discrete than ever, with greater power to deliver better sound quality using computer processing and multidirectional microphones. The difficulties your parents have had in the past may have been with older hearing-aid models that didn’t deliver the standard of hearing care of their modern equivalents.

You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

By Edel Rooney

Hearing loss in the workplace

Workplace hearing loss becoming a serious issue

Noise induced hearing loss in the workplace is becoming a serious issue and employers and employees need to take responsibility when it comes to their hearing health. There are a number of professions which are particularly dangerous when it comes to hearing loss including sectors such as construction, hospitality (bars & nightclubs) and agriculture. A survey by Hidden Hearing at this year’s Ploughing Championships revealed that 47% of those who are operating loud machinery or farm vehicles do not wearing hearing protection, 42% said they use it occasionally and 11% said they use it regularly. This attitude must change if we are to stem the tide of noise induced hearing loss.

63% of respondents said they had never had a hearing test before and 96% of those surveyed said that having hearing loss would be dangerous when working on a farm. Tractors, silage blowers, chain-saws, grain dryers, squealing pigs and guns are some of the most typical sources of noise on the farm and lengthy exposure to these high sound levels can result in noise induced hearing loss for farmers of all ages.

Dolores Madden, Marketing Manager with Hidden Hearing has been a long-term advocate of hearing protection and awareness in the workplace and is one of Ireland’s most outspoken campaigners on the issue: “Our research has shown that workers in certain professions really need to take better care of their hearing. For instance, a farm is a particularly dangerous place to work with hearing loss, and it’s amazing that despite people’s concern for their hearing, they will put up with poor hearing for many years before seeking the help they need.  Farm noise exposure including discharging firearms tractor noise, power tools and even the prolonged exposure to animal sounds can lead to noise induced hearing loss. People need to adequately protect their hearing whenever they are working with loud machinery, whether on a farm, factory or building site.”

Farm noise levels and exposure levels:

Ignoring hear loss can not only be detrimental for your hearing health but can seriously reduce your quality of life. In any circumstances, it is never advisable to ignore a medical condition, you should always seek appropriate advice and deal with any medical problems promptly.

When it comes to Hearing Loss the earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer FREE hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.

Hear The World has set a new Guinness World Records title

The Hear the World Foundation has been recognised for staging the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign

The Hear the World Foundation raises public awareness about the importance of hearing and the consequences of hearing loss, as well as providing support for those affected. As part of this mission numerous celebrities have had their pictures taken by photographer Bryan Adams, each depicted with one hand behind the ear in Hear the World’s distinctive pose symbolizing conscious hearing.

Thanks to this unparalleled commitment, the Hear the World Foundation has now been awarded the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign with 53 celebrity ambassadors. Today, more than 60 international stars support the good cause.

It all began with a vision and a star tenor: the Hear the World Foundation was launched in 2006 with the aim of raising awareness of the previously neglected issues of hearing and hearing loss among the general public, and of helping people in need as a result of hearing loss. The foundation managed to recruit a distinguished ambassador to support its mission at the very start: Placido Domingo – a global superstar who, as a musician, is keenly aware of just how important good hearing is for ensuring quality of life. This collaboration resulted in the first striking portrait in what would go on to become the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign. It shows the Spanish opera singer in the Hear the World pose, with one hand behind his ear.

“For us, this unique accolade from Guinness World Records is an acknowledgement of our achievement to date. It will spur us on to step up to the success of Hear the World,” says Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova and President of the Hear the World Foundation.

More than 60 celebrity ambassadors boosting awareness
Since the first ambassador photo was taken of Plácido Domingo, over 60 further celebrities have been photographed for the Hear the World Foundation. These include international stars such as Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Annie Lennox, Diane Kruger, Julianne Moore and Lenny Kravitz. The voluntary support they provide for the mission as ambassadors makes a significant contribution toward raising public awareness of the importance of good hearing and the consequences of hearing loss.

All pictures have been taken by photographer Bryan Adams. For him, the Guinness World Records title also reinforces his tremendous personal commitment: “As a musician, the Hear the World initiative is particularly close to my heart as it helps people to appreciate and protect their hearing. The fact that my contribution to Hear the World has now led to official recognition as the world’s largest photographic awareness campaign is great proof of the success of our partnership.”

Worldwide commitment to better hearing
“We believe we have a great social responsibility toward all people who are affected by hearing loss. With the support of the Hear the World Foundation, we want to help create a world where hearing is appreciated and protected, and where every person has the chance to enjoy good hearing,” explains Lukas Braunschweiler.

In addition to its work on raising awareness, the Hear the World Foundation is engaged in a worldwide campaign for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people in need as a result of hearing loss. It does this by providing financial aid and supplying hearing instruments, with a particular focus on promoting projects that help children with hearing loss to develop at a rate appropriate to their age. Since 2006 the Hear the World Foundation has been involved in over 45 projects across five continents and has already given hundreds of people with hearing loss the chance to enjoy a better life. Some Hear the World ambassadors, including Swiss musician Patrick Nuo, are also involved in particular projects as patrons.

When it comes to Hearing Loss the earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer FREE hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.
Source: Follow the stars Read more: 

All those Christmas shoppers…and all that Christmas music. Can your brain handle it?

Endless loops of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or any tinsel-y tune can have a psychological impact known as the ‘mere exposure effect,’ says Victoria Williamson, Ph.D, who conducts research on the psychology of music at Goldsmiths, University of London. There’s a U-shaped relationship between the amount of times we hear music that we like and our subsequent reaction to it, she says.
As Williamson puts it, at first we like music a bit, then we like it more and more until it hits a peak. And then we crash down — we have overheard it. That’s when boredom and annoyance at the repetition of the same sound hits home. “Anyone who has worked in a Christmas store over the holidays will know what I’m talking about,” Williamson says. When asked why holiday music seems to have a polarizing effect, driving some people crazy while others like, or at least, can tolerate it, Williamson suggests that music’s effect on us in any situation depends on our own psychological state.
People who are already stressed out about the holidays — worrying about money, traveling, or seeing relatives — may find the musical reminder of the cause of their stress very unwelcome, she says. But those who approach the holidays in a receptive, relaxed state are more likely to get a boost from the happy associations — childhood memories, family gatherings, or the holiday’s religious meaning — triggered by holiday music.
Of course, the reason Christmas music is played in every department store, supermarket from Thanksgiving through December. Music can put us in the mood to spend money, research suggests.

When it comes to Hearing Loss the earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer FREE hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.

Age-related hearing loss linked to a protein-producing gene

Age-related hearing loss starts messing with the volume

Communication is key to the human experience. Laughter. Sadness. Anger. Love.

Sound is the way most of us receive life’s narrative. That is, until age-related hearing loss starts messing with the volume. High-pitched voices get harder to understand; phone calls are more difficult to decipher. The stories become muddled. Frustration grows.

 

There are many reasons why hearing loss and deafness happen. Loud noise, illness, medications such as hormone replacement therapies, all can play a part in a person’s losing the ability to process sounds. Aging, however, remains a leading contender.

“It’s really something that affects every family with older relatives,” says Dolores Madden, Audiologist and Marketing Manager with Hidden Hearing.

It took nine years to complete a University of South Florida formal study, but last month the Universities Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research linked age-related hearing loss to a protein-producing gene in the inner ear. Mutated versions of the gene make the ear unable to translate sounds into nerve impulses interpreted by the brain.

People with a family history of hearing loss now can be tested — and warned — years earlier if that one gene isn’t just right, says the USF study, published in the journal Hearing Research in October.

The research also takes a significant step past what’s already known about how aging changes the inner ear. That includes the understanding that older people should be concerned about damage or death to the tiny hairs inside the ear, which are essential to catching sound waves.

Also, this knowledge might nudge some to take more care with their hearing earlier in life. They might decide to wear headphones while mowing the lawn, or avoid standing too close to speakers at a rock concert. “If you do know, you can take more precautions,” Madden says. ” The earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer FREE hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.”

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.

 

€300k payout for deaf teen

A 17-year-old who claimed his profound hearing loss was not picked up until he was more than three years of age has settled an action for damages over the alleged delay for €300,000.

Liam Burke Castlemaine, Co Kerry, through his mother Mary Burke, sued the HSE and Patricia Heffernan, a senior audiologist with the National Rehabilitation Board, now the HSE Hearing Service, and operating out of Kerry General Hospital, Tralee.

It was claimed that Liam was profoundly deaf and had profound inner hearing loss from birth. The appropriate management to minimise any long-term handicap, it was claimed, would have been for Liam to have had his profound deafness confirmed after failing his screening distinction tests, and to have been referred for cochlear implant.

It was claimed that Liam was misdiagnosed as having a milder hearing loss due to glue ear and had three sets of grommets inserted, none of which significantly reduced his disability or handicap.

The true cause of severity of Liam’s hearing loss was not suspected until he was over three years of age, and was not confirmed until three years and nine months.

It was claimed that Liam’s care by Ms Heffernan and the body now called the HSE Hearing Service fell below an acceptable standard in that Liam’s profound hearing loss was not recognised by Ms Heffernan.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the settlement was without admission of liability.

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.