Movember at Hidden Hearing Ireland

Stone&MoustacheHidden Hearing, Ireland’s premiere hearing healthcare company is delighted to take part in this year’s annual “Movember” campaign.

Movember, in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society, is funding ground-breaking and innovative programmes in Ireland that will see country-wide collaboration of the best minds in prostate cancer to accelerate breakthroughs in cancer research.

Every November, “Movember” is responsible for the sprouting of hundreds of moustaches around Ireland. This collective growth of facial hair raises awareness about male-specific cancers and health issues, in the aim of reducing preventable death, increasing early detection and removing the stigma that surround men’s health issues.

Hidden Hearing's first Movember volunteer!

Hidden Hearing’s first Movember volunteer!

Next month, Hidden Hearing’s male volunteers (from the senior management, administration to audiology teams) will publicly “Grow a Mo” for this very worthy cause in effort to raise funds for the Movember Foundation.

Hearing problems, like so many other health issues is often ignored, stigmatized and considered difficult to talk about. Hearing loss can be brought about by certain types of cancer and by chemo and radio-therapy treatment so cancer prevention and early detection is crucial to all aspects healthcare.

Movember focuses awareness and education on men’s health issues – so join our “Mo Bro’s” to highlight and de-stigmatize men’s physical and mental health issues and donate to this good cause.

Subscribe to our Hidden Hearing blog, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on Hidden Hearing’s Movember volunteers and for information on how and where to donate.

 

 

It’s time to wrap up well and protect your hearing – book a free hearing test today

rby-cold-weather-hair-jessica-simpson-mdnWinter is a time for many people, young and old to take varying degrees of action to safeguard and enhance health, and the same applies to hearing healthcare, so there’s no better time than now to book a free hearing test with Hidden Hearing.

We spoke to  Ben Owen Audiologist  in the Marlboro Street, Cork – Branch of Hidden Hearing. Ben Described how “the ear is an amazing but delicate piece of hardware that is in constant use”. He went on to describe how we rely on our hearing to carry out the most basic of human tasks but it also is responsible for one of our most primal needs – that of communication and connection with our community, thus its vital role in our physical and emotional health.

Winter months and plummeting temperatures can have repercussions for hearing as the ears can become chilled and rather painful. As great deal of heat is lost from the body via the head, it is advisable to wear a woolly hat or wrap a scarf around your ears to prevent earache.

The common cold is a frequent complaint in winter and in severe cases can cause or effect sinusitis. Acute and chronic sinusitis can lead to temporary hearing loss which is not only debilitating if not treated but chronic sinusitis in particular can lead to developing permanent hearing conditions.

Dolores Madden, Director of Marketing with Hidden Hearing has this advice ‘Certain ailments and cold weather can have the knock on effect of causing hearing problems, the best thing to do is to call your local Hidden Hearing branch for a free hearing screening to examine the issue. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as removing ear wax- which is a free service we offer to the over 60’s.”

For more information on how to protect your hearing this winter and for details of the free hearing screening and wax removal offers see www.hiddenhearing.ie or call 1800 370 000.

Farmers urged to protect hearing from farm noise

100_3869An estimated one-third  farmers have some level of hearing loss caused by their inner ears’ daily bombardment from sounds that can rival a rock concert’s impact. Even farmers still in their 20s can end up with the muffled hearing of someone in middle age if they fail to protect their hearing.

“You just can’t get away from the machinery. We’re driving tractors and they’re  loud,” said Tom  a 55-year-old dairy farmer with partial hearing loss he attributes to farm noises he was exposed to in his youth.

Design changes in farm machinery, such as tractors, has made some equipment run quieter, but many still use older, noisier models. And livestock — such as pigs and chickens — still produce the same cacophony of noises; a squealing pig, for example, can be as loud as a running chainsaw.

“That was just normal when you were a kid. That was just life,” he said. He is certain now those noises are the cause of his partial hearing loss.

“Sometimes you’ll get a piece of equipment that’s louder than it ought to be. It’s a blast compared to what most people are used to,” he said. “When it’s loud we either stay a little farther away, or add to our hearing protection.”

Manufacturers have started making quieter tractors and machinery. Tractors makers, have added sound-dampening panels to the roofs of their tractor cabs and incorporated sound-absorbing laminated glass and other features.

Dolores Madden a spokesperson for Hidden Hearing said repeated exposure to noises in excess of 85 decibels — comparable to the sound of heavy traffic — damages tiny nerve endings called hair cells inside the cochlea, the inner ear’s pea-sized hearing organ. “This is all cumulative, not just one day, but the next day adds more, the day after that adds even more. And farm activities tend to be repetitive.  Younger farmers, the ones who were going to take over the farm, realise how significant a hearing loss they could face by working without ear protections.”

If you are interested in noise protection or have any questions about hearing contact Hidden Hearing 1800 370 000 or apply for a FREE information pack.

French horn players are most at risk of hearing loss in an orchestra

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Aspiring musicians beware – playing the French horn can be bad for your hearing.

It is one of the most rousing instruments in the orchestra, used to create soaring fanfares and powerful harmonics. However, it seems the beauty of the French horn may be lost on the very musicians who play it because it causes them to lose their hearing.

Scientists have found that those who play the distinctive, curved brass instruments experience some of the loudest noises within an orchestra and have the highest risk of hearing loss. New findings suggest that up to a third of horn players suffer hearing problems in at least one of their ears, with younger musicians being most at risk. It is thought that the shape of the instrument, which can direct the sound towards the player’s ears and those of their neighbour, is partly responsible for this increased risk compared to other musicians.

French horns are also often used to play loud fanfares while in classical orchestras horn players are seated side by side in the midst of the brass section. Dr Wayne Wilson, an audiologist who led the study at the study from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, said: “It is now well established that professional orchestral musicians can be exposed to potentially harmful sound levels in their working environment. “It is also acknowledged that sound exposure varies significantly across the orchestra from musician to musician according to position, repertoire, and instrument played, with horn players thought to be one of the most at-risk groups. “Even mild hearing loss can result in difficulties discriminating pitch, abnormal loudness growth and tinnitus, all of which can effect a musician’s ability to perform, subsequently jeopardising his or her livelihood.”

The researchers examined the hearing of 142 French horn players attending a conference of the International Horn Society and compared this to how often they played. Their study, which is published Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, found that the majority played their horns for more than 20 hours a week, with two thirds of those who took part being members of an orchestra. They found that overall 22.2 per cent of the horn players showed signs of hearing loss while among those who were under 40 years old, 32.9 per cent showed signs of hearing loss.  Just 18 per cent wore hearing protection when they were playing. French horns can reach noise levels of up to 106 decibels while trombones and trumpets can exceed 114 decibels.

With over 25 years’ experience in hearing healthcare, Hidden Hearing is committed to providing the most professional hearing healthcare service to its customers. Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

 

Ireland’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing ‘Heroes’ Honoured at National Awards

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Legendary singer Daniel O’Donnell presented the 2013 Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards Ireland’s annual awards to highlight the achievements and accomplishments of those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

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

Members of the public nominated their ‘hero’ who they felt deserved to be recognised for an award. The winners included Maura Buckley, the first Deaf woman to become a qualified teacher (teaching for 32 years) and the first Deaf vice principal at St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls, and Deaflympian footballer Stuart Foy, the most capped Deaf football player in Irish history.

CMC0906-10Congratulating the winners, Daniel O’Donnell said: “I would like to congratulate each of our six award winners here today as they are true examples of real heroes in Irish society. Each person has shown great determination to reach their goals and they have proven that all obstacles can be overcome.  Their achievements and successes deserve to be honoured and brought to the attention of the Irish public.”

Applauding the winners, Stephen Leddy, Managing Director, Hidden Hearing said: The ‘Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards’ is the only awards initiative to focus on the achievements of the Deaf and hard of hearing community in Ireland.  The judging panel had some extremely tough decisions to make this year, with some really high calibre nominees. All of the winners demonstrated that being Deaf or hard of hearing does not have to hold you back in life.”

Discussing the Awards, Kevin Mulqueen, Chairperson of the Irish Deaf Society said: “Over the last three years the Heroes Awards has proven an excellent platform for creating awareness about the Deaf and hard of hearing community in Ireland and of its role in Irish society.  We are delighted to be partnering with Hidden Hearing in celebrating the success and triumphs of those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.”

If you’re worried about you or your hearing contact your local Hidden Hearing branch.  Hidden Hearing offers free hearing tests at its 60 branches nationwide. To book a test Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit http://www.hiddenhearing.ie.

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Rumer Willis: Don’t be too tough on dad, he can’t hear

 

Bruce Willis’ actress daughter Rumer has defended her dad from critics who have blasted him for appearing awkward in interviews, revealing he probably can’t hear the questions properly.

She insists the Die Hard star doesn’t go out of his way to be less than talkative when promoting movies, but a hearing loss issue means he is always struggling to make out what is being said by interviewers.

Rumer, who is Willis’ eldest daughter with ex-wife Demi Moore, explains, “I think part of the problem is sometimes he can’t hear … because he shot a gun off next to his ear when he was doing Die Hard a long time ago, so he has partial hearing loss in his ears.

“If me and my sisters get together and he’s at a dinner table and we start talking about fashion and things, the poor guy…”

Willis’ daughter also feels her dad has a reputation as an edgy, cool guy to keep up: “I think he just has this vibe where he feels like he’s gotta kinda do a cool man (thing).”

With over 25 years’ experience in hearing healthcare, Hidden Hearing is committed to providing the most professional hearing healthcare service to its customers. Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.

When Shingles Leads to Hearing Loss

Hearing-LossShingles is a nervous system disease caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox; it is not a rash or skin infection. The virus can lie dormant in the body’s nerve cells for years in those who’ve had chickenpox; when it reactivates, it spreads down the nerves into the skin.

Hearing loss most often accompanies shingles when the rash forms on the head and face around the ear. About one-third of people who have the shingles rash and blisters near an ear will have a hearing problem due to the infection.  The hearing loss can be temporary, permanent, or even result in deafness.  Typically only one ear is affected.

The two most common conditions that connect hearing loss and shingles are:

 

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Ramsay Hunt syndrome occurs when a shingles infection affects the facial nerve near one of your ears.

Symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

  • Painful rash on the eardrum, ear canal, earlobe, tongue, roof of the mouth (palate) on the same side as weakness of the face
  • Hearing loss on one side
  • Sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning (vertigo)
  • Weakness on one side of the face
  • Paralysis of one side of the face

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear.  The inner ear houses the organs of balance and hearing.  Shingles can cause labyrinthitis either through direct viral infection or by subsequent bacterial infection that occurs as the blisters begin to heal.

Symptoms of Shingles-Related Hearing Loss

  • Decreased hearing or deafness
  • Intense and severe ear pain
  • Tinnitus (ringing or other strange noises in your ear)
  • Sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning (vertigo)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

You are more likely to have fewer long-term side effects from shingles if you begin receiving treatment within a few days of your first symptoms. About 70 percent of those with shingles make a full recovery if they’re treated early.

If you delay getting to the doctor, your chances of not suffering any long term side effects falls to about 50 percent. In some cases, the hearing loss will be permanent due to damage to the nerves or to the structures of the inner ear.  If you are experiencing symptoms associated with shingles don’t wait to seek medical attention.

 

 

With over 25 years’ experience in hearing healthcare, Hidden Hearing is committed to providing the most professional hearing healthcare service to its customers. Anybody who might be concerned about their hearing, can avail of a free hearing test at any Hidden Hearing branch nationwide. You can book a hearing test free of charge at any of Hidden Hearing’s 60 clinics nationwide. Freephone 1800 370 000 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie.