A special SuperEaro mascot will be appearing at Specsavers Letterkenny and Donegal Town next week as part of Specsavers Audiologists’ fundraising efforts for World Deaf Day.
And Francis Brennan, Specsavers Audiologists’ ambassador, is turning up the volume this World Deaf Day (30 September 2019) to encourage proactive hearing health and to announce Specsavers ongoing commitment to supporting Beaumont Hospital.
Specsavers Audiologists has pledged to fundraise for Beaumont across the month of October, in a bid to raise €25,000 for the charity. There are around 1 in 6 people suffering from hearing loss, but unfortunately not all hearing loss can be treated by hearing aids. The National Hearing Implant and Viani Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital is the only facility in the Republic of Ireland that offers cochlear implantation to adults and children with profound hearing loss, who cannot be fitted with hearing aids.
To mark World Deaf Day, Francis is urging people not to take their hearing health for granted and to support Beaumont and the important services it provides.
The Specsavers SuperEaro will make donating fun as they call into the Specsavers Letterkenny store on Monday 30th September and in Donegal Town Thursday 3rd October. Everyone is welcome to call in to donate and get a picture with him!
Francis, who fronts RTÉ’s popular show At Your Service, is highlighting the importance of taking a proactive approach to hearing health, as with today’s technology and expertise available at Specsavers Audiologists, there is no need for people to suffer in silence.
Speaking about his involvement with Specsavers Audiologists, Francis said: ‘This is my third year working with the audiology experts at Specsavers as I truly believe in taking a proactive approach to hearing health. I know how lucky I am to have good hearing. There are people out there who I’ve met that are suffering in silence and are scared to get their hearing checked in fear of needing hearing aids. Hearing aids can vastly improve a way of life for someone with hearing loss so why wouldn’t people want them? There are people who unfortunately cannot be helped by hearing aids who I’m sure would love the opportunity to improve their hearing, but instead, may have to rely on cochlear transplants which are costly and involves surgery.’
Staff at Specsavers Audiologists are delighted to be continuing the partnership with the National Hearing Implant and Viani Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital, as they look to encourage the Irish public to be aware of unusual hearing indicators. Aiming to prevent deafness and hearing loss, Specsavers and Beaumont Hospital are encouraging those in need to seek treatment where possible and not to feel shame or embarrassment about needing hearing aids or support.
Since the centre opened in 1995, over 1,350 people have received cochlear implants – 50% of them children. The clinical outcomes of the procedure are remarkable, giving children access to sound and enabling them to develop and understand speech. Since the introduction of newborn hearing screening in 2011 – which tests all babies born in Ireland – children born with hearing loss are diagnosed, referred and implanted at earlier ages which will lead to better outcomes.
Peter Walshe, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, says: ‘With Specsavers Audiologists’ fundraising and support we look forward to being in a position to improve care for our patients and help to restore hearing to many patients in years to come.
The World Health Organization estimates that hearing loss will soon become one of the top 10 most costly conditions in the developed world*. Together with Specsavers Audiologists, we are encouraging Irish people to be increasingly mindful of their hearing health and to incorporate it as part of their overall health check.’
Audiologist at Specsavers, Orla Walsh, comments: ‘It is important for us to continue to raise awareness around good hearing health, not just on key calendar dates such as World Hearing Day but every day. A shocking 69% of adults have not had their hearing tested in the last five years.* Despite the high statistic, the main reason people cited for not getting regular hearing tests is that they believed their hearing is fine. However, hearing loss can be gradual and many people may not notice that they are struggling. It’s important to keep on top of it as so much pain can be prevented.’
Because of the slow progression of hearing loss, it frequently goes unnoticed and can take up to 10 years before the problem is identified. Specsavers Audiologists recommend that those over the age of 55 should have their hearing tested every two years.
Five things your ears can reveal about your health
They may be small, but your ears are vitally important. Not only do they provide you with a world full of sound, but they can reveal some other things about your health too:
While having an earache could potentially be a sign of an ear infection it could also be the result of another health condition such as teeth grinding or an abscess on a tooth. Earache should usually go after a couple of days, but if it doesn’t and the pain persists make sure you see your GP or audiologist to take a better look at the problem.
Unusual ear shape
If your ears are an unusual shape – or even if you spot a simple skin tag – it could be a sign that there is a problem with your kidneys and the way they’re functioning. That’s because your ears and your kidneys develop at the same time in the womb. For those who have a newborn with unusually shaped ears, ask your doctor to carry out a kidney test or an ultrasound to get a closer look to make sure they are working properly.
While an irritating ringing noise in the ear is usually down to being around loud noises it can also be a sign of excessive build-up of wax, head or neck injuries or high blood pressure.
This is known as tinnitus and while for most the ringing, buzzing, humming or whizzing sound is temporary, for others it can be permanent. For those suffering from persistent tinnitus it is advised they visit their Specsavers audiologist to see what may be behind the noise and talk about ways to manage the sound.
Pale in colour
If your ears are looking a bit pale – and are consistently this colour – it could mean you have a deficiency of important vitamins such as vitamin C or vitamin D. However, pale coloured ears could also be a sign of dehydration too, so top up your water intake.
Having a crease in your earlobe (also known as Frank’s Sign) could be an indicator of heart disease. It is not known what causes this feature and not everyone who has a crease has heart disease. However, it is advisable that those with an earlobe crease visit their GP to get it checked out.
To find out where your nearest Specsavers store is or to book a hearing check visit specsavers.ie/hearing.