WITH the New Year countdown fast approaching, it is more important than ever to be aware of your hearing health and those around you. Those suffering from hearing loss can feel isolated and avoid social situations around this time of year.
With this in mind, Specsavers Ireland Audiology Chairperson, Martina McNulty has shared some advice to help make sure everyone can feel cared for during the festivities.
Research, carried out by Specsavers, showed that almost two thirds of adults claim hearing loss would impact on their attendance at social events, with a third claiming they would be less inclined to go to events as they’d be afraid that they wouldn’t be able to hear people properly. *
Letterkenny-based Specsavers Audiologist Martina McNulty expects that these figures will only get worse as the festivities return.
Martina McNulty says: ‘Hearing loss can be gradual, and many people may not notice that they are struggling. That’s why it’s so important to keep on top of your hearing health and it is also important to be mindful of others. Research has shown that many people do not want to wear hearing aids as it will make them feel old, impact their appearance or they are worried they will be judged. The stigma surrounding hearing aids remains a hurdle for many, but it should be a thing of the past. Years ago, they could be bulky and uncomfortable, but like other devices and electronics they have dramatically changed – yet many people aren’t aware of amazing technology inside them.’
With the New Year events just around the corner, Martina McNulty has shared some of her expert advice below.
- Make sure to visit your local Specsavers in the run up to New Year. Our stores offer quick and simple hearing screenings, to give people an indication if they would benefit from a test. Stores also offer free in-depth hearing tests with an expert audiologist.
- At gatherings, be sure to have the person’s attention before you start speaking. If you are hosting a get together and are aware of a guest with hearing loss, make sure to seat them in a position away from where the music is playing, with a wall behind them, so there is not noise coming from every direction.
- If you are a hearing aid user, make sure to always wear them. Keep your hearing aids out of reach or children and animals and avoid leaving them in a cold vehicle or room where low temperatures, moisture and condensation can cause damage.
- Be pro-active about your hearing health and ask a member of Specsavers staff about the extensive range of hearing aids available. Under PRSI, you can now get a free pair of hearing aids, up to the value of €1,000, or put their PRSI contribution towards the cost of a more expensive pair of hearing aids at Specsavers. App and Bluetooth connecting hearing aids are available where the settings and volume can be altered on your phone. More recent updates to the PRSI Treatment Benefit Programme means that people aged 25-28 will now only need to work for nine months to avail of optical and hearing treatments which will benefit almost 80,000 young people within this age cohort.
You can also try Specsavers’ free online hearing test to get a better idea of whether you might need to have an in-store test.
* Research conducted by Specsavers by surveying 2,000 adults.
Did you know you can now get €1000 towards hearing aids with PRSI if you are eligible? for more information or to make an appointment with one of the team, please call 074 9167040, or visit www.specsavers.ie/stores/letterkenny-hearing. The hearing centre at Specsavers Letterkenny is open seven days a week for screenings and repairs. Our Audiology clinic for hearing tests and hearing aid fittings is open Monday – Saturday and our wax removal clinics are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Specsavers Hearing Centre in Donegal Town is also open for wax removals and hearings tests every Monday, Thursday and Friday. Book via telephone number is (074) 974 2686 or online https://www.specsavers.ie/stores/donegaltown