Journalist Liz Dunphy from The Southern Star spent a day discovering the difficulties faced by people with impaired hearing in West Cork.
Liz visited Rory Perry and his audiology team in Specsavers Bandon where she had silicon ear plugs placed in her ears to simulate hearing loss.
Liz noted that while she could still faintly make out words while in the quiet confinement of the hearing centre, she immediately found herself having to pay much more attention to body language as well as lip reading.
When she re-entered the busy shopping centre with her new hearing impairment, almost immediately she began to bump into people as she had no awareness of those approaching from behind and not in her field of vision.
She said that one-on-one conversations were still possible to conduct, as long as there was only one person speaking at a time and they looked directly at her while they spoke.
According to Liz ‘I soon realised that negotiating everyday life with hearing loss can be hugely frustrating and communicating within a group must be difficult and even isolating.’
Specsavers Bandon hearing centre provide a free, three-minute hearing screenings, with no need to book a full appointment and no obligation to buy. The screener lets customers know whether they would benefit from having a full hearing test, which takes about one hour.