Irish rugby player Rory Best is encouraging people to be extra mindful of family and friends who might be struggling with their hearing, in his role as Specsavers Audiologists’ ambassador.
‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ Campaign
*With one in six Irish adults affected by hearing loss, Rory believes it is incredibly important to look out for loved ones who may be suffering in silence. As part of the ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ campaign, Rory is also encouraging people to take a proactive approach when it comes to their hearing health and believes hearing checks should be put on everyone’s annual health check agenda. Rory, whose father has hearing loss, wants to normalise the conversation around hearing in a bid to remove any stigmas. Appearance, age or attitudes should no longer be a reason to live with poor hearing, which can be treated, especially with the high levels of expertise and technology available at Specsavers. Rory comments: ‘When compared with eye health, people don’t put the same emphasis on hearing. It’s hard to believe and worrying that only 25%* of people would actually act on a hearing symptom. I rely on my hearing so much from a professional aspect but also encourage my family, in particular, my father who has hearing loss and frequently gets checked at his local Specsavers. People don’t realise that untreated hearing loss goes beyond hearing and has been linked to feelings of depression, frustration and anxiety, which is very serious.’
Early Detection & Intervention
The speed of deterioration and long-term effects of hearing aids can often be reduced with hearing protection and early intervention of hearing aids. They work to enhance your existing hearing, so early detection and intervention is vital. At Specsavers, expert audiologists recommend a hearing test at least every two years for those over 55.
Rory says: ‘I’m incredibly proud to continue in my role as Specsavers Audiologists ambassador as we work together to break down unnecessary stigmas associated with hearing loss. The ‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’ campaign is an always-on message focusing on the importance of hearing health. We launched the campaign in April this year but it’s important to keep talking and keep the conversation going.’ Rory continues: ‘It’s shocking to know that 69%* of Irish adults have not had their hearing tested in five years. There are so many people out there struggling through hearing loss when they don’t have to all because they are worried about what people might think or how hearing aids might look. I don’t understand that mentality. Getting my hearing tested always forms part of my overall health check and I encourage my family members to do the same. The longer you ignore a symptom, the higher the implications it can have on your mental and physical wellbeing.’
Specsavers audiologist; Orla Walsh comments ‘At Specsavers, the most important thing we want to encourage is conversation and we are so thrilled to have Rory continuing to help us drive this message. It’s so important for people to start speaking and acting on their hearing symptoms. Hearing loss can be such a lonely condition, but it doesn’t need to be. They might not notice the signs or may be worried to act on it which is why friends and family are so important. At Specsavers Audiology, we would urge people to be mindful of their close ones and encourage people to seek expert advice if they notice changes.’
Hearing Aids at Specsavers
Common misconceptions around hearing aids can also discourage people from initially seeking treatment and wearing the devices. The truth is that modern hearing aids can be discreet, can improve both hearing loss and overall quality of life, but are also cost-effective at Specsavers Audiology. With an extensive range of hearing aids featuring the latest innovations, Specsavers’ highly trained hearing healthcare professionals will help you pick the right device for you. With PRSI benefits, cost does not need to be a major concern either. Specsavers’ comprehensive hearing service includes impartial and expert advice, fitting and aftercare.
*The nationally representative survey was conducted in March 2019 by Empathy Research through an online omnibus survey. A sample size of 1,000 was achieved with quotas set on gender, age, social class and region to achieve a sample aligned with national population.