To mark World Hearing Day (3 March 2019), Specsavers Audiologists Ireland are delighted to announce their continued partnership with Beaumont Hospital Cochlear Implant Team for 2019, having raised €15,000 for the charity by the end of last year.
Specsavers Audiologists and the Cochlear Implant Team at Beaumont Hospital want to continue in their mission to raise awareness of the importance of proactive hearing health. Together they encourage Irish consumers to be aware of unusual hearing indicators, with the aim of preventing deafness and hearing loss. They also encourage those in need to seek treatment where possible and not to feel shame or embarrassment about needing hearing aids or support.
The National Hearing Implant and Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital is the only centre in the Republic of Ireland that offers cochlear implantation to adults and children with profound hearing loss.
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 us to restore hearing to many more patients in years to come.”
Audiologist at Specsavers, Orla Walsh comments: ‘With one in six Irish adults affected by hearing loss, 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.’
Importance of Prioritising Hearing Health
While not all hearing loss is preventable, Specsavers recommends that those over the age of 55 should have their hearing tested every two years. Because of the slow progression of hearing loss, it frequently goes unnoticed and can take up to 10 years before the problem is identified. Untreated hearing loss can affect every aspect of life and lead to depression and social isolation, which is why early diagnosis is key. Identifying the problem early and addressing hearing loss with an expert can mean preserving the ability to communicate with friends and family well into later life.
Peter Walshe continues: ‘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, we are encouraging Irish people to be increasingly mindful of their hearing health and to incorporate it as part of their overall health check.’
Specsavers recently hosted a cheque presentation ceremony at Beaumont Hospital to mark the funds raised ahead of World Hearing Day, which is taking place this Sunday, 3 March. Specsavers staff received incredible support from respective local communities across the country at the end of last year and are grateful to customers for making the first phase of fundraising activity a massive success.
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 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 an 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.
*The nationally representative survey was conducted in November 2016 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. For more information, please visit www.specsavers.ie/hearing.