Danny Joyce | Editor
Úna Walsh, Tony Ward & Dr Sabrina Brennan Join Forces for World Hearing Day
Today ( 3 March 2023) is World Hearing Day, a day that reinforces the need for everyone to look after their hearing health. While early intervention and prevention can reduce the risk of hearing loss, the worrying news is that it’s on the rise, with a projected 2.5 billion people worldwide to suffer from hearing loss by 2050.
Hidden Hearing ambassadors Úna Walsh, former Irish rugby player Tony Ward and neuroscientist and author Dr. Sabina Brennan are urging Irish people of all ages to Love Their Ears and stop taking hearing for granted.
Gifted musician, Úna Walsh who wowed millions of Late Late Toy Show viewers in ’21, was ten when she was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss and more than likely had hearing loss since birth.
“I’m delighted to be part of this worthy campaign to urge people young and old to love their ears” said Hidden Hearing Ambassador Úna. “I cannot put into words how much my bluetooth hearing aid has changed my life. I feel so much more included in everyday things that others may take for granted.”
“Self-care includes Loving Your Ears” added Úna “simple things like turning the volume down protects your ears and will care for your long term health. If you do have hearing loss, act on it and get your hearing checked - it’s so quick and easy! Don’t let something like hearing loss hold you back.”
Former Irish Rugby Player Tony Ward, who believes his hearing loss was heightened by head injuries during his career said: "I have over 70% hearing loss and without hearing aids I would have a really difficult quality of life”
“Although my hearing loss did lead to a level of reclusiveness and isolation, my hearing aids have now opened the door to a better life”
“My life would be very different if I ignored my hearing loss. I’m asking Irish people to Love Your Ears and keep your hearing health as a priority as I believe it ensures an enhanced, healthier life.”
It’s worth having your hearing checked regularly as hearing loss can be linked to other diseases. Neuroscientist and author Dr Sabina Brennan said: “Hearing loss increases your risk of developing dementia. That’s why I would advise people to follow the recommendation of the Dementia, Prevention and Care Report of the Lancet Commission which encourages the use of hearing aids for hearing loss and advocates the protection of ears from excessive noise exposure.”
“Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression both of which are detrimental to the health of your brain. That’s why adopting hearing health habits like protecting your ears from excessive noise, going for annual hearing tests and wearing hearing aids are a brilliant way to look after your brain health.”
Hidden Hearing is highlighting the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within primary care, as an essential component of universal health coverage.
Ear and hearing problems are among the most common problems encountered in the community.
Over 60% of these can be identified and addressed at the primary level of care, by visiting a qualified hearing care expert.
Integration of ear and hearing care into primary care services is possible through training and capacity building at this level.
“The ability to hear is a gift and a gift that is often unappreciated. Healthy hearing allows us to interact with loved ones, to learn, to socialise and to experience the world at its best” said Dolores Madden Audiologist and Marketing Director with Hidden Hearing.
“At Hidden Hearing we are urging Irish people be kinder to their ears, because it simply reduces their risk of hearing loss. Our aim is to give patients at every age the unique treatment they need to ensure they can still reach their full potential”
“Irish people can effortlessly preserve their hearing by turning headphones down, wearing ear protection when directed and getting their hearing tested regularly and from an earlier age. Loving your ears means taking a proactive approach to your hearing and on World Hearing Day we want to remind people how important that is.”
A study on behalf of Hidden Hearing also revealed that treating hearing loss has benefits for mental health, relationships and even happiness.
For those with hearing loss, hearing aid wearers in Ireland are almost 3 times happier (43%) than those with untreated hearing loss (15%).
25 % of hearing aid wearers here report having better relationships, and they are twice as likely to report improved mental health too.
1 in 4 people globally will be living with hearing loss by 2050, and as many as one third of those people will live with it untreated.
Top Tips to Love Your Ears:
Turn down headphones
Where ear protection when needed
Get tested regularly
Wear hearing aids to protect against hearing loss
Hidden Hearing Ambassadors Dr Sabina Brennan, Una Walsh and Tony Ward
Visit www.hiddenhearing.ie for further information.
Slán go fóill.