Megan Furlong, a 30-year-old student from Dublin who is currently completing her Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy, is Hidden Hearing’s most recent Gift of Hearing recipient.
“My ears were always my Achilles heel, ever since I was born; I had countless ear infections before my first birthday. The recurring ear trauma, throughout my life, resulted in a sudden onset of hearing loss, it was a constant battle to hear everyday sounds”, Megan says.
“I couldn’t locate where a sound was coming from. I would have to use subtitles when watching the television as the sound was just too loud for everyone around me. When people were speaking to me, I often had to ask them to repeat themselves, or ignore them completely, pretending I had not even heard.
“Working in the service industry during Covid was particularly difficult; with masks and Perspex glass, it was an additional barrier for me to try and overcome,” she adds.
Hidden Hearing, Ireland’s largest provider of hearing healthcare, regularly gifts hearing aids to deserving recipients. Since 2017 they have gifted €200,000 worth of hearing aids to recipients who might not otherwise have access to the latest devices through their Better Hearing Giveback Program which is part of their Campaign for Better Hearing.
Megan was nominated for ‘The Gift of Hearing’ by her sisters Leah and Sinéad Furlong from Dublin. The sisters wanted to make a difference in Megan’s life, after seeing her battle with hearing issues from such a young age.
Hearing connects people, Dolores Madden, Audiologist and Marketing Director at Hidden Hearing, says.
“We see the hugely positive impact hearing aids have in our clinics every day. Until you experience how isolating it is to, literally, not be part of the conversation, or to enjoy the sounds of everyday life, it is hard to imagine the joy of restored hearing,” Madden says.
“The pandemic taught us the value of staying in touch, but, ironically, also meant a lot of people put off getting treatment for hearing loss,” she adds.
Megan has now been fitted with Oticon’s newest RealTM hearing aids, in a neutral chroma beige colour. They were fitted by Andrew Rudd, the hearing aid audiologist at Hidden Hearing’s Liffey Valley clinic.
The Oticon RealTM is Oticon’s latest addition to its hearing aid range. This state-of-the-art hearing aid is the closest thing to natural hearing. The aids adapt to the sound environment and to unpredictable noises, so they instantly balance sounds, for complete clarity and comfort. The wearer can be in a restaurant, a train station, or a busy street and is still able to access the sounds most important to them, be that a conversation, background announcements or both. Permanently pressed for funds, like most students, Megan Furlong says she is incredibly overwhelmed and grateful for the gift of hearing, which is crucial for her future career.
“My new aids will be especially useful for counselling work, which is essentially based on listening. Paying my own college fees meant that hearing aids were not an option for me after having my hearing tested, this was before I was nominated for ‘The Gift of Hearing’.
“Day-to-day life will look different for me now, with the ease of listening to lectures and being able to interact with others at work. I will also be able to enjoy music again, and have far less mental stress from straining to hear all the time.” Megan adds.
Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s longest-established exclusive hearing care specialist. Free hearing tests and free sample hearing aids are available at over 80 local clinics across Ireland.
See www.hiddenhearing.ie or free-call 1800 882 884.
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