At 70 years of age Carrickfergus native Marna Savage is a pillar of the local community- she has been the church organist for 28 years but has been playing the organ for a total of 50 years. With music running through her veins, hearing health counts for a lot. Hidden Hearing audiologist Kathryn Woods identified that Marna was experiencing hearing difficulties having witnessed her communicating with her fellow choir patrons at a Christmas concert whereby she was straining to hear those around her.
Marna, who was a Post Mistress in the past, noticed a weakness in her hearing starting around 12 years ago. “I used to have NHS hearing aids which I found non-effective. At church I didn’t hear most of the prayers and sermons. I would be missing my queues for the hymns and asking those around me were the hymns announced. At home I couldn’t hear the TV either”, said Marna.
Audiologist Kathryn Woodside who has been working with Hidden Hearing for 4 years, told Marna about the “Give Back” programme when she spotted Marna struggling to hear at their local parish. Kathryn sees between four and twelve people every day to test their ears and is constantly reminded that hearing loss is a big factor of ageing but reasons such as a loud working environment, viruses, or hereditary can impact hearing.
Kathryn says; “I lent Marna my dad’s Hidden Hearing devices after witnessing her struggling to hear at a ceremony and asking those around her to repeat themselves. I am part of the choir too, and I know Marna would value the gift of her hearing as she is an integral part of the church’s music. When I lent her my dad’s quality hearing aids, she was hooked! I told her about Hidden Hearing’s Give Back campaign and invited her to come in for a hearing aid fitting.”
Marna said; “Compared to the hearing devices I have had in the past, these are the Rolls Royce of hearing aids. They are fantastic, and I have finally noticed all I have been missing out on. My life revolves around music and the church and now I can sing in tune, hear the choir and the organ, I can hear multiple frequencies. It makes life much easier for my family too. I don’t need to ask people to repeat themselves, my children don’t have to tell me when someone is speaking to me. I cried when Kathryn told me she would be fitting me out with a free top of the range hearing device. I was so emotional that I told her I’d call her back! When I processed how amazing this opportunity was, I called Kathryn back and we made a date. I noticed a difference as soon as I put these new devices in.”
ABOUT HIDDEN HEARING’S CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER HEARING AND GIVE BACK CAMPAIGN
Free hearing testing is available in the 14 state-of-the-art Hidden Hearing clinics throughout Northern Ireland, as part of the “Campaign for Better Hearing” which was launched earlier this year by Daniel O’Donnell and Majella O’Donnell, Hidden Hearing’s Brand Ambassadors. The campaign aims to improve the hearing health of the communities around the various Hidden Hearing branches nationwide. Education and information in relation to prevention and treatment, as well as hearing aid technology, is also part of the year-long hearing health campaign.
Around *30% of hearing loss in Northern Ireland is untreated, for various reasons; an element of which is the perceived stigma of wearing a hearing device.
*In fact, 1 in 4 adults in Northern Ireland suffer from at least a mild hearing loss. By the age of 55, 1 in 7 people report a significant deterioration in their hearing and this rises to 1 in 3 by the age of 65.
In the region of 100,000 people may be risking the knock-on physical and psychological impacts of untreated hearing loss, which recent research has shown to include social isolation, depression, dementia, diminished heart health and stroke.
The Give Back Programme, which is an integral part of The Campaign for Better Hearing sees all branches of Hidden Hearing nominate a member of the community to get a free hearing device fitted. Hidden Hearing want to drive the message of the importance of good hearing and improve hearing health in those who they feel need it because life is worth hearing.
You can also nominate a person you feel could benefit from having a hearing test & that could be selected to receive a free pair of hearing devices through the Campaign for Better Hearings Give Back Programme. All you need to do is email: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the email give your name, number, address and your nominee’s name, number and address & please write a brief summary of why you would like to nominate that person for a free hearing test and potentially a free pair of hearing devices.