Audiologist Paul O’Hara fitted Leona O’Neill with a free top of the range hearing aid after hearing about her struggles with hearing loss and how it was affecting her family life.
The Campaign for Better Hearing supports the Give Back Initiative which sees Audiologists from Hidden Hearing, nominate people every month to receive free devices.
At 31 years of age, you wouldn’t think that Cookstown woman, Leona O’Neill had been suffering from hearing loss for most of her life. Typically, people would see her as too young to have a hearing loss. She said she first noticed her hearing loss when she was in school. ‘I would be sitting in the classroom and in group situations, it was very hard to pick up on what was going on. I got hearing aids from the NHS, but they were so big and so noticeable, I couldn’t wear them because I was so self-conscious.’ Leona had an infection in her ear when she was younger which ultimately lead to her hearing loss.
Audiologist Paul O Hara who works with Hidden Hearing in Cookstown, told Leona about the Give Back Programme when she had her first hearing test with Hidden Hearing done. Paul said, ‘Unfortunately, some people just cannot afford these devices which is why I’m delighted I could nominate Leona for this Giveback programme. The Campaign for Better Hearing is great because it really highlights the need to take better care of your overall hearing.’
Leona has a small girl who she struggles to hear and is looking forward to being able to enjoy the things she has missed out on so far in life. ‘I struggle to hear in group situations when I’m out, I struggle to hear my daughter speak and I struggle to hear in crowds if someone was calling me. These hearing aids are so small – I can’t believe it. Thank you Hidden Hearing. I was not in a position to ever afford these devices & now I have a chance to hear better again & catch up on what I have been missing out on.’
ABOUT HIDDEN HEARING’S CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER HEARING AND GIVE BACK CAMPAIGN
Free hearing testing is available in over 14 state-of-the-art Hidden Hearing clinics throughout Northern Ireland, as part of the campaign. 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 at 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 clinics of Hidden Hearing nominate a member of the community to get a free hearing device fitted. Hidden Hearing wants 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.
Book your FREE hearing test today at any one of Hidden Hearings locations across Northern Ireland by clicking here. You can also call 0800 085 95 50 for more information.