– Mother-and-son duo encourage those with hearing loss in Cork not to suffer in silence –

To coincide with WHO International Ear Care Day, popular mother-and-son duo Nancy and Baz Ashmawy this week launched the Specsavers Sound Check Ireland Roadshow 2016.

The hearing booth will travel to large scale events around the country providing free hearing screenings and expert advice from Specsavers’ qualified audiologists. To celebrate the fifth year of the roadshow, Specsavers also announced that they would be introducing two mobile hearing vans to travel the length and breadth of the country to raise awareness of the importance of hearing throughout the year.

The Emmy winning stars of the hit TV series 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy were highlighting the importance of taking a proactive approach to hearing loss which affects approximately 650,000 Irish people.

Despite its prevalence (one in six Irish adults), hearing loss is often overlooked by people when it comes to their healthcare routine, with a staggering 47% of respondents in a national survey* agreeing that it’s just part and parcel of getting old.

As a result, the average person waits up to 15 years to have their hearing tested, despite the detrimental effects it can have emotionally, physically and mentally.

“Unfortunately, many people overlook their hearing health and wouldn’t know what to do if they developed hearing difficulties.”

Speaking about her involvement with the campaign, Nancy said: ‘Having spent most of my career as a nurse, I am always conscious of my overall health. Unfortunately, many people overlook their hearing health and wouldn’t know what to do if they developed hearing difficulties. Hearing loss can be considered a negative sign of ageing but I wouldn’t let that stop anyone. I would encourage anyone that is concerned about their hearing to take action as soon as you notice a problem and avail of a free hearing screening and consultation at Specsavers.”

Because hearing loss happens gradually over time, the person affected is often the last one to notice. Loving son Baz spoke about the vital role that friends and family play in identifying hearing loss in others.

He said: ‘Having shared this epic journey together, my mammy and I are extremely close and open with each other. If I had any concerns about her health I’d be sure to talk to her about it. Very often people do not realise that they have hearing loss and it is family members who may notice the deterioration first. Untreated hearing loss can impact negatively on all areas of daily life so if you suspect that someone close to you struggles with their hearing, don’t let them suffer in silence and encourage them to seek advice.’

Specsavers Cork audiologist Rory Perry added: ‘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. Regular hearing checks should be part of everyone’s healthcare routine and at Specsavers we recommend that people over the age of 55 get a hearing test every two years. Sound Check Ireland is designed to ensure that anyone who is concerned about their hearing has access to free and professional advice. We are also delighted to announce the introduction of the mobile hearing vans which are designed to make it even easier for people to take the first step in tackling hearing loss.’

Sound Check Ireland provides three-minute hearing screenings, with no need to book an appointment. The screener lets customers know whether they would benefit from a full hearing test, which takes about an hour.

Specsavers has on-site hearing centres managed by qualified audiologist and highly-trained staff. Each hearing centre boasts hi-tech facilities and sells quality hearing aids at great prices. All Specsavers digital hearing aids are sold as part of a complete hearing package.  From the starting price of €750 this includes:

  • Two hearing aids for the price of one
  • Four years’ worth of batteries
  • Four year guaranteed (representing a two year extension to the manufacturer’s guarantee)
  • Telecoil / auto-telephone
  • Directional microphones

Visit www.specsavers.ie/hearing to find out when Sound Check Ireland is coming to a location near you.