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Managing our hearing as we grow older

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Author, Rita Foley BSc Audiology

As we grow older hearing loss naturally occurs and we may start to notice small changes with our hearing or experience difficulty in certain social settings.

The most common type of hearing loss is presbycusis which is hearing loss that occurs due to aging. As we age, the tiny hair cells that sense and transmit sound lose their rigidity and this makes it more difficult to transmit and process sounds.

The Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists estimates that 1 in 12 people in Ireland will acquire a permanent hearing loss in their lifetime. Because of this, it is recommended to have a hearing test every two years to monitor our hearing and any hearing loss that may develop.

We always recommend the following steps if you have any concerns with your hearing:

1: Book a hearing assessment

Book a hearing test with a fully qualified Audiologist to undergo a full hearing assessment. All of our Audiologists have attained either a BSc. or MSc. in Audiology. A full Pure Tone Audiometry test is conducted which normally takes 30 minutes.

An examination of the ear canal is also conducted to ensure there are no blockages, wax, or other obstructions that may be causing hearing loss.

To book your free hearing test visit:

2: Discuss audiogram results with an Audiologist

Once the hearing test is complete, the Audiologist will discuss the results of your Audiogram. An Audiogram is a graph which measures the quietest sound a person can hear across a range of different frequencies. The measurement of sound is recorded for each ear and printed on the graph.

This allows the Audiologist to diagnose:

- If hearing loss is present in one or both ears

- The type of hearing loss

- The level of hearing loss present

3: Discuss a treatment plan

The Audiologist can provide a treatment plan if hearing loss is observed and distinguish if the person is a suitable candidate for hearing aids. In some cases, the person may have hearing loss but hearing aids may not be beneficial.

If the person is a suitable candidate for hearing aids, the Audiologist can provide a demo of the hearing aids so that the person can experience the difference in sound, look and feel of the aids. The Audiologist will program the hearing aids to the exact specification of the persons requirements. This allows the most authentic and beneficial sound for the patient.

We will always recommend a free hearing test if you have any concerns or experience any loss in your hearing. Our team of Audiologists will always provide expert advice and answer any of your questions.

To book your free hearing test visit:

About the Author

Rita Foley (BSc Audiology) has been a regional Audiologist for Blackberry Hearing since 2016. Rita manages a number of our clinics in Kildare, Carlow, Waterford and Wexford.

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