RADIO and television personality Marty Whelan has teamed up with Specsavers to encourage the nation to take care of their hearing and address any concerns or changes they notice
In the second year of Specsavers’ Healthy Hearing campaign, Marty has joined the audiology experts to turn up the volume on hearing health, encouraging a change in behaviour, and raising awareness of the PRSI hearing aid benefits available.
Following changes to the PRSI scheme last year, those eligible for the benefit can now avail of a pair of hearing aids up to the value of €1,000 or put their PRSI contribution towards the cost of a more expensive pair of hearing aids at Specsavers. Even with a Medical Card, many will also have PRSI entitlements which would make them eligible for a free pair of hearing aids.
Marking the change in benefits, the popular opticians and audiologists pledged to test and screen a quarter of a million people over a two-year period and so far, is halfway to reaching the target.
Marty says: ‘Working in radio and television, I’ve come to understand how important hearing is in both my career and my personal life. I love listening to music and talking to people, having that connection is really important to me. As I get older, naturally hearing loss can become more prevalent so it’s important to stay on top of it and to incorporate a hearing test into my overall health check at least once a year.
‘We need to normalise the conversation around hearing loss, intervention is key and it is so important to seek expert advice and care.
Hearing loss is experienced by around one in 12 Irish adults and affects people of all ages. Your hearing changes over time and for different reasons, which is why people experience different types of loss at different stages in life. Despite this, many people often ignore the signs of hearing loss, concerned about being judged by others.
Speaking about Specsavers mission to screen and test a quarter of a million people by the end of 2022, Marty adds: ‘This is Specsavers second year of the pledge, I think it’s a great way to encourage people to take a proactive approach to their hearing health and to get them booked in for a hearing test. I’ve already been in for my annual check-up so I’m proud to help Specsavers reach their target and I will be encouraging friends and family too.’
New research, commissioned by Specsavers, revealed that more than a third of Irish adults regularly worry about losing their hearing. The perceived expense of hearing aids (26%) is the main barrier to potentially wearing one in the future. However, this no longer needs to be a concern, thanks to the updated PRSI changes
Getting a hearing aid is all about finding what’s right for you, understanding your hearing needs, your lifestyle and your budget. Specsavers offers a wide range of hearing aids, including its own Specsavers Advance range. Advance hearing aids feature some of the latest technology, at Specsavers prices. Features can include background noise reduction, mobile audio streaming from a device such as a phone, wireless connectivity, app connectivity, and rechargeability.
Speaking about the launch of Healthy Hearing Month this April, Specsavers Audiology Chairperson, Martina McNulty, says: ‘From our research, we have found that nearly half of adults (44%) feel there is not enough information available regarding hearing loss and what to do about it if you think your hearing is deteriorating.
‘As a business, we are making it our mission to open up the conversation about hearing health and hearing loss. With our pledge to test a quarter of a million people, we want to encourage more people to think about their hearing as part of their overall health. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities across the country and our colleagues are trained to not only conduct hearing tests but also to provide people with the information they need to take care of their hearing health. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had a hearing test in the last year to book in with their local Specsavers store today.’
For more information about using your PRSI Treatment benefit entitlement available at Specsavers, speak to your local store or check out www.specsavers.ie/hearing/hearing-aids/prsi-treatments-benefit. You can also make an appointment online.