“We need to normalise the conversation around hearing loss.”
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.
New research, commissioned by Specsavers, has 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.
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.
‘It’s important to stay on top of it’
Hearing loss is experienced by around one in 12 Irish adults and it 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.
“Working in radio and television, I’ve come to understand how important hearing is in both my career and my personal life,” said Marty.
“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.” he added.
For more information about using your PRSI Treatment benefit entitlement available at Specsavers, visit Specsavers on Opera Lane.