Thought I was ‘Getting Away With It’ but then I ‘Get the Message’

Today is World Hearing Day as every 3 March is and it has particular relevance for me — someone with poor hearing — as it does for hundreds of thousands of people here in Ireland and millions around the world.

The theme for World Hearing Day 2019 is early detection and intervention and that is so vitally important. It took me nearly 10 years to act on the early signals of hearing difficulties such as turning the volume up full on the television and on my iPod. These early warning signs also included my increasing difficulties in picking up on what people were saying in normal conversation.

I thought I was ‘Getting Away With It’ but then two years ago, ‘I Get The Message’ and got hearings. And they have made a massive difference to me — in terms of my hearing but also my self-esteem — I don’t feel the need to give up and withdraw from many social settings. They’ve also helped those around me who had become deeply frustrated by my poor hearing and the fact that I seemed unaware of it or unwilling to tackle the issue.

So my advice to anyone who is finding that they need to put the telly or the radio up to ‘full blast’ — go and get your hearing checked and in most cases it will be for free.

However — and here’s the rub — getting good quality hearing aids is not cheap. They cost thousands of euro and while you can claim the cost back on tax, it will only be at the standard rate.

This is an area where Government action is long overdue. Poor hearing should no longer be treated as a Cinderella issue by the health service — those with hearing problems should be supported to get the hearing aids they need to enable them play a full role in society.

Pat Montague