We saw on Saturday that Rory Best was having a problem with his ankle but we learned yesterday that he also faced unknown challenges with his hearing.
That personal impact made the journey down to Dublin for the launch of a new hearing campaign by Specsavers one he did not want to miss.
‘Don’t Suffer in Silence’, is an audiology campaign that encourages Irish adults to take a more proactive approach to their hearing health.
New research, commissioned by Specsavers, reveals that almost half of Irish adults (47%) regularly worry about losing their hearing, yet only 25% of people would act quickly (within a week) if they noticed a change in their hearing.
“At times I struggle with my hearing,” said Ireland and Ulster captain Best.
“Luckily it doesn’t affect me on the pitch, but because my hearing is so incredibly important to my career, from communicating with my teammates to listening out for the ref’s call, I am incredibly mindful of my hearing and am very proactive about prioritising it as part of my overall health check.”
“Even though I’m in my 30s, I regularly get my hearing checked and would encourage my friends and family to be as proactive as they can be.”
“My issues with hearing often comes to the fore when I’m in large social spaces and struggle with background noise. I would strongly suggest that anyone who has any problems with their hearing goes to get it checked.”
“Without treatment, hearing loss can lead to depression, frustration, anxiety and social isolation and that’s no way to live, not when today hearing aids are so minute and high tech.”
A remarkably high one third of people (33%) claim they would be less inclined to go to social events in fear they would not be able to hear people properly.
“I don’t know what I’d do without my hearing,” continued Best.
“I rely on it so much, not only from a professional aspect, but also from a personal aspect. Friends and family are a huge part of my life, I’d be lost if I wasn’t able to hear their news and stories.”
‘My dad also wears a hearing aid, so I’ve seen the vast improvements aids can bring to someone with hearing issues and know what it’s like to have someone struggle through hearing issues.”
That level of personal engagement is one that is normally reserved for charity campaigns but Best is a strong ambassador for this commercial campaign as a result of his personal experience.
Specsavers have a strong association with sport through the relevent sponsorships of referees in rugby in the past and the ongoing partnership with the GAA’s Hawkeye.
Image Credit: Inpho.ie