Alison McHayle, a 40 year-old mother of three from Wandsworth in London, started to lose her hearing at the age of 30. She had trouble hearing what people were saying to her and particularly struggled in conversation with anyone that had a broad accent. Now, as the winner of a national competition, Alison is benefiting from upgraded hearing instruments, which have made her work, home and social life considerably easier and more enjoyable.
Alison no longer has to ask her family to repeat themselves and her confidence has come back. She is happy to do everyday things such as go to the bank and the post office because she can hear everything that is said to her so much more clearly. Walking her two whippets is no longer so stressful because for the first time Alison can let them off the lead safe in the knowledge she can hear the metal discs jangling on their collars.
Working as a lunchtime supervisor at a local primary school and as a Maternity Care Assistant in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, Alison is now more relaxed because she can hear parents more clearly when they ask her questions. She is considering going back to do night shifts at the hospital because she can now hear easily even when people are whispering.
“My daughters have seen me change a lot due to my hearing loss and now I hope they are seeing a more positive me,” says Alison. “I can hear the radio, the TV and the door bell clearly and even the kitchen clock ticking! Hearing loss is nothing to be embarrassed about and I am keen to show others that it should not prevent you from leading a happy working and family life.”
“Alison will play a big part in our commitment to increase awareness of the importance of looking after your hearing health,” states Trevor Andrews, Managing Director at Siemens Hearing Instruments. “By demonstrating that the challenges of hearing loss can be overcome and that real people can find help from professional hearing tests and embracing new technology innovations, we hope that we can encourage other individuals to seek help and not to continue suffering in silence.”
Earlier this year Alison entered a national competition run by Siemens Hearing Instruments to find a hearing health ambassador. Entrants had to describe in 50 words what they feel are the ‘best sounds of life’ and Alison chose the first cries from her newborn daughters, which gave her comfort, pleasure and made her smile. She has since been fitted with new Siemens Pure 701 receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing instruments by audiologist Alex MacKay, a Croydon-based registered dispenser with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and a Fellow of The British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (FSHAA).