Local lady Irene Sansum has faced many health and personal challenges over the years, including being diagnosed with total hearing loss in her left ear when she was 7. We talk to Irene about her hearing journey and discover how the Aston Hearing team in Thame have transformed her life.

Her early years were marked by a struggle with a squint and partial deafness, difficulties that could have become very isolating. She had corrective eye surgery at 14 and then more recently had to endure the trauma of brain surgery. She is a remarkably resilient lady, accepting the obstacles she has faced and remaining positive and calm.

“I would often hesitate about going out”.

For many years she was a familiar and trusted face at Nationwide in Thame. She now realises that during that time she mastered lip reading without realising she was doing it. She just about managed at work, despite talking to customers through a glass partition, while socialising in a noisy environment was undoubtedly hard and she often worried about going out after work with her colleagues and many friends. She comments: “I always had to make sure I was sitting in the right place. It’s so difficult to join in if you feel you are missing much of the conversation. I would often hesitate about going out”.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread use of masks revealed just how much Irene was relying on lip reading to communicate. The barriers that masks created for her highlighted the difficulties she faced in social and professional settings, and this was further exacerbated when she realised the hearing in her other ear was now noticeably deteriorating.

“The difference was just amazing”.

Driven by a desire to proactively look after her ear health and to hear as well as she can, Irene turned to Aston Hearing, a decision motivated by their reputation and positive reviews. Her audiologist discovered that her left ear, long thought to be beyond help, could benefit from hearing aids. This revelation brought her to tears. She says: “Not only were they able to help with the new loss in my right ear, but I was also astounded when the audiologist said I did have some hearing that could be aided in my bad ear. I couldn’t believe that I had put up with hearing loss for so many years, the difference was just amazing. I was completely stunned by my new hearing. I met up with my sister at a local coffee shop and she was as thrilled as I was!”

She says that the moment she received her aids marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life, one filled with clearer sounds, deeper connections, and renewed confidence.

Not only was the transformation profound, but the simple act of adjusting the volume and settings of her hearing aids, through an app on her phone, gave Irene a sense of control she had never experienced before. Social gatherings, once sources of anxiety, became opportunities for engagement and pleasure. The fear of being misunderstood or sidelined because of her hearing loss faded, replaced by a newfound boldness to participate fully in conversations.

For Irene, the service provided by Aston Hearing was more than just a technology solution; it was a gateway to a new chapter in her life. She is so grateful to Aston Hearing for the support they have given her. Reflecting on her journey, Irene’s gratitude extends beyond the technological advances that changed her life. She sees her experience as a call to action for others, encouraging friends and community members to prioritize their hearing health. Her advocacy is a testament to her belief in the transformative power of compassionate care and the importance of local services like Aston Hearing.

The Importance of a hearing test

If Irene’s story resonates with you, don’t hesitate to book a hearing assessment. It is estimated that one in six people in the UK have hearing loss and yet still fail to address the issue for up to ten years. Says Aston Hearing Thame audiologist Jenny Conlon: “ We’ve been delighted to work with Irene over recent months, providing the clinical expertise, care, support and time that is crucial if you’re to become a successful hearing aid wearer. We firmly believe that a hearing assessment is as important as an eye test or dental check-up. When you don’t hear well, it can be isolating, as you often stop participating in and enjoying the social activities you once loved, and this really isn’t good for us.”

Jenny stresses that hearing is complex, so it is vital for a hearing consultation to be thorough. An independent consultation with experienced audiologists like the team at Aston Hearing will include an array of tests using superior diagnostic testing systems. Jenny comments further: “Everyone’s hearing needs are unique. There is no ‘one fits all’ solution, and it is really important that enough time is given for a full assessment, so that we can offer the best possible option to fit in with our clients’ lifestyle, technology requirements and budget”.

Personal experience

Another Thame audiologist, Hollie Wicks, wears hearing aids and enjoys sharing the benefits of the technology with her clients.  Hollie has a deep understanding of the challenges of living with a hearing loss and wearing hearing aids. This insight really helps her support her clients at every stage of their hearing journey.

Hollie comments: “Everyone’s hearing aid journey is different; I love being able to use my experiences to further help others. The extensive aftercare that we as a team offer is vital to ensure comfort and maximum efficiency of the hearing aids. We help you along that journey by offering as many appointments as you need to achieve this. The bespoke yet highly professional approach makes us different to other providers and is the exact reason I came back to work here, after being a client of the company. We have many clients who have been seeing us for years, as they know first-hand the difference we can make”.

If you feel like you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss call us and book an appointment on 01494 706970 or email hear@astonhearing.co.uk