Hello, anyone home?

Welcome to Hearing Wellbeing where we look at the lighter side of 50 million people saying ‘What? Huh? Excuse Me’.

Have you ever been looking at the sun whilst talking to someone?  They move to block it and suddenly you don’t know what they’re talking about.   It’s because their faces are in shadow and you can’t see what they’re thinking.  Add a hearing issue and it’s a nightmare because you are used to focussing on facial expression and body language to work out what is happening.  It’s usual to panic!

With ordinary hearing you lean forward to hear better.  With a hearing issue, you can lean forward  instinctively or out of politeness yet it’ll make little difference.  Why’s that?  No worries; there are lots of ways to sort it out.  Here’s one.

Make your life easy by having people stand where you can see their faces.  If you can’t make the person move and let’s face it, people don’t like it 😉 here’s an experiment to try.  Move around so that your head is blocking the sun.  Slowly, or they’ll get scared and run away!  See the person frown and concentrate.  They might even lean forward to hear better.  Talk about what you did and see if there’s any reaction.  They might remember where to stand the next time but it’s unlikely.  The important thing is that you know.

Feedback welcome.  Next blog is about sunglasses.

PS. It’s going to take some time to get the appearance of this blog right as it’s the first one. .  We’re blogging anyway.

Getting a Job With Hearing Loss

Hello Everyone

Forget it.  That’s my answer.  There is no way that I can mention my hearing when I apply for a job.  During this recession I have applied for dozens.  The ones where I have tried to get in via a disability quota have received a polite refusal from a higher level.  So the Line Manager has replied.  Companies of any size cannot cope with a hearing loss because their main function is to have their staff communicate with the customer.  It is a fundamental misconception of hearing loss that says everyone who has it must have no hearing.

Hearing aids have solved the hearing issue.  Private ones enable your hearing; such a simple statement yet they really do work.  Conversation is now possible.  I’m in the conversation rather than always being on the back foot and on the fringes of groups.  I would be ready to run if I didn’t understand.  I succumbed to buying hearing-aids and they now provide protection when out.  The National Health Service ones are not far behind thanks to competition between the big hearing-aid companies to be awarded the contract to supply the UK public with hearing-aids.  The way forward for the NHS is to provide smaller moulds.  They will be individual moulds, not generic.  Those ones are for mild hearing loss.

Anyway I still haven’t found a regular-paid job.  I make it to interview stage and then find the sound is bouncing off hard tables, laminate flooring and the walls or the Panel of interviewers is sitting with their backs to a window.  It’s impossible to lipread faces in shadow.  I did ask one guy to close the blinds.  Did that lose me the job?  It’s impossible to say.  Still I have another interview next week.  Wish me luck.

Would you mention your hearing loss at interview?

I really would like to know.

Whenever I ask for feedback they tell me I’m better suited to something else  At the British Heart Foundation I was better suited to their retail arm, i.e., selling than I was to their Assistant Store Manager role.  Giving up on job hunting is not an option; I need to work.

Any input or suggestions you have, would be gratefully received.



Domain names – Talktinnitus – Available

Hi Everyone

I’m releasing two domain names.  The release date is 25 June 2014.  The domains are:



They will be available from http://www.123-reg.co.uk

I’m told that most released domain names are re-registered within 24 hours of being cancelled. 

You can be a 123-reg customer or a Webfusion customer.  If you want one or both, this email is an attempt to give you first refusal.  If you need any input from me, let me know.  I would rather an interested person had them than someone just wanting to make money.

I hope all is well in your world.


Debbie Jeffrey



Does Meditation Help Tinnitus

A man I met, told me that on the point of waking up, he had no tinnitus.  The moment he came fully awake, the tinnitus kicked in.

How do we prolong that moment of no noise

I am learning to meditate.  The basics are quick and easy, yet you can practise for a lifetime.

the first part shows you how to relax the muscles of the face.  You think about each part and consciously think about relaxing it.  Head over to Vishen Lakhiani of www.mindvalley.com   He aims to reach a billion people with his teaching within 10 years and gives a free introduction with guidance on the above.

It does not matter if it takes you a month to relax your head through meditation.  You have the rest of your life.  This is just a moment.

It works for me.  I have found that the tinnitus does not kick in while I am consciously trying to relax.  Is it because my brain is distracted?  Or conversely, is it because concentration has switched from the tinnitus to something else?  Your opinion matters to tinnitus experts. 

If meditation works for you, please tell your Audiologist.  Spread the word.  Reply here.

May you prolong the moment

Debbie Jeffrey


The Loneliness of Tinnitus

Hi there

We believe you if your nearest and dearest do not.  Tinnitus is individual to everyone.  It can be shrill or monotone, a noise or humming.  People suffer it in different parts of the  head.

I wonder, purely unscientifically, if it has anything to do with lack of water.  Also lack of sleep stresses us and that can lead to an upsurge in our tinnitus.  I can’t hear it today, but I’ve been making myself drink lots of water.  The reason?  I have a deadline for a writer’s contest.  Not that I have any chance of being good enough; I’m just having a go anyway.  But if I’m stressed the tinnitus does its best to interfere.  I’m literally drowning it out!

What do you do to minimise your tinnitus?

Have a great week


Debbie Jeffrey


The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

The Loneliness of Hearing-Aids

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English: bulky and hydrophobic anesthetic molecules accumulate inside the neuronal cell membrane causing its distortion and expansion (thickening) due to volume displacement. Membrane thickening reversibly alters function of membrane ion channels thus providing anesthetic effect. Actual chemical structure of the anesthetic agent per se was not important, but its molecular volume plays the major role: the more space within membrane is occupied by anesthetic – the greater is the anesthetic effect. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Hello Everyone


“You can hear one-to-one, can’t you? Be grateful.”


I try to be grateful but I cannot join in conversations around me because I have a hearing-loss. Sorry to whine but the so-called inbuilt loop programme doesn’t work properly. It works a bit, like a layer of foundation on the face makes an even layer, but hearing in a group of three women yesterday was useless. It did distract me. I was there for a dental appointment so any distraction is good.


I’m sure she gave me instructions at the end, but I was long past absorbing them. She had asked whether I wanted an anaesthetic before proceeding with a chip on a tooth. What? At the dentist with no painkiller?


“W can see how we go. Tell me if it hurts.”


Of course it hurts, I lift my hand. “Aagh argh …” it’s difficult to enunciate anything when someone’s fingers are in your mouth.


“Are you okay?  Oh the gum is sensitive.” She said and shifted to somewhere a little less painful.


Later I found out that she hadn’t used anaesthetic on the previous visit either. But I thought she was using a new painfree sort of anaesthetic. Is it my brain giving out a natural anaesthetic?


I wonder whether it would work if I told my brain:


“You can hear, of course you can hear. Don’t be silly; you don’t need these aids.”


I tried it, but wildly overslept on the first attempt and was late for the dental appointment. Has anyone else tried this sort of attempt at persuading the brain?


Have a great hearing week








Debbie Jeffrey





Timeout and Misunderstanding

Hello Everyone

My hearing-aids were being reset.  As there is sometig wrong with one, it has been sent away to be fixed.  Aaagh!  I must have looked so panicked, about having no hearing-aids, that she has lent me her demo model and reset both of them.  The reason is that I’m likely to be in a large group tomorrow as it is the London Screenwriters’ Festival from Thursday to Monday.

Out at 6.45 on Tuesday morning shook my system until I realised on the bus that some people do this every day.  Also it wasn’t early enough!  I  I missed the 6.50 am bus due to my body protesting that it was too early to open the eyes.

I shouldn’t complain.  The speaker had just come from Los Angeles, which is 11 hours behind us.  Then he talked for three hours before lunch.  I slipped him a ‘Timeout’ magazine, which is  a list of all events in London.  He left it on the table so at lunch-time I handed it to him.

“But what is it?” he said.

“It’s about what’s on in London.”  I said.

It is likely that most English native speakers would understand that, but he didn’t.  American and English are often at cross purposes.  ‘Timeout’ in the States is something naughty done in an ice hockey   game, but what it is, escapes me.  I wish I had asked what he was thinking, but instead I just repeated myself.  Instead of giving the poor man a better understanding, I was lazy.  Somewhat ashamed of myself now, I can only hope he understands from reading it.  However after an 11-hour flight this might be brief.

Note to self: practise what one preaches.  Say it in a different way.  Although it was not a hearing issue, it was still a communication problem.

In one ear and out the other, Grandma used to say.

Have a great communicating week!


Debbie Jeffrey


Balloon Tower Farnborough, Hampshire UK (Copyright to Hearing Wellbei ng 2012)

What the eye doesn’t see, this heart grieves over

Hello Everyone

Most women like looking at websites that sell houses.  It is not because we will buy one; we’re just looking.  Recently, I saw a lot of televisions and it suddenly came to me that people with ordinary hearing were having problems seeing and hearing.  The bigger the   TV, flatscreen,  Blu-ray, sting ray 😉 the bigger the problem.   The industry has a constant struggle to keep up with making all of the dots (pixels?) on the screen clear.

Clarity!  People with ordinary hearing are having the same problem as hearing-assisted people.  Why?  Because all of the TV’s, especially the bigger ones, were placed against the window.  It makes sense; people still want their pictures on the wall, so the only other free space is the window.

They don’t understand why suddenly they can’t see or hear as well.  It must be the TV.  Send it back.  Get a bigger one with more dots per square cm.  I know the dot idea has gone out of fashion but it doesn’t matter what TV Design Engineers create.  The problem will always be the same.

Basically, an object against a window will immediately put the front of it into shadow.

The bigger the object, the more shadow you get.  Housewives don’t like it, as it blocks the light.  Anyone watching it will turn the picture clarity up full and the sound up full.  Since they don’t think they have to do that with a new TV, they get irritated and send it back or complain to the manufacturer.  The latter refers back to the Design Engineer, saying it must be the fault of the design.

At this point, you’d think that the Design Engineers would start asking questions about how the product was being used.  They have the technical details.  The TV’s operate perfectly under their design criteria.  The Design Engineer creates questions for the public.  This is like Chinese whispers.  By the time the question is printed on card for the customer, the Marketing Department has made it more exciting and shiny, with colours.  When the Design Engineer sees it, there are sounds of breaking cups and something unyielding being kicked with smothered curses.

The only way the Engineers find out how the product is working, is by conducting their own unscientific surveys, usually amongst friends.  This shows the importance of dinner parties.  Someone is bound to complain to him, probably a wife complaining of lack of light.  Then her husband will pitch in about actors mumbling.  It is nothing of the sort.  If you’ve read this blog often, then you know my thoughts on lip-reading and casting faces into shadow.  You must see to read, books, faces, expressions.

If the is hung on a wall, think about your neck.  It should be level with the TV both on a monitor and a TV.

Ears act in conjunction with the other senses.  When seeing clearly becomes a problem, what do you think it is like for those of us who lip-read?

Feel free to comment.  These words are merely an opinion.  You can disagree if you like!

Have a great investigating week,

Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

Orange (CCL Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

New hearing-aids

Hi Everyone


I’ve got new hearing-aids from Siemens. I bought them during a turbulent period when I was going to shoot a short film. With three guys. They would all talk at once, wouldn’t they?


My head would spin. I had determined to buy new hearing-aids. They were on an emergency setting as I had silt in the river, also known as earwax. Charmed.


“Hello, can I look in your ears?”


This would normally be an invitation to scarper, but the chances are that he or she is a Hearing-Aid Audiologist. I have the lady version, who speaks my language, I hope.


Ten days later my ears were wax-free, if that is the term.  Now we could see what they were really like.


These hearing-aids have receptors in the tips. They aren’t the plastic half-open moulds that I had two years ago and they aren’t the ‘tulip’ tips that I’ve had until now. With the latter, I couldn’t hear because every time my head moved, they stopped working. I’m having the same problem with these. I shall have to find some people to talk to, so that I can test it properly.


This is what I want from a hearing-aid:


• I want them to automatically re-adjust to people speaking loudly or softly.


• I also need a dampener on them, to alleviate loud noises.


• I don’t want to hear the conversation of the people behind me. Just sounds will be enough to warn me of a lorry etc.


I want a conversation in a group.  I’ve just heard of Book Club locally.


Can you think of anything else?


Have a great  hearing week




Debbie Jeffrey


‘Join That Conversation’ – the one you’ve been on the fringes for a while.  This blog is meant to give you confidence to plunge in!  What can go wrong?!  Tell us, we’ll sort them out.