People Know How To Help Your Hearing

Library book sale 2013

Library book sale 2013 (Photo credit: Christchurch City Libraries)


Yesterday, a friend I hadn’t seen for ages, came over for the day.  We were walking down the street and suddenly she swopped sides so that she was walking on the outside.

“You’ll hear me better if I’m nearest the traffic.”

Such a simple gesture, so profound its impact on me; I was happy all day.  She just thought about my hearing and her natural compassionate instinct told her what to do.

If you’re hard-of-hearing, you know that the result depends on your hearing level that day, where you are and what else is going on around you.  Another person blocks the noise as the sound  has to go round them and you are effectively in their shadow.  For me, it was the thought that meant the most.

So to the husbands out there, never mind the coat over a puddle.  That’s been done, so old hat.   Go on make your loved one’s day.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

The Angel Islington London 2012 Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Switch Off The Fridge. It’s Too Noisy!

I love language,  writing it and hearing it.  Often people are surprised.  Why?  Does a sight issue rule their lives?  You could say it depends on how much you can see or hear.

In hearing, you lose a tiny bit in the high notes and suddenly the edges of words do not sound as sharp.  If you have just been diagnosed with a hearing issue and someone has arranged for hearing-aids, it is the start of an adventure.  You will hear things you have not heard in years, like birdsong.  🙂

When you clap your hands over your ears and ask your family to please switch off the fridge, be ready for argument!  It’s hard but try and relax.  Stay away from the fridge as much as possible for a few days.  (I can see this would be impossible for teenagers.)  You will learn to tune it out.  People with ordinary hearing do that automatically.  Be prepared for them to be disappointed.  They think your fantastic digital hearing-aids mean you are a superbeing, so when you complain about noises their reactions are the following:

a)       The hearing-aid is not working;

b)      It did not fix the hearing issue;

c)       They have failed you in some way.

Reassure them as well as yourself.  It takes a month at least to get used to them.  A colleague was on the point of taking his back after two months and then it was suggested he try the ones he had before.

“I had no idea.” He said. The aids were in and out of his ears in two minutes, back forever in the box.

“Can I have that in writing?”

We never did get his comment in writing but he did see the point.  You don’t realise what you have until you don’t have it any more.  He persevered with the hearing-aids and even took his life into his hands.  He went into the bank.  He went through the rigamarole of having the loop system switched on and went to the loop setting.  He said it was so peaceful without the background noise.  He was so pleased that people in the office, who have ordinary hearing, are envious.  An advantage.  Yippee!

Have a great week!


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Hearing Can Have A Happy Thanksgiving

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Here’s a quick list of how to help yourself enjoy the festivities.  You’ll be under pressure with presents and festivities and meals.

1.  None of us are perfect.  If you’ve forgotten something, it doesn’t matter.  Families dine off what happened Thanksgiving ten years ago in my friend’s house when her husband insisted on doing something and then forgot.  They all sat down and fell about laughing.  She said it was the best Thanksgiving ever.

2. Sit against a wall.  It absorbs the background noise that you don’t want.

3. Tablecloths absorb noise from knives and forks.   If don’t want that, table runners help and anything soft will absorb the clatter.

4.  Do you have a listener for TV?  Take an extension plug with you if you’re going out.  TV’s have 2/3 sockets for other things like DVD, CD etc.  Take your own so that everyone else can relax.  It makes you an easy guest to be invited back!

5.Yesterday someone introduced me as ‘deaf’.  I hit the roof, non-verbally.  Okay, so I glared at him as he’s my Aston-Patterning instructor and knows it’s a hearing issue.  Okay, so sometimes I do my own thing when I’m not paying attention but he knows me.  Those who don’t, will look at me in amazement when I do look up but he’s quick to say that everyone moves differently.  Then we all grin.  Other people’s perception is a reason for that e- book coming out shortly.  The rest of the world doesn’t understand hearing so he was using a word other people relate to.   It’s up to us to tellt hem like it is.  It’s like wearing glasses.  Do tehy walk around saying they’re sight-impaired or blind?  Neither, it’s accepted and festivities are a time when you can gently explain.

6.  Likewise if you’re family, friends or partner of someone with a hearing device, look at them when you speak.   Don’t talk with your back to them and if you’re in another room and want a response, get over it.  You are talking to yourself!

7.  Lights – it’s not the Blair Witch Project.   We need to see you but it doesn’t have to be bright.

8.  People who sit against a window will have their faces in shadow.   It’s hard to lip-read but with anyone you know well, you’ll be fine.  You’re attuned to their voice and the way they talk.  If you need them to slow down, tell them. They’ll be so pleased that you wan to listen to what they have to say.

9.  Follow the example of small children.  They know exactly how to communicate.

10. Most of all, have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation!’


Support But No Sailing Due to Windless Scorcher of a Day 9 August 2011 (CCL Hearing Wellbeing copyright 2012)

Mother Of All Background Noise Wanted! Closing Olympic Ceremony Spectacular


Can’t wait and 15 Golds still waiting to be won:  Good luck everyone!  The support, all the athletes have said that they love it and we applaud and when we win, we know the words to the national anthem!  It must be grea to have that ringing in your ears and they deserve every second of glory.  And so many nationalities getting medals; there’s a lot of sharing going on and we love it all!  And we have another event: Paralympics start 27th August!  I know lots of people with tickets!  Talk about a fun summer: 2012 is a fun year!!

Starting time: 21:00 hrs., 9.00 pm GMT

Hearing Tip:

If you’re at a loud event, take acoustic earplugs.  Hearing-aids don’t protect your ears from loud noise; they just try and filter speech!  Alpine Musicsafe is a bestseller in Europe.  If you’re in the States, is a fun site.  (Buying from Europe you pay import duty.)   Musicplugs, Travelplugs, Swimplugs, Snoreplugs (always bought for other people as of course no-one snores)!

There’s huge debate.  Do musicplugs cut out the best bits?  Doe they cut the layers and the depth.  Do you agree/ disagree?

At  a ‘Thriller’ Tribute Concert, I could feel that vibration in the ribcage, whilst wearing plugs and moved.  My husband let the music sing through his bones.  He’s got perfect hearing at least he did have but he loves loud music.  Pay your money and take your choice!


Olympic Hearing Has Stellar Effect

Hello and happy Saturday

Have you noticed the difficulty that everyone has when there is a huge crowd of supporters?  The background cheering is phenomenal and wonderful and hits the television speakers like a wave.  It’s not regular is it?  People talking and sudden shouts are not something a machine can cope with.  A burst of cheering will make people with ordinary hearing miss what the interviewer says to the new Olympic medallist.  Everybody is feeling like that and not just people with a hearing issue.  In one fell swoop they are hard-of-hearing!

Sky TV responded by making their commentators wear microphones very close to their mouths.  This is inside the arenas.  No wind noise or traffic to contend with just waves of emotional cheering.  If you have a hearing issue, you will recognise the sound issues.  It is like the whole world suddenly needs to be on a hearing loop.

The level of joyful noise and the shouts that suddenly penetrate  interviews at the poolside show that TV cameras and hearing loops face the same problem: they cannot make you hear perfectly in every situation.  Sometimes there are too many variables.

In the main studio, there is ordinary glass between the studio and the supporters outside.  They can be heard very clearly through it by the people in the studio.  At the end of every evening, the commentators turn around to the crowd, the accompanying athletes show off their new medals and the crowd goes wild.  It is great television entertainment.

The TV cameras were not prepared for it, but now it is affecting everyone, it is a wake-up call to solving  hearing in background noise.   Some companies with strategic vision and who have informed themselves about background noise are already more than halfway there with solutions.  We can look forward with great excitement

To everyone who has won medals, from all over the world, we are so happy you are shining at London 2012 Olympics.  We wish you the time of your life.  Your fantastic effort is reflecting on audiences everywhere and especially on us British.  Teamwork makes us grow and feel great!  Thank you!

London 2012 banner at The Monument.

London 2012 banner at The Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

Almost Grown Up (CCL Hearing Wellbeing Copyright 2012)

Apple Geeks Listening About Hearing!

Apple wonderful Apple!  If you know me at all, you know I don’t  flatter phones, especially mobiles.  I had dispensed with my mobile, shock horror as I couldn’t hear on it.  Yes, amplified mobiles, I know but I want design in phones but I want hearing clarity first.  I’m not having big buttons for anyone.

Apple Apple Apple is thinking to set up a network for hard-of-hearing users according to Matthew Broesma writing in ‘W Tech Week Europe‘ on 23 July.

‘Apple is researching the idea of a social network for hearing-impaired users that could be supported by the “made for iPhone” hearing aids planned to debut with iOS 6 this autumn.

According to patent applications published last week, and first noted by Apple-focused news site AppleInsider, the social network will build on iOS 6 hearing-aid technology that will be compatible with the iPhone 4S as well as the upcoming iPhone 5.’

It’s plain to us what is happening.  We’ll just refer you to previous blog posts and say thanks to Apple for hearing the idea and having the creativity and strategic vision to give hearing-aid wearers a leg-up.  Use it with specially-adapted hearing-aids ?  Well that’s obvious; they need to protect their investment.  I can have a panel of long-term hearing-aid users willing to trial them – fine I have four off the top of my head, including me and a range of hearing issues.  Being long-time users, we are a bit sceptical so Apple needs u to overcome that scepticism and communicate it to the global hearing-assisted community.  Now, just finishing the book and will have that up shortly.

Great Opportunity For Techies Everywhere/

Headphones Make You Deaf/

Background Noise – Choose It Or Lose It/

Highlighting (CCL Hearing Wellbeing copyright 2012)

Cobbler Mend My Shoe – Echo of Line-Dancing Halls


Feet (Photo credit: Prio)


“You don’t need special shoes.”

Yes you do.  Today the heel fell off a pair of sandals I liked a lot.  Off to the cobblers who lip-reads over the sound of his machine.  A happy man, he sends all his customers home smiling.

High-heeled boots  act like stilts with the same fluidity and trainers stick to the floor.  There are some cowboy boots somewhere with pointy toes unless they went out to the charity store.  Jazz shoes anyone?   Suggestions welcome.

And this week I understood nothing at all.   All hearing was gibberish.   The homerwork was a leaflet which had the words :

‘Left, left beside left.’

If I put my foot to the left, how on earth do I do the next bit?  This week it transpires that it means put left foot to the left, then bring the right foot next to it and do a sort of hop from one foot to another.  Please correct me if I’m wrong before I engrave it to memory.

The echo was overwhelming.  No listener this week but there is no listener that can sort out that level of echo.  That’s a challenge if any echo geek wants to take it up. We could send you chocolate 🙂  .  Unfortunately it is not a good idea to have both hearing-aids on loop setting at the same time.  You become totally tuned into one sound source and at worst you could have an accident, at best you could miss a phone call.  There is work being done on a hearing-loop that will alert you to phone, etc. but there is a delay which is like someone eating and talking at the same time.  This is rambling.  I’ve got a cold in the head.  The ears are sensitive and need to rid themselves of hearing-aids for a while.  Ah, perfect peace.  Back on Saturday with a tip on hearing.  Happy Wednesday.




Seeing unidentifiable birds is the like hearing gibberish (Copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing Gibberish

You are supposed to be relaxing with a gifted guru, into a state that is not sleep. He speaks clearly, most of the time.  It is the same style as ‘smart casual’ which my daughter complains about every time the Boyfriend accompanies us to family occasions.

“We do ‘smart’ and we do ‘casual’ but not both.”

I agree entirely, but speaking  in a ‘smart casual’ way  is like hearing half  of what is said clearly and half in a stream of babble.

So I’m just dropping into this sleep state.  I wiggle hearing-aid into place which sort of defeats the object as it tenses up that side slightly.  I only notice  because the other side is jaw-dropped bliss.  Then he starts talking as opposed to reciting numbers in  such a gentle voice, but hearing-aid ear starts straining.  The other ear, nearest the amplifier is not helping at all; it can’t as am having a holiday from wearing two.

Shall I wiggle round so  left ear faces speaker?  No, brain will wake up and feet will walk to kitchen for cup of tea, its Sunday habit. Of course guru is speaking out of both speakers alternately.  Hands up who wants a single-speaker version?  My brain has to zip between the two.  A second behind because of the hearing loss and off it goes, somewhere else.  I catch a few words but no verbs.  I sit up and switch off.

Hearing gibberish is no fun.  Maybe I was too relaxed to concentrate.  But it is such a bore going to the hospital to have your ears done.  Comfy chairs though in a new outpost,  half-run by the military who have more experience in hearing than they would like.  When you’ve been in a war, hearing loss is not wear and tear.  Yikes!  I will have to have another hearing test.

“Press this button when you hear a noise.”

State of the ark.  In the US and France, hearing tests are conducted in background noise.  If we hear gibberish, the hearing-aid can be adjusted straight away.  Why don’t we start from the hearing-aid instead of starting the whole process all over again?  This would save money and please the time and management people.

May your gibberish be short.  Stronger hearing aids or a hearing loop or preferably both will fix it.  I will let you know how the hearing loop works as it arrives via internet and post rather than time-wasting and hospital waiting-room.  I am not giving up as one-sided relaxation is halfway to bliss!

Line Dancing Sound Engineers – Help!

Line Dance

Line Dance (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

A friend and I had our first Line Dancing class yesterday.  I couldn’t hear a word of the instructions even though the instructor had one of those headset microphones, a stick that wound around her other ear and pointed outwards and a small square box on the back of her waist.

I think the other people could hear her natural voice.  There was no sensation of amplified hearing through a microphone.

When I asked, the instructor said she could not amplify her voice too much because it interfered with the music output volume.  The music became too loud.

What on earth can I do?*  Yesterday I followed the steps by instinct and didn’t let myself think.  Maybe I better go and practise while you’re asleep and hope that the home of Line Dancing can solve this.

* I could use hearing equipment but shouldn’t need it.  Hearing-aids pick up microphones!

Official: Teenage Birds Can’t Hear Their Parents

In cities teenage birds can’t make themselves heard over the din.  So they’re giving up and not doing so well.

In the countryside, every bird can hear its parent so it gets fed.

The guy has changed the pitch of his mating call to get above the din.  The problem is to a female, it’s like nails down a blackboard.  He who does that, does not get anywhere.

You see the correlations with humans.  It is not a leap, it’s a foregone conclusion that if we continue to babble down mobiles in the street, we will suffer the consequences.

They are:

  • Mobile rage at yourself involves having a paddy in public (generally reserved for the ‘terrible two’s’)
  • Mobile rage at other people, fuelled by frustration into a fight.  It is worth noting that wars and diseases start with severe frustration.
  • The stirring of anger in public becomes collective.

What can we do?

Easy, lots of things, in the new book, in the next post.

Source: Sunday Times