Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Nothing Less Than Your Elbow …

Hello from the English south coast where it never rains (in the 2 months I’ve been here) yet today, there is a huge thundercloud sitting overhead. How exciting.  It is something to look forward to, when we are cosily at home.

Comfort is what you want with hearing-aids.  Have you seen the ones for £0.99?  The price and how to order are at the top of the webpage to make sure you focus on that.  It’s not about how they will work.  It is a question of how much damage you could do to your ears,whilst fiddling with something not made to suit them.  None of us wants more deafness than we have, thanks.

The frustration of explaining that plastic balls will never help hearing ,to  someone looking for a cheap fix ,is distressing.  Couple that with the fundamental issue of trying to hear and men refuse or kick things.  Women burst into tears or any degree of both.

I met a lovely man, so gentle, a collector of sound wires over 50 years.  I didn’t understand much of what he said, but that was because he was talking about connectors and my hearing’s not brilliant.  It was a missed opportunity to learn more about his specialist subject.  Older people have such a lot to give, but the young aren’t taking advantage of it.

Later I heard that he had pitched into hospital with an unrelated complaint and had thrown his dinner on the floor.  it was so unlike the sort of thing he would do, until I found that he had woken up to find himself on an alien planet, where people’s mouths moved, but he could not hear them and wanted him to do things he didn’t understand.  He didn’t know where he was. They hadn’t even put his hearing-aids in!

When the very kind and caring staff of the residential home found out it could be the hearing-aids she was mortified.  She put the phone down to go and tell the hospital straight away and later rang me to tell me that was the problem.   A perfectly lovely person had been labelled ‘difficult’.   All it needs is a little training for the staff on the ward and at the Home.

Being unable to hear can make you look you crazy as you are still missing half or more of the conversation. Patients and staff alike get fed up and give up.

If the properly fitted and moulded hearing-aid had been gently inserted, he’d have had a better chance of hearing.

A plastic ball gives you none of those and frankly, is dangerous plastic ball.  It could damage you in two ways.

a)       First you’ll jam it into your ear.  That means lots of time in hospital and pain. It’s a waste of £0.99 which doesn’t sound a lot until you realise 50,000 people could respond to the advert;

b)      You’ll jam it so hard into your ear, that you’ll hurt it and have to go the Doctor to get it out.  Any other way, including self-help will damage your ear and your hearing.

Also you really will go crazy with the waste of money,  time and hassle.   Our recommendation is to steer clear.  They are dangerous  to your health.  As Granny said:

“Nothng bigger than your elbow should go in your ear.”

Except a properly fitted hearing-aid fitted by an expert.  Nothing less will do for you.

Have a safe week



Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that Conversation




Thunder Down Your Hearing-Aids

A clap of thunder is loud to most people with ordinary hearing.   It’s a useful comparison when people think they can be loud and it doesn’t matter, because you can’t hear.  Who knows whether it makes up after an argument or saves a message?  If it works, use it, if it doesn’t, find another way.

I have brand new hearing-aids, which I bought to hear at an event.  More about that in another blog, as buying hearing-aids is a big step for me. 

I couldn’t hear, needed to hear six guys who talk at once, so found a really kind Hearing Aid Audiologist and have been grateful ever since. 

A snag is that  they have had to be increased to maximum, as I have ‘silt in the river’, or earwax domination to the rest of us.  Does it have a deeper role in hearing, or is it just earwax? I have to get on with sorting it out, as I can’t be referred to NHS Audiology in my new place until I have a GP.  The NHS is a system and moves slowly but will there in the end.  So the Nurse informed me.

“You expect too much.”

My partner used to say. 

“Impatient and want things now,”  my mother says.

Both people speak the truth; it’s just hard to hear and consider.  Is there anything about your hearing that people hate?  Better they tell you, right?   

My views on suction of the ears to get rid of earwax are well-known to anyone unfortunate enough to ask.  However, as is usual with fads, it takes a while to disappear.  What’s the alternative?  Good point.  Back to an expert getting rid of it.  Usually it’s the local Nurse who has experience in getting rid of everything.  In Germany, France, Switzerland, i..e, Europe, you see a Consultant.  There is not the case here..


Let’s all talk to hearing professionals about wax?  @First I have to be cheltereed bu bocksk underd=water


Have a great week.







Debboe keffreu


Want To Wear Hearing-Aids When You Are Sick In Hospital?

Hi Everyone

Short but not sweet –

You cannot wear hearing-aids when you are sick.  However you look at it, they are still lumps of plastic in your ears and therefore do not move in the same way as human flesh.  Any static object in a soft place hurts it after a while.  If other places in the body are hurting, this is the last thing you need!

We need to connect with a hearing loop in the ward.  How do we make the ear do that?  We don’t.  Lateral thinking is needed in the same way that Action on Hearing Loss found a way to wake up people with a hearing issue.  They held a competition.  One of the winners designed a ring that vibrated when the alarm went off.  Ingenious.  It has been put into production.

Someone once told me that a shaker in the bed with her did not wake her although next door could hear it clearly!  Maybe this device would work for her.  Thanks to the old Disability Living Allowance, she now has a hearing dog who will paw at her until she wakes.   As my family say:

“It would need a thermo-nuclear device to wake you up.”

Not where I live now, but that’s another story.

I think that the object starts to fossilise the flesh.  That deteriorates the hearing and you need stronger hearing-aids.  Is anyone listening (irony intended)?


This time I’m asking for your hearing advice

Hi, I have that age-old don’t want to bother people feeling. I thought my hearing was down due to stress from moving house. It’s the hearing-aids. I lost one in the move and have been using an old one. Yes, stupid idea and one I tell everyone not to do. Note to self: take own advice.

With hearing-aids i don’t let anything stand in my way. At least this is the attitude and it works most of the time.

On Friday a lady I met, also with a hearing issue, was concerned for me. So I registered with the local Doctor. In fact they just gave me a form which I’ll return on Monday. The appointment is for Tuesday … the day I’m shooting a film. On Monday I may need to be in London in the evening.

Hearing is so fundamental. Should I whip into the local independent Audiologist and risk being ripped off because he/she thinks I know nothing? Or go into the local Audiology Department of the local hospital. I could spend five hours there and get nowhere. Everything I do comes back to the hearing issue. Have you got any ideas about what I can do?



Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing – Can We Talk About It?


As I went to open a sash window, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a young guy, about 20 years old, tanding on the ridge of a roof.   From where I was standing, I could not see how wide the ridge was, but two rooves along, there was a seagull standing on it.

He walked along and wobbled.  My mothering heart leapt into crisis mode.    That ridge did have a long bar on top but still no clue as to how deep it was, a slope of tiles and then a small wall.  It did not bear thinking about and I acted on a first thought.  I yanked open the window and shouted across the square:

“Can we talk about it?”

This may be the daftest thing imaginable to say because I was at least forty metres from him and slightly lower.  There was no way that I could hurtle down the stairs, run across the square and then be faced with an entry system.  Mine has a number.  So I called the police.  They were very prompt, but apparently they tried to get someone to answer the doorbell!  Excuse me?  That’s far too slow.  I only learnt this when they came up to me to ask for details.

After the shout, the young man turned and went to a chimney braest perpendicular to me.   He seemed to sit down.   I had to leave the police to find a way up to that roof.  I hope they did; they seemed competent.

The point of telling the story is that I think the young man heard me.  This is a similar happening to the previous post where sound appears to travel across three-sided objects.  In this case it is a three-sided period building with a garden of trees in the middle.  What is it about the construction that meant he could hear me?  It is not important whether he could hear the actual words, although he did appear to listen, because he stopped and went to lean or sit against the chimney breast.  I want to understand how the sound travels.  Maybe knowledge of it will inspire other thinkers and inventors in other fields.

Do we need an Architect to explain it or a Sound Technician or both?Image

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pen...

2011 printemps avril plantae plante nature pensée-bio 2011-04-24 rosa rose rosa-canina rosier-des-chiens bords-d’oise étangs-de-cergy oise cergy val-d’oise france (Photo credit: Pensée Bio)

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue...

English: Port of Liverpool Building and statue of King Edward VII at the Pier Head in Liverpool, England. This is a Grade II* listed building which is part of Liverpool’s UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 16...

Old Customs House at Exeter docks. Built in 1681 & the oldest surviving purpose built customs house in Britain. It is a Grade one listed building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have landed on the south coast of England where there is a plethora of things to do and lovely people of all kinds.

It is fascinating to live in a three-sided square and look at how the sound travels around it. Maybe other people living here don’t notice but I am sensitised to sound as I think about it all the time.

I can hear wheel nuts being unscrewed at the garage which is at least thirty metres away as the crow flies. For someone with a hearing issue, even wearing hearing-aids, this is not only weird; I would have previously said it was impossible! I was standing at the kitchen window, looking through a gap between houses and saw it happen. I had thought it was next door drilling, or as described to a utility supplier:

Yes, next door seems to be building a new house.”

It sounds like drilling. What is odd is that the landlord living below does not notice the drilling, yet the lady in the ground-floor flat complains his family is noisy.

What if the whole of our Grade II listed house, (walls one metre thick), is sensitised to sound by the gap between the houses? Sound blasts from the garage through the gap and hits the back wall of the building.

There is also one of those mobile phone eyesore masts, planted in the garage forecourt. That may have nothing to do with the sound blasts from the wheel-nut drilling, or it may be amplifying it.

Do you know anyone who could explain this?

Thanks and have a great week!

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



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

Tinnitus Goes For A Walk

English: Sign for the West Somerset Coast Path...

English: Sign for the West Somerset Coast Path walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bog somewhere on the 'coast to coast walk' (in...

Bog somewhere on the ‘coast to coast walk’ (in the UK). I am not sure where it was exactly. Taken with a Kronica camera on film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tinnitus can be triggered by stress, so we took our own advice and went for a walk.

The sun was out, (the UK is having its summer now) and the birds were singing.  It was a glorious day.  The shoulders relaxed, the feet kept walking and strolling in this way lets your brain relax.  All it has to do is to look around and communicate with the feet.   We could go too far with this analogy.  I wonder how many mobile phone texters dent lampposts.

As for potholes…  we’re lucky.  Every safety barrier you can think of is installed and we only realise when we go abroad.  Twenty years ago we discovered  another country had the highest rate of one-legged men in Europe. There were no streetlights and potholes occurring together.   When they joined the EC, they built new roads with light.  I wonder whether their Audiologists notice an increase in tinnitus.  Their healthcare system was brilliant for everyone.

If focussing on something else works for you. please comment so that everyone else can benefit from your experience.  It matters.  Everything you do, matters.  Everything you do for someone else matters to them.

Have a good week


Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

‘Join that conversation’

Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing A Talk Outside

Tour guides

Tour guides (Photo credit: Marcin Wichary)


Telling someone about a hearing issue works if you make it funny.  Going for a walk with total strangers can be scary, or not, depending on what you think.  I decided it was going to be great fun and leaped in.

The tour guide was nervous,  so telling him that one of his party might wander off due to not hearing him, made everyone laugh.  It’s also a great excuse if you are the sort of person who is likely to stop and look at something and then wonder where everyone is!

They wanted to know about hearing, but a ten-second response was not going to work.   Then someone asked:

“How are you managing?”

“I’m fine, there is no issue.  I just am.”

That confused her or maybe she was alarmed as I jumped in the air.  It was a fascinating walk and talk about the history of a place and I was happy and I think that when you’re happy, all problems disappear.  So that’s it; make yourself happy.   It takes a moment to decide to give yourself a break and have a new experience.  Those people were all kind, smiley, interesting people and we all had a great time.

To your happy time!


Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

PS.  The book is coming out soon!  It’s for everyone.

Uplift Your Hearts - London 2012 (CCL Hearing Wellbeing Copyright 2012)

Temporary Loss of Hearing Leads to Insight

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year...

Age-standardised disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates from Hearing loss (adult onset) by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello there

My friend lost her hearing on one side for a week.

Her first reaction was frustration.  Yes, we’ve been there.

She said that she was ashamed of being irritable and even jealous that everyone else could hear but she could not.

Her second thought was of me and how frustrating my life must be.

“Actually, no, I’ve learnt to ride over that.”

That is what this blog is all about: ways to slide gracefully over it.  Denial of it just builds frustration.

Be happy.  Happy hearing and have a great week.

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’ – the one you’ve been meaning to join but didn’t dare.