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




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’



Type too much, your fingers fall off … concentrate on hearing so much, do ears drop off?


The quick answer is yes.  If you have to concentrate very hard on hearing, your body will put its energy into that.  If the body gets no help, it will start to wear out.    Your ears won’t drop off physically but the level you can hear today will not be as good in 2/5/10 years’ time.  It varies.

The main side effect is exhaustion.  Besides, to the ladies, wrinkles anyone?  We have all seen people who screw up their faces in concentration.  It’s because they cannot see or cannot hear.  Look at actors.  They must forever be concentrating on Directors standing at least 10 metres away, too far to lip-read.

If that’s not an advert for hearing aids, I don’t know what is.  Life is hard enough without putting added pressure on yourself.  When you have them, the relief is enormous.  And for guys, worried about hearing-aids being seen, ninety-nine percent of people speak to your face.  There is no way that you can help the other one percent.

Have a great week.


Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’



Airships to Spaceships - Innovation At Farnborough Airshow (CCL Hearing Wellbeing

Hearing – Some People Are Just Plain Grateful


A guy rang last week, desperate to try out a Listener before he bought it.  Yes, we understand that totally.  Can you try one out from one of the bigger hearing-aid companies.  Not a chance.

The demo model was the last one.  It went out to him andthree days later we received a call from the same guy.  he had taken it toa meeting where normally he heard nothing.  He could hear what they were sayin at the other end of the room.  He was telling the people sitting around him!

He even used it to talk to his wife. – Actually, guys, that is your first priority because partners / spouses /brothers and sisters  suffer.  The Listner was a Conversor Pro and the guy insisted on keeping and buying the demo. model.  He and I were both happy with the price and he is one happy man.

I’m just relating this story so you can see how easy it is to make your life better.  The other reason is that men don’t ask questions.  Isn’t that frustrating?  How do you ever get answers to anything?


Have a great week.

Debbie Jeffrey




How to talk on the phone – What? I’m a Grown-Up


Bluetooth Handset Video

Bluetooth Handset Video (Photo credit: mightyohm)

Put the  amplified phone to your hearing-aid and the squeal will be heard by the person standing next to you.

Accepted theory is that you should put the handset at 45 degrees to your head.  Have you tried doing that in an office?  Jokers abound.  There has to be an easier way.  So I try the new hearing-aid on the speaking clock:

“At the first stroke it will be ten, forty-nine and three seconds.”

Or something like that.  Then you hear three piercing beeps.  Actually if they are quiet, you should wonder about your hearing.

Pressing the handset into the side of your head hurts.  It hurts for long after you put the phone down and it leaves an imprint in the side of your head.  Bad hair day anyone?

So shimmy.  What?  It’s a cross between sliding the handset across your ear which will cause instant feedback and giving it tiny shakes as it passes about 2.5 cm above your ear.  It can be at the top, middle, side bottom of your ear.  Regrettably, you are on your own here as only you know the best place.  If you turn your head even slightly, you will lose it.  So it isn’t the best option.

Some people take their hearing-aids out to take a call.  The trouble is that their ears don’t process the sound well enough; that’s what the hearing-aid is for.  An Audiological Scientist must have thought about this and wondered why it worked for so many people.  It may be a combination of using bone conduction to amplify through the outside ear and gathering in sound more accurately.  Do you agree?

The resultant hearing-aid has a small tubing that leads off the mould.  It must be gently put into the shell of the ear on the outside world part of your hearing-aid.  I keep meeting people onvinced that the antenna is only for balance and keeping the tubing in place.  Rot.  It makes me hear better via bone conduction in the outer ear.  Tulip or mushroom mould?  Do you have one or know anyone who does?

Using your hearing-aids’ loop settings will minimise feedback and cut background noise.  But you should only have one hearing-aid on loop in case someone comes into the room and offers you chocolate, a flight with Richard Branson to the edge of space (to test our weightless hearing-aids) or the building is on fire and you haven’t noticed.

Practice is key, so that  you don’t look like you’re avoiding putting the phone to your ear.  Besides there is always some office wit who will catch you.

Best of luck.   How do you take a phone call with hearing-aids?


Orange (CCL Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Postman Knocks Once And Jumps Up And Down

Gordonia axillaris (Fried Egg Plant) - cultivated

Gordonia axillaris (Fried Egg Plant) – cultivated (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Weird postmen?  Possibly.  They wear plugs with long white leads which look like elongated hearing-aids.  You can imagine my stare at my first-ever ipod!

“I heard there is a deaf person that* lives here?” (*who)

“Who on earth told you that?”

Popping eyes, blank, somewhat panicked stare and  the usual incoherent burble that passes for talking when you’re concentrating on something else.

“No I’m not sorry. ” he said clearly.

“Excuse me?!”

He points at a letter with my name on.

“I had to attract your attention.”

There was not really any need for him to jump up and down outside.  He was of above average width and wore a fluorescent orange jacket, probably to stop him from being run over, although why you would run over a fried egg, I don’t know.

I apologised.  The new doorbell has arrived but the guy wants two and I insist on one.   Two looks stupid.  Oh and he wants me to sit between the alarm on loud – 90 dB max. and himself in another room.

Ah, when he’s here, he can have it in his outer office.  Blast his ears off.

I want it on minimum sound and prefer it to flash.  Great that’s sorted.   Now I just have to remove old doorbell.  Easier said than done.  I have been thinking to hit it with a wooden rolling pin, but smashed doorbell attached to office would not look good.  It would also attract unwanted attention and scare Mexican bean postman.  Any ideas?

Voice Occlusion – Your Voice Sounds Distorted To You

Following an article on Lipreading Mom (article link below),  I have posed the question to a few Hearing-Aid Audiologists on how to help voice occlusion.

I don’t accept there is nothing to be done.  The medical profession has said that for years about issues they do not understand. In hearing, people are more proactive, at least in amplified equipment.

In hearing , one example is tinnitus*.  They still haven’t cured it after 30 years’ research but it can be managed.  If you have high-pitched sounds in your head permanently, this is a great step forward.

We stand by our idea of an audio dictionary.  If it is made by someone with your local accent and ordinary hearing, then you may be able to train your brain to remember how it should sound.  How we link that to speech is another step.  Back to you early next week with a response from a Hearing-Aid Audiologist I hope.

Iphone Hearing App. Techies, Geeks And Hearing-Aid Wearers Help Req.

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 (Photo credit: reticulating)

Nice shape Dodge Airies in hearing aid beige. ...

Nice shape Dodge Airies in hearing aid beige. Rare to see a K-car in such good shape these days. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know anyone with a hearing issue who has tried the Iphone hearing app? If yes, can they or you hear clearly with it?

How would we find out how the app. works?  I’m wondering if there is some sort of telecoil on a chip?  Is that sci-fi?   We’re looking for a way of making more hard-of-hearing people able to hear on a mobile.  Amplified mobiles have hearing loop program.

Can we talk about making up a spec. for a manufacturer in the hearing market?   My ideas of sound great, look great would make a manufacturer scream in frustration – way too broad a definition.  We need techies and geeks and people with hearing issues thinking and talking to come up specific ways of making us hear better.

We might even be able to persuade them to have (your name/company name/ group name) and their brand name as a version of the phone.  Anything’s possible right?