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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that Conversation

http://www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

 

Hearing – Can We Talk About It?

Hello

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

People Know How To Help Your Hearing

Library book sale 2013

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

Hello

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

Debbie Jeffrey

Hearing Wellbeing

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.

:)

Is tinnitus just too much detail? CCL Hearing Wellbeing 2012

Upstairs Downstairs Hearing

Hi there

A CD is playing downstairs.  I don’t know it’s on and there’s no way I can hear it whilst upstairs.  So how can I come downstairs humming it?

It happens every time – different CD’s.  I call it subliminal hearing.  It is instinctive, below the level of conscious thought.  Maybe we used it to protect ourselves at one time and it has fallen into disuse.  What do you think?

Have a great hearing week

 

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

www.hearingwellbeing.com

 

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

Hello everyone

Sorry to have been away a while.  I almost had a job in France but whereas the English will go to desperate lengths to employ someone who has arrived penniless from somewhere else and must be given every consideration, the French prefer to employ their own citizens.  It’s frustrating!

Of course the other, equally likely reason is that I could not understand some of the words the Indian woman said in English.  Her French was much easier to understand; it was a more open accent.

The workplace being near the sea, I told her my hobbies were skiing in winter and shopping in summer.  I meant to say sailing which is ‘voile*’ but my brain got stuck on ‘vent*’ which means ‘wind’ and I stretched it to ‘ ventes*’, which is shopping.

“Oh well,” as one of my children used to say.

Following some fiddling with phone sockets and swopping to a phone with buttons big enough to see from India, (which is why I hadn’t been using it), I waited a whole week for a call.  Then I rang the UK agent.  We set up the response to come in the following morning, in spite of the email promise the Friday before from India, which had been delayed.

I guess they knew about my ears.  I guess they knew about my amplified phone.  What they didn’t know, is that it’s an old one, designed more for people without hearing-aids.  The telecoil is in the base of the handset – uh – a bit far from the ear.  (For the uninitiated, the telecoil communicates with your hearing-aid when you switch it to loop system and makes the sound clearer).

No call all morning.  At 12.15 p.m., I picked up the phone to make a call.  Odd, no dialling tone.  I asked son to scrabble under desk to investigate why and he came out looking rueful.

“You can’t make calls without this plugged in, Mum.”

The phone wire had come out of the wall.  I rang the UK agent as I didn’t think I could possibly explain.  A copout?  Not really.  Their emails were delightful salutations but when they had to say something unscheduled, they came unstuck.  Besides who would believe me?  I have decided it was fate and moved on.

If you want to hear words clearly, you need a phone with amplification and tone.  No tone, no hearing people talking.  If you get one with too much amplification, your ears will hurt and you still won’t hear.   I used to let my customers try them out before buying, so ask your Audiologist before you go.

Best of luck

 

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that conversation’

www.hearingwellbeing.com

The funny reason lip-reading sometimes doesn’t work

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in...

English: Easter egg at the Palm Sunday fair in the Village Museum, Bucharest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello

On a light-hearted note, some days you can’t win for a funny reason.  You’re lip-reading your best friend, because that’s what you do and suddenly you lose the conversation entirely.  The word ‘sempre’ gave it away.  She’s Spanish, the other girl in the conversation was Spanish and she had slipped into it when I wasn’t looking.

I grinned, couldn’t help it.  There was no way I could have understood.  Yay!  I almost burst out laughing!

Try this on your nearest and dearest.

“Try saying ‘Easter Egg’ in the mirror. Now just mouth it.  Switch your voice off if you can.  That’s really difficult. ;)”

If someone else can lip-read what you’re saying (without you telling them) I’ll eat my hat.  Better make it a chocolate one.

Happy Easter Sunday.

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join that chocolate conversation’

Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing Is A Function, Happiness Is A Feeling – Where Do They Meet?

 

French language McDonald's door sign

French language McDonald’s door sign (Photo credit: mechanikat)

 

 

 

 

 

Friends are surprised by the idea of speaking another language.  Hearing does not come into it as I forget about it.    At that moment, I am free and the key is to keep that feeling going.

 

Life throws obstacles at us to keep us interested.    To tweak that slightly, I think it’s the brain at work.  It can only act on what you think about and every time you look at something more than once, it looks for evidence to back up your thoughts.  You become more interested and suddenly you’re acting on it.  When everything seems to be going wrong, the more you think about it the worse it gets.

 

So tweak it. Something is going to catch your attention.  In my case it was going on a skiing holiday to France.  I got lost, but boarded a bus and could chat in French to the bus driver and half the passengers!  None of them knew the place I was looking for, but there was a Tourist Office near one passenger’s stop and she took me in there.  They were instantly disapproving, but it turned out to be because I was wearing ski boots indoors.  If you’ve ever worn them, you’ll know it’s difficult to forget legs bent forward in a reinforced boot to mid-calf and less a walk than a kicking lollop.  I wondered if I would hear them and they were worried about their floors!  The holiday company was not in the directory and in the end  I  got the bus back to where I started.  The Ski Rep rang back as I was on the way to my first sit-in at the ski hire shop and gave me landmarks for the ten-minute walk.   Problem solved.   Oddly it was harder to follow directions than to speak French.  I had the best holiday ever and I found myself applying for jobs with French.

 

At any point in my adventure I could have changed my mind and gone off on another path.  It was not the right or wrong way; it was just a path.   When relaxed it was easy to hear  and communicate.  Not fighting the issue was the best chance of finding the way home.

 

Things happen, accidents or otherwise to break up a life and it is difficult to take the next step.  It may be slower but I am convinced that thinking about happy times, happy people, art, music, places will create happy memories.  You can pull those out any time and think about them: instant happiness creator.

 

Happy Easter

 

Debbie Jeffrey

 

‘Join That Conversation’