I can’t hear you either

Hi there

It was so funny.  This stranger was chatting to me outside the local Audiology Department. In the end I had to lean into her ear and say:

“Sorry, I can’t hear you.”

“Pardon?” she said.

“My aid is in the other ear.”

“So is mine!”

How we laughed, much to the astonishment of the other people around us.

The question always is:

how long do you wait until owning up? Five minutes? Way too long. 30 seconds more like. The longer you wait, the worse it is. If they find you out, there will be fireworks.

Have a great week






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A little frippery does us good – for Jane Austen fans


Experts suggest people should keep an eagle eye open for the new UK £10 notes featuring JA01 (as in Jane’s Austen’s initials), JA75, as that is her birth year; and JA17, the year of the author’s death. One £10 note with Jane Austen’s picture on it and the number J1775 has been sold on Ebay for £10,000!  Wow, where’s my purse?

While AA01 codes on the new plastic fiver were the ones to look out, it appears JA has captured collectors’ imagination on the £10 note.

New AH £10 notes appear to be attracting bids up to three times their face value, while the first of the AA01 notes are changing hands for £250. If someone could explain what AH means, I would be grateful.

I found the information above in the daily news online.  It also appears that £5 coins will appreciate as there is nowhere that you can buy them.  However, there are all sorts of coins available at the Royal Mint, including Queen and Prince Philip featuring with the Red Arrows, on the 90th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

Best of luck to you!

Debbie Jeffrey




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I Can’t Hear In Banks


A great deal has been done to help us in the world of ordinary hearing, but often it is not backed up by knowledge.  I went into my bank the other day and asked if the hearing loop was switched on.  A frisson of fear crossed the young man’s face and I felt guilty for asking him.  Still, persevere.  A Supervisor drifted over and I took my hearing aid off ‘loop position’ and looked hopeful.

It turned out that the hearing loop was a portable one and no-one had thought to charge it.  Maybe it could be added to someone’s job description.  Give the young man responsibility for technology and you will reap the rewards.

So, I was stumped in the bank, until I realised that 3 beeps on my aid, I think it is. It focuses on the  directional microphone on top of the aid.  I could hear most of what he said, but the background noise was thunderous, hence the need for a loop. The problem with that is that it could only be around one person’s desk.  Although I know no-one who wants to hear someone else’s problems, the bank has stamped on this on security grounds.  Oh-la-la, if we could just hear the one person without background noise, wouldn’t that be great?  Charge your loops, please.

Some pubs have started putting loops in tables , with throwaway hearing-aids, so that their customers do not have to shout at each other. I found this at a Hearing Exhibition at the V & A Museum in 2009.  Other ingenious ideas included a badge to be worn by all cyclists, so that the hearing-aid wearer could have a conversation with someone else.  It would mean they would have the same warnings as everyone else.   I have put the exhibition into Google, but with no luck so far.  Have you heard of a new way of communicating?  Please share.

Have a great weekend.


Debbie Jeffrey


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Drat! It’s Too Quiet – Hearing Aid Malfunction – Er, no.

Hello Everyone

Have you ever done that?  Gone out and realised when you reached your friend’s house that you can’t hear?  I have, too many times to remember!

It’s one of three things.  Firstly, the battery may have fallen out as I left the battery case open too much overnight.  When I picked it up in the morning, I didn’t look at the battery.

Secondly, the cacaphonous cascade of sound when it is running out of battery is so awful, that I either take it out altogether, or keep telling myself I’ll do it in a minute.

Thirdly, the battery case of the hearing-aid has not closed properly.  You can more or less hear as the other ear is working very hard, but you become tired much more quickly than you normally do.

Any other things happen to you?

When I get it right, I am so grateful that I even welcome background noise.  It is part of hearing life.

Have a great week

Debbie Jeffrey



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The Restaurant Has Your Meals Ready


Aagh, can anyone understand what the waitress is saying?  The background noise is deafening as the floors are hard and sound bounces off multiple surfaces.

Here, we have the advantage.  About time!  We can lip-read, although bear in mind that we get it wrong 70% of the time.  Don’t laugh; we’re still way ahead of the luckless diner.

There are a limited number of phrases that waitresses use. (By the way, you can learn lip-reading in some Colleges of Technology in the UK, or just observe.) Unfortunately, these women were all Sign Language Users, so they were entirely reliant on a girl with her back to me.  She was asking the waitress questions, but as happens in all restaurants to most people, that dish one of them had in front of her did not look like she thought.

It happens to everyone.  It’s okay; we’re normal.  Actually, we are better than normal as I said to my friend:

“That’s yours and the other one is mine.”

She looked astonished.

“But you’re deaf.”

Aaagh.  It is a long slippery slope to educate other people.

Have a great hearing week


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Earplugs for Clubbing

Hello Everyone

At a Deaf Awareness Day held some years ago at the local College of Technology, I was handing out acoustic earplugs, on the basis that teenagers would never buy them themselves.   Sure enough, they took them and examined them warily, as I explained that being acoustic would not eliminate sound or lower the enjoyment bar of their favourite music.

One girl , who worked in a nightclub bar, said that she had been given the usual squashy ones that shops sell for airplane flying, but that she could only wear one at a time.  Otherwise, she could not hear the customers.  This would, in time, devastate the hearing in that ear.  So I gave her a spare pair for a friend or her boss who had supplied the squashy ones. At the time, in 2009, I and my little company was a great fan of http://www.earplugstore.com

in the States, as music plugs were hard to get hold of in the UK.  Now Alpine Music Safe Pro earplugs are easily available here:


If you know any bands or friends setting up music bands, please tell them to get custom-made plugs, also available on the site above and probably much cheaper than going to an Audiologist.  Apparently there is an increasing number of young musicians with destroyed hearing in their 20’s, so don’t let it be you.

Keep your friends and family safe.

Debbie Jeffrey


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Earpieces That Blast Sound Through Your Ears And Good Hearing Don’t Mix

Hello Everyone

It is a long time since I posted.  Sorry about that. In the UK we have been ‘bouleverse’ (thrown topsy-turvy) by the result of the General Election of 8 June.  Having expected a landslide victory at the start of the campaign, the Conservatives dribbled in with a lower majority than it started with.

Today, I stepped out of a shop and found my ears being blasted off, as a young, say 13-year-old girl walked past in school uniform, her music plainly to be heard by everyone around.  She had earpieces in and let us hope that she was really angry about something and this was her way of cooling down.

However, she may be headed straight to the National Health Service’s (NHS) hearing-aid service.  They are seeing many more children and young grown-ups, about 22 or 23-years-old with their hearing “shot to pieces”.  In her case, she could also easily trigger tinnitus, which results to irksome to devastating noises from a squeak to singing permanently, while one is trying to speak.

Anybody who, sadly, has been caught in an explosion can end up being needing hearing-aids.  If your hearing is dulled, please consult a Doctor or your GP as soon as possible.  They will be able to reassure you or send you into the NHS for help.

I met a lovely, profoundly deaf man whose daughter told me that during a fortnight’s stay in hospital, he understood nothing and was terrified all of the time.  She came into his ward to see a Doctor shaking his arm and shouting into his ear.  She was appalled and explained that the only way to wake him was to use a shaker.  This is a round pad about 15 cm across which vibrates.  For him,  it would have to be placed under the pillow.  For the less affected, under the mattress is enough or you will think there is an earthquake.  I hope that you, whether related or not, could alert a Doctor to what they should do.  They only have six weeks training on the ears.

Do you listen to music via earpieces or those wireless headphones?  Do your ears ever feel numb?

Listening to your responses.



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Tennis And Lip-reading

Hello Everyone

I used to have a WordPress site under this name, but somehow I can’t get WordPress to import it into this one.

This first post will be about a funny thing, from that blog, that happened at Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in 2009 and is forever valid.

A tennis coach was carpeted after it was discovered he was watching the opposing doubles pair talk to each other. Binoculars were trained on every aside they made. Hearing Wellbeing blogged about it.

The following year, 2010, every doubles pair put their wrists over their mouths. Every commentator was suddenly clueless.    They could not see the players’  expressions or lips to lip-read.  It proves that everybody lip-reads; just that people with hearing loss do it more.  When we cannot understand what is going on, we panic into ‘fight or flight’ mode more suited to the woolly mammoth than

I am not saying which TV station it was, but someone saw the blog and brought in a lip-speaker. They had by far the best coverage and must have upset all of the TV statistics.

Anyway, in 2011, on the occasion of the royal wedding of Prince William and Princess Catherine, the same TV station brought in a lip-speaker. I was not really enamoured of that idea, but I suppose it is business.

More about lip-reading another time.

Have a great week



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