Posts Tagged 'hearing aid feedback'

The Return Of Auntie Mo

Cookie Bite Agony Aunt

Festive Feedback 

Every time I hug someone to wish them a Merry Christmas, my hearing aids make an embarrassing squealing noise as our heads meet. Is there any way to prevent this?

The only way to prevent it is to thrust both arms rigidly out in front of you as the person approaches for a hug, and shout “Get off me! I’m wearing hearing aids!” This approach does have its limitations, however. At best you will be considered anti-social and, at worst, positively frightening. No, it is far better to accept the situation with humour. At the first signs of feedback during a festive embrace, pull away firmly and shout “Was that your hearing aids, HAHAHA!”

Other people always like to say that as a joke whenever there’s a funny noise, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to turn the tables.

Lipreading  blackout

My sister likes to have drinks and nibbles by the light of the log fire at Christmas, but I struggle to make out what people are saying in darkened rooms. I feel like such a party pooper when I ask for a light to be switched on. Have you any suggestions?

Carry some ball bearings with you in your handbag. Slip a few into the salted cashews when nobody’s looking, and those lights will go on without you even having to ask.

Pain in the ears

Over the festive period, my hearing aids frequently make me want to kill shrieking children and smash up their noisy electronic toys…is this normal?

Yes.

Telly Trouble

My family like to have the telly on in the background when we’re sitting around talking, but I find it hard to concentrate on what’s being said. When I ask if they can turn it off, someone always says “But I thought your said your hearing wasn’t that good…it’s not as if the telly’s that loud.” 

How can I make them understand?

Don’t bother. Just ask for the subtitles to be turned on, and watch that telly being switched off immediately. People with normal hearing can’t seem to tolerate a telly with the subtitles on.

Auntie Mo will be back some time next year. You can find more of her unique problem solving solutions here

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Big Night Out On Bute

You know you’re doing something daft when you’re working out a short cut home, and having to consult tide timetables and a lunar calendar to ensure you’ll actually get there in one piece. This was the scenario when we realised that the last bus home from Saturday night’s King Creosote gig at Mountstuart House on Bute, was timed to depart right in the middle of the performance.

We had three options: 1. Depart with the last bus right in the middle of the performance, 2. Embark on a bunion-punishing two hour walk home in the dark along a country road after the performance had finished, or 3. Embark on a slightly shorter walk home through the estate grounds, along a potholed B road, down through a steep field on to a rocky bit of beach and across the wet sands at low tide in the dark. Adventurous Option 3 had the most appeal when I cooked it up over my cornflakes and fresh orange juice at breakfast time, but by mid afternoon I had gone off it a bit when I spotted a distant herd of cows appearing back in their field after milking. I reckoned they might not take kindly to being stepped on in the dark by two clumsy humans, and although savagings by dairy cows are rare on Bute, there’s a first time for everything. This realisation led to the hatching of Option 4: a 2 mile pre-King Creosote cycle to the bus stop at the foot of the ascent from Kingarth to Mountstuart, dump the bikes in a hedge, get the bus to the gig, walk for an hour and a half afterwards to pick up the bikes and wobble the last bit home.

“Why didn’t we think of that before, it’s so obvious”, I announced smugly to the spouse as I confidently asked for two singles to Mountstuart on the bus, to ensure there would be no going back. The spouse was a little less convinced and asked the bus driver when the last bus was, just in case.

A couple of hours later, we were happily ensconced in the unusual venue of the crypt below the chapel at Mountstuart, and enjoying Jon Hopkins showing off his perfect pitch party trick between songs while King Creosote re-tuned his guitar. Audience members were invited to sing a random note, and Jon instantly named the note and played it on the piano. For a second I was tempted to join in by cupping my hands over my ears to produce the highest note in the house, but the piano keyboard wouldn’t have had enough keys to cover it, and I didn’t want to wake the inhabitants of the crypt.

As the brightly coloured stained glass panel behind the stage gradually dimmed in the fading twighlight, I found my thoughts drifting from the wonderful musings of King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, to the less edifying prospect of being mown down by a passing car as we walked home on a country road at midnight. The spouse was reading my mind.

“Wanna get the bus?” he whispered. Several times.

Was That Me?

“What the…” I said to myself, as a hideously loud and protracted feedback squeal interrupted my otherwise peaceful ingestion of a glazed apricot Danish pastry at work yesterday morning. I hadn’t had such a public feedback fright since I’d inadvertently leant the side of my hearing aided head against a pillar in the studio, in a moment of weakness during a very long critique session.

“DON’T WORRY MOIRA, IT’S NOT YOUR HEARING AIDS”, shouted my concerned colleague from behind a computer on the other side of the office, “I’M JUST CHECKING OUT FRANKIE’S FINAL SOUND PIECE…IT’S BASED ON AUDIO FEEDBACK.”

“It’ll never catch on”, I replied sagely, putting sticky hearing aids back in my ears with glazed apricot fingers, and wondering what other sonic delights await me during the marking of this year’s graduate work.

Hearing Aid Superhero

Meet Hearing Aid Avenger. He’s tiny, he’s beige (of course) and it’s his duty to come to my rescue whenever I’m in audiological trouble. He didn’t quite get there in time when I forgot to remove the hearing aid before pouring oil into my ear the other week, but he’s certainly made up for it in the last few days. On Monday, he solved the mystery of why I had been getting feedback and distortion ever since replacing the tube after my ear-oiling exploits. I thought it was something to do with a visible kink in the tube, or the slightly larger dome I had been given, but Hearing Aid Avenger fixed it instantly with an extra turn of the tube. It seemed that I hadn’t screwed it far enough on, because I was worried that it was already so tight that I might twist the hearing aid innards out of their casing by accident.

On Wednesday, I swiped my security fob on the door to our new office space and grimaced, yet again, as the over-loud ‘enter’ beep, followed by the grating squeal of the door hinge sent the hearing aid into its usual two minute round of entrainment meltdown. As I had a nice cup of tea at my desk to get over it, I pondered whether I could fashion a two foot extension wand for my security fob to get my ears further away from the beep. It was certainly possible, I decided, but I would still need to get some WD-40 to silence the squeaky hinge. Just as I was wondering where the nearest hardware store was, there was a protracted bout of hinge squeaking and a colleague’s voice rang out in response to an unheard enquiry from the head of department.

“JUST OILING THIS HINGE FOR MOIRA”, he shouted discreetly down the corridor, “SHE SAYS IT MAKES HER HEARING AID GO FUNNY…”

“Thanks, Hearing Aid Avenger”, I said, “any chance you can do something about that security beep?”


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