Sorry, I don’t have my ears on

Tigger is on the late shift today so we had a slow start to the day. When I eventually dragged myself away from the computer and got ready to go out, the clouds had gathered and there were already rain spots on the ground.

This bothered me. Rain is no big deal, especially in England, but I have become sensitized to it since being fitted with my “dolbies”, aka hearing aids, because I was told I mustn’t allow them to get wet and being where they are, perched on top of my ears, they are obviously vulnerable to rain.

I went back indoors to fetch my umbrella and my fleece cap. I usually carry the latter with me when I go out for any length of time in case it rains. Fleece isn’t waterproof but I think the cap is thick enough to keep off anything short of a torrential downpour.

So off I went, first to get cash from a cash machine. I used the Abbey at Angel, not because I have an account there but because they have indoor machines and I prefer that. Then I went to Oxfam to see if they had any French books in (they do sometimes). As I came out, I looked up at the grey sky and nervously pulled my hat down over my… my what? I wasn’t actually wearing my dolbies; I had forgotten to put them on! Yet I had been behaving as if I had, protecting the non-existent devices from the rain! No wonder everyone I had met had been whispering as if in church!

Yesterday, I solved a little mystery that has attracted my attention from time to time. I had shaved before putting on my dolbies but the shaver was still on the computer table. The hearing-aid user soon discovers how useful it is to be able to “turn down” the volume of the world by taking them out! I never wear them while shaving because I find an electric shaver quite noisy.

As I was reading a page on the screen, I absent-mindedly touched my face and noticed a rough spot. I picked up the shaver and ran it over the offending stubble. It was then I noticed the mystery noise.

The mystery noise is a low-level buzzing-crackling sound. I’ve heard it before without being able to work out where it comes from. I heard it now, like a sort of distant frying sound. It was in my right ear, on the side I had just shaved. I put my hand over my ear and hearing aid and the sound stopped!

So it seems that the mystery sound is a sort of feedback noise that is occasionally set up in my hearing aid. I can only guess that it was triggered by the shaver and continued (perhaps echoing against my ear) until I broke the vicious circle by putting my hand over it.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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7 Responses to Sorry, I don’t have my ears on

  1. Chris says:

    Glad to hear you got rid of the mystery noise. Better remember that technique in case those ‘dolbies’ ever start picking up stray radio transmissions from your local minicab firm.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    I’m already half-way there. As reported I can switch to Telecoil at places like ticket windows (assuming they have it switched on which is rare) and when I do, in addition to the useful signal, I sometimes pick up background noise.

    For example, the old computer monitor would emit a buzzing noise and some buses do too. The present monitor seems “quiet” in the radio frequency, which is good if ever I make a phone call while sitting at the computer.

    I don’t know the specification of the Telecoil signal but it might be possible to pick up radio transmissions in freak conditions.

    When I was teaching, I discovered that when I was in the language laboratory with the headphones on, if I touched the radiator, I would hear Radio 2. Quite useful for catching the news…

  3. athinkingman says:

    When I was in a church once the electric organ’s speakers started to pick up the local police frequency during a silent time in the prayers. I recognised it immediately, but I am sure some thought it was the voice of god!

  4. SilverTiger says:

    The language laboratory also used to pick up transmissions from passing police cars.

    The students didn’t think it was the voice of god but twenty-odd heads would turn in my direction because just for an instant they would think I was addressing them!

  5. Ed says:

    I remember hearing CBusers talking in my record-player loudspeakers, even when it had been turned off !
    Do you hear Radio 2 in the winter and Radio 1 in the summer ? 🙂

  6. SilverTiger says:

    Even when turned off? That’s scary! Though I did hear of someone picking up a BBC radio programme simply by connecting earphones to a drainpipe, so I suppose nothing is impossible!

    So far I haven’t heard the radio on my “dolbies”. Maybe that is a pleasure to come 🙂

  7. Feedback from a shaver, I would never guess that in a million years. Good thing you figured it out.

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