‘How what I eat affects my sinuses… and my hearing’ by Stu Nunnery

Here is extract from a very interesting blog via the awesome ‘HearingLikeMe.com‘ site, sharing here for those who like to watch what they eat, have allergies or intolerances…

“In my search for the origin of my hearing loss I wondered if my clogged sinuses were another stepping stone on the path. I Googled and found this: that clogged sinuses, especially from a condition called sinusitis can cause stuffiness, ear pressure, pain dizziness and discomfort – the very menu of conditions I remember well. 

But hearing loss?

It turns out that sinus related conditions can be acute and can lead to hearing loss – usually temporary, but sometimes permanently if not treated immediately. The strategy is to clear up any infection in the sinuses before if spreads to the ears. It’s interesting to note that among the recommendations with sinus infections is to avoid caffeine, salt, alcohol, and tobacco products. “These can affect your circulation. Minor changes in blood flow can also affect your ears.” 

For the full blog by Stu Nunnery, please pay a visit via this link:

http://www.hearinglikeme.com/how-what-i-eat-affects-my-sinuses-and-my-hearing/

Enjoy.

Always consult with your GP if you have or suspect a health or medical problem – please. 

 

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What does it feel like when you remove your Hearing Aid or CI? by Jamie Danjoux

Good Evening all!

It’s been a great week so far and no more problems (yet) in public places with me not hearing other people etc…

So this evening I was having a shower as usual, and removed my hearing aids, normal so far.  However when I was finished and dried myself out and went downstairs, I had forgotten to pick my hearing aids up and put them in.

During the time that I couldn’t be bothered to go upstairs and fetch them, I made deal with being profoundly deaf – I couldn’t hear anything at all!! After about 20 minutes I started hearing these fuzzy horrible noises and it was probably my brain, I was also feeling kind of drowsy and getting headaches.

intense-headache2

So I went back upstairs and got my hearing aids and a glass of water – the annoying noises and headaches soon died away.  I was thinking to myself whether not having my hearing aids in for a long period of time stresses the brain so much that it can’t cope!  Is this normal?

I actually can’t imagine what it would feel like if you couldn’t hear a thing at all it must be so horrible! It feels so isolating for me not being able to hear.  Obviously going in the shower for 5 minutes is different because you can hear the shower running and able to feel it.

I’m actually extremely grateful that I can hear and 2 amazing life saving gadgets can actually radically improve your life!

So does anyone else experience bizarre symptoms when they don’t have their HA’s or CI (‘s)?

‘Til next time!

Jamie

An Open Letter To Steve Powell, The CEO Of SignHealth

Dear Mr Powell, 

We are writing to you as an open letter from The Tree House group on Facebook and blog (https://viewsfromthetreehouse.com/), we are disappointed to find that there is lack of subtitles on videos that SignHealth have produced.

We would like to remind you that The Tree House Group represents some of the 10 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK and we promote diversity, which means we welcome people of all backgrounds including all communication techniques they use. No one is inferior or superior to one another as we are all in the same situation.

We want to make a few points regarding your lack of subtitles on your videos

• There are approximately 10 million deaf and hard of hearing people – 1 in 6 people in the United Kingdom whereas there are approximately 17000 BSL dependent users.

• We believe that subtitling the videos will enable SignHealth to reach out more people who may be deaf oral, use signed supported English, hands on signing for deafblind. Reaching out to the deaf/deafened/hard of hearing people will make your cause stronger than ever because you have more people supporting the cause.

• We know for a fact that deaf people with various communication mechanisms do have problems with healthcare,

o Not enough time to familiarise with a doctor

o Inability to lipread doctors with accent

o Wrong assumptions about lipreading and mistaking that we actually understood everything.

o Inability to book communication support in urgent appointments

o Lipspeakers in short supply

o Having to use family, friends for communication support and many more to list.

• We want to be part of and support SignHealth, because of the problems we all have encountered in the NHS, but not having the subtitles in BSL videos makes it exclusive. It makes us feel that we are being discriminated for using other forms of communication not BSL.

• We would like to ask what are SignHealth’s aims? Are you focusing on the deaf people as whole or deaf people who rely on BSL?

We hope SignHealth would consider our request for subtitles on your videos to be taken into consideration, because we strongly believe that you will reach out to more deaf people who require your help. There are softwares that subtitles can be created on videos, as most of us have managed to do it when we make videos for The Treehouse group. If you wish to know more, please contact the admins of Treehouse Group.

We look forward to hearing your response on this issue within 7 days.

Yours Faithfully

The Tree House team;

Sara Jae,

Sebastiaan Eldritch-Böersen,

Andrew Arthur,

Daniel McManus,

Paul Leonard,

Michelle Hedley,

Kimberley Lucas,

Claire Leiper,

Jamie Danjoux

In addition, members of the public.

 

Jamie Danjoux Is Petitioning Sky – To Enable Subtitles

Here is a very important post that was shared to our Facebook group by Stephanie McDermid of Love Subtitles, to try and rally, raising more awareness on the lack of subtitles across media platforms;

“Over the last three months Amazon has gone from offering zero access to people with hearing loss to subtitling 40% of their content, focusing on subtitling their most popular titles. They say that they still aim to subtitle 100% of content and will continue to make progress over the coming months.

Sky subtitles: we believe in better.

Amazon is a fantastic success story, but deaf people are still facing discrimination from many providers.

Despite having over ten million paying subscribers in UK, over 96% of Sky’s on-demand content has absolutely no subtitles (e.g. on catch up TV and box sets). Sky has set no timeframe for improving this.

Deaf teenager Jamie Danjoux has set up a petition asking Sky to offer subtitles for their on-demand service. As a Sky subscriber he feels ripped off – and completely excluded from catching up on his favourite TV shows.”

As quoted from Jamie’s petition;

“My name is Jamie, I’m 16 years old, and I have severe hearing loss in both ears. 

Like you, I enjoy watching the latest must-see TV show. Whether it’s Game of Thrones or this week’s episodes of Eastenders, I want to be part of the conversations that all of my friends are having. However, as a Sky customer, I’m always missing out.

Like most people with hearing loss, I rely on subtitles that show us what’s being said on screen and what other viewers can hear. Without them, it’s just moving pictures to me. There are more than 10million of us in the UK yet, despite being the UK’s biggest television subscription provider, Sky’s On Demand and Sky Go services, as well as their box sets, are completely inaccessible to us, because they have no subtitles.

People with hearing loss want to be able to watch what they want, when they want, how they want – just like everyone else.

I feel angry and upset that my disability doesn’t matter to Sky. It’s unacceptable that they are denying people who have a hearing loss access to the same level of entertainment as hearing people. That’s called discrimination under the Equality Act, which states that people with hearing loss shouldn’t get a poorer service due to their disability.

Worse still, we’re paying more than £250 a year for a service that we can’t fully use. This isn’t fair.

Sky have replied to this petition in the past saying that they are ‘exploring how to address this gap’. This simply isn’t good enough. Customers have been raising this issue since 2011, but it’s still not a priority for Sky. They won’t even state a timeframe for getting this sorted out.

Sky have even told some customers with hearing loss that, because Catch up TV is given ‘free’ to customers, it doesn’t matter that it’s not accessible! I find this insulting to people with hearing loss.

It’s the 21st century and the technology is available to ensure content on Sky’s On Demand services can have subtitles, just like on their ‘traditional’ channels such as Sky News and Sky One.

I simply want the same service as everyone else. Please help me to get Sky to improve their service for people with hearing loss.”

Sign and share Jamie’s petition now, pretty please?

https://www.change.org/p/sky-enable-subtitles-for-ondemand

Thank you, for your support.

Wishing Jamie Danjoux, all the best 🙂

Crutches and Hearing Aids by Paul Leonard

Whilst away on a trip to Belfast nearly 3 weeks ago, I was a tad clumsy to say the least.  On my last day, whilst walking through a park and talking to a friend, I managed to trip over a tree stump and had my first self propelled flying lesson.  I flew back home, which was an interesting experience to say the least and a tad painful!  (I know, I know!)  Various hospital appointments later (don’t even get me started) I had discovered I had an “alvusion fracture of the lateral malleolus” and an “osteochondral fracture of the talus”.  Because that wasn’t enough, I have also damaged the ligaments in my left wrist and obtained my first sick note since going out to work when I was 17.

Although, the pain is beginning to subside slowly and the swelling is finally starting to going down, the whole thing does have a few frustrations.  I guess some are quite unique in having a deaf wife whom we use British Sign Language as our preferred home and first language.  Frustrations such as:

  1. If I want something, I can’t just shout.  I have been sending countless text messages from bed to my wife downstairs asking for drinks and for other things to be brought up.  (She’s been ever so good!)
  2. My crutches went crashing to the ground in the bedroom the other day.  (The living room is below our bedroom.)  Upon feeling the vibration of this my wife flew up the stairs to check that I was ok.  (I guess not so much a frustration, but showing she cares.)  But I guess a hearing couple would just shout up, “is everything ok up there?”
  3. Having conversations whilst I am on my crutches is different and awkward.  A hearing couple can just continue to chat but if I want to say something, I need toJust after the accident stop and then sign.  Then when I am finished get going again on my crutches and then stop again where necessary.  That said, seeing a conversation whilst concentrating to walk with the crutches isn’t easy either!
  4. If I am not walking, I am sat down. (Logical huh?!)  I saw a lot of deaf people last weekend and was sat down a lot to rest my leg.  But looking up to sign to someone who is about 2 or 3 feet taller than you (because you’re sat down) and looking right up into their nostrils is a bit disconcerting and makes me think from now on, is my nose clean?
  5. Try understanding BSL when you’ve got a dose or two of codeine inside you.  I thought it was hard enough trying to understand sign language after an alcoholic drink or two but codeine is definitely much more challenging!  (Even more so now my GP has upped my codeine dosage by basically 4 times!)

Oh and here’s another photo of my ankle.

Big foot

~PAL

(Originally published on Paul’s blog where he can also be found rambling)

How Would You Like To Be Called?

I had been anticipating my ENT appointment for months now and finally this day had arrived. But, what a day?!

To begin with, I had been a regular patient at my local audiology department but when we last phoned for another appointment – I was notified I had to be referred back to audiology by visiting my GP, to ask to be referred to ENT who would then put me back through to audiology. What a palaver but if I needed new ear moulds and hearing aids then so be it. I persevered.

Going through the broad spectrum of emotions and thoughts, as I decided I needed to be there at least twenty minutes early to claim a prime position, in the waiting room – close enough to scan lip movements for any names being called out. I had clarified with the receptionist if they would be calling out names, she confirmed this and that she would let them know I was hard of hearing. I explained that I was deaf to reinforce just how profound my hearing loss is. “Oh ok, same thing” she replied. I had to remain calm and took my seat albeit feeling rather surprised.

“Mumble Mumble” started off the processing by the nurses and trainee doctors. Feelings of dread were not appeased nor swayed when I noticed this LED display board to one side welcoming patients;

“Welcome to ENT you will be called through to see a member of the ENT team”

IMG_0966

My GP’s surgery has the same sort of contraption except they use it to announce patients’ names on it, for a certain designated room to be seen by Dr X or Y. So relatively I wondered why the ENT and Audiology departments despite being specialists, could not implement the same quality of service to be inclusive of all. Digital technology in this day and age has advanced greatly but not in our NHS hospitals it seems. This needs to change for the better, for their sake and ours. After all, they did ask how patients wanted to be called.

How would you like to be called?

How would you like to be called? On the screen in ENT.

A Tree House dweller informed us that he once had a placard with his name on it whilst waiting for his appointment, much to the other patients’ amusement at the time. Unfortunately that is how appalling services can get and this is what he felt he had resort to in order to be seen.

I was now sensing the other patients in the ENT waiting room were becoming restless, demanding to know when they would be next seen and this poor nurse was trying to appease them. By this time I had managed to pull myself together from feeling quite annoyed at being passed to audiology and then back again to ENT not knowing why or if I would be seen, if at all. If they were getting angry at being delayed by mere minutes, I thought to myself how should I be feeling only to be made to wait potentially a few months extra for my new ear moulds and hearing aids after waiting months already, especially in such an environment?! I decided I was not going to let them feed me any negativity and found some inner peace to remain patient.

Patience is a virtue.

Patience is a virtue.

From not the usual place names were being called out (the doors in the photo above) but further to the side – I just about saw my name, whilst glancing, being clearly spoken. My turn – Glee and amazement at catching that! I had the consultant this time around who was particularly interested in my family’s history of deafness – why they were deaf, how and if my children were “ok”. He then enquired how my hearing aids were. I mentioned I had had them for about ten years now and the last time audiology tried to provide me with a new pair they did not suit me so handed them back hence why I was now eager to try again as my current ones were starting to become slightly temperamental. I am also scared of being left stranded with nothing to hear with. He explained to me that any new pair of hearing aids is most likely not going to suit me based on my audiogram so he is ordering a head scan to find the biological cause of my deafness since my mother was born deaf – cause also unknown and my father became deaf through meningitis. He was especially interested in my mother’s deafness and if she could talk well. “Yes” I replied, “Just like I can”. The consultant then expressed. “I would like to put you down for a cochlear implant if the new hearing aids do not work for you”. Instantly emerged a brand new, never experienced before emotion and it is one I cannot find the words to describe.

As my consultant returned me to the audiology’s waiting room and found me a seat; I thanked him for his time. Suddenly I found myself dismayed, wondering why I was once again back in Audiology! Recurring feelings along the lines of, “Do they know I’m here / am I in their queue?” I scanned once again for any names being called out. Whilst scanning one caller, I had not noticed another came out to call but noticed she had gone into reception to make a query about this piece of paper in her hand. She came back out and said… My name – Glee once again! Phew, that was a close call I determined– I had missed that first time around because I only have one pair of eyes.

Ear moulds casts were made and she too concurred that the new hearing aids might not work very well for me due to the “different new sounds” they would make. But as anticipated I was going to have to wait at least two months more for another appointment to get and try out these new hearing aids. If only they had seen me when we first called as I was already a patient then, I would not have had to wait so many months more. She understood my frustration and said she would try to get something earlier.

A cochlear implant? Me?! I must admit though being an honest person, if I hadn’t written this article regarding cochlear implants I most probably would not have been as open to the idea. One thing I do know at this point in time is that I am not looking forwards to the realisation of being left with less than adequate hearing from prospective replacement hearing aids – my current ones have lasted me for so long and they will not always continue to serve me well. Remaining positive though that the new pair will work just the same or better and if not, perhaps the next steps are meant to be. I would very much prefer to have the same quality of sounds or better – not less. Just as you would expect a replacement PC of the same specifications or upgrade to better specs.

Does this mark the beginning of what could be the next stages in my journey? Only time will tell and more patience once again. Upon reflection, I realised that by asking patients to be referred through all over again it was giving the consultants a chance to catch those that may have filtered through first time around and a chance to produce a more updated yet better care?

Going back to the title of this article, “How would YOU like to be called?” Be the change you wish to see so start that ripple effect by being courageous and letting your GP’s surgeries, Audiology and especially the ENT departments know, just how THEY can be more inclusive and improve their services.

Carpe diem!

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

(Update: A few months after sending this to the hospital and relevant parties concerned, I returned to ENT to find their digital screen as photographed, displaying patient’s names as they were being called… Result!)

What’s That Noise?! By Paul Leonard

Sara, whilst sitting at the dentists, hears this unknown noise and so asks her kids, “What’s that noise?!” Her daughter responded hesitatingly, “Drilling!”.  She then realised just how thankful she was not being able to hear that and relatively came the question, “What other noises can we be thankful for not hearing?”

This prompted these answers as below, from fellow Tree House dwellers.

– Snoring.

– People chewing.

– Knuckles cracking.

– My dog licking next to me.

– People weeing in the public cubicles and heavy breathing.

– My son enjoys not being woken by the rubbish / recycling lorry … or rather I do!

– In Austria right next to my parents house, tractor with snow plough!  That scares the life out of me!

– Cats fighting, car alarms, sirens sometimes, children screaming … Blissful at times, very worrying at others.

– Squelching noises when prepping food.

– One that gets me every time is when people scrape their forks with their teeth- and grinding their teeth.. irritating!

– The wife! (You brave, brave man!)

– Sara confessed to just having a Cadbury eclair and was conscious of the noise it made there and then despite never noticing before!  Suck, squelch … Hmmm nice chocolate … Squelch!

– Forks scraping on plates, cotton wool on teeth at the dentist, other people snoring when you’re camping and bicycle brakes squealing.

– I’m glad I can’t hear the traffic or other sounds when I’m sleeping.

– Excellent not to hear drunken party revellers in the next hotel room! I was talking to one of the wedding guests using the same hotel as me..she could not sleep a wink due to the loud music and talk in the next room. Deafies sleep pretty well throughout.

– Paul told a story: Hearing aids that whistle at 3am! (There’s a story coming!) It was my mate’s stag do. We had all had copious amounts of the “falling down water” and we all went back to the youth hostel to retire for the night. There was a strange noise coming from one of my friend’s bags. Although the room was pitch black and it took me and another hearing guy over an hour to discover where it was coming from. When we found it, liberating the battery from the aid, me and him both slept reasonably well (apart from being surrounded by 4 deaf heavy snorers) until they woke up around 8am and so me and him had about 4 hours sleep before driving back to Birmingham. Oh its great being hearing trust me(!)

Noise