Sound Ideas for Watching TV

“What did he say?” “The actors are mumbling.” Listening to TV can be challenging but there are options.

loud-tv3When you watch TV are your windows rattling? Do pictures on the wall vibrate? Are neighbours pounding on the walls?

For anyone with hearing loss, watching TV can be frustrating, and trying to decipher dialogue can sometimes be impossible. But instead of cranking up the volume to Metallica levels there are a few things you can try:

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The Carney Curse

I was diagnosed with presbycusis (the premature loss of hair cells) at 50, and I was told the primary cause was genetic. Indeed, a look at my family tree confirms the diagnosis.

My grandfather on my mother’s side, Bernard Carney, began to notice he was losing his hearing in his 50’s. My mother too began losing hers at the same age. The rate and pattern of my hearing loss is the same as hers, and I am certain it’s the same as her father, my Grandad.

My Grandfather and his hearing aid
My Grandfather Bernard Carney

In the early 1960’s he got a hearing aid. You can see it the picture. It was a fairly crude device by today’s standards. In his shirt pocket he is wearing a microphone/amplifier about the size of a cigarette pack. You can see the white cord that runs to the small speaker in his ear. He was a thrifty man and he would sew pockets into his shirts himself.

He used to blame his deafness on his time in Malta during WWI when he would dive off the cliffs during his days off. But my mother has never been to Malta let alone done any cliff diving. Neither have I.  Nor has one of my cousins who came up with the term, “The Carney Curse”. 

Who is Listening?

"Wiretap" 1955 Pulp classic by Charles Einstein
“Wiretap” 1955 Pulp classic by Charles Einstein

Those new hearing aids of yours may become a spy’s best friend. Imagine that someone, somewhere, could hack them and secretly listen to every word you say, and every word you hear.

That’s now a real possibility as the new generation of internet-enabled hearing aids hits the market.  My new set, for example, connects to my iPhone using Bluetooth, and potentially I could connect it with the emerging “internet of things“.  That could be useful if you want to get an alert if the door bell rings or a smoke detector goes off.

But these new features also open a back door for the bad guys.  That was the warning issued by Phil Reitinger in his keynote address to the New York Fraud and Breach Prevention Summit this week.

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