Now Playing: “Closed Captions”

Having trouble hearing dialogue in movies theatres?
Try this great option.

I went to see “Bridget Jones’s Baby” the other day (don’t ask) and it was a very frustrating experience.  Although Renée Zellweger was as adorable as ever,  I could only make out less than half of what she said.

"What the hell is she saying?"
“What the hell is she saying?”

Her faux English accent didn’t help, and a soundtrack layered with music buried a lot of the dialogue.

But the rest of the audience seemed to be laughing on cue so the issue was obviously my hearing loss.  Even with the best hearing aids many of us struggle to hear dialogue in movie theatres.  There’s no point in complaining, “the actors are mumbling” or “the soundtrack mix is so muddy”. Face it.  It’s your hearing.

But then I discovered what I can only call the cinema world’s best kept secret.  It’s called the CaptiView system and it offers discreet, easy to read captions (or subtitles if you prefer) right there in any seat in the house. Continue reading “Now Playing: “Closed Captions””

My Parents’ Struggle

My mother suffers from severe hearing loss. Hearing aids don’t help her much now. But, as he explains in this guest post, my father has found a simple device that helps them communicate.

By Charles Cook

My wife’s hearing has deteriorated to the point where even the most sophisticated modern hearing aid fails to provide relief. I’ve always been told that my voice, which won oratory medals at college, is very clear and strong.  But even so, now that we’re both in our eighties, conversation with her has become almost impossible.  Every other word is a challenge.

We had finally resorted to simply writing down important information.  But then I remembered a device we had used when her hearing first became a problem. Continue reading “My Parents’ Struggle”

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:

Continue reading “Sound Ideas for Watching TV”

Canadian Financial Assistance

Hearing aids are expensive. But that’s for another post.  There is government financial assistance available for Canadians.  The amount and your eligibility depends on where you live.

It’s not easy to come up with a definitive cross-country guide since many of the rules and regulations are confusing to say the least. (Any clarifications or updates are welcome) So consider this a rough guide:

Continue reading “Canadian Financial Assistance”

Finding A Quiet Restaurant

restaurant noise Credit wineanddineusa.com
Credit: wineanddineusa.com

Background noise, music and hard walls that turn the restaurant into a noisy, echo chamber.  It all makes conversations with your dinner companions difficult or impossible.

In part, that’s because even the best hearing aids have trouble separating the voices of your companions from the sounds of other conversations around you.  All that hubbub submerges the voices you want to hear.

Another major factor is the acoustic design (or lack thereof) of most restaurants and bars.  Many owners prefer a loud establishment.  They crank the music up, use reflecting surfaces such as concrete walls or mirrors that amplify the general noise.  They want to create a lively, busy ambience.

So a couple of tips for anyone looking for a little peace and quiet on a night out:

Continue reading “Finding A Quiet Restaurant”

Drugs that can harm your hearing

There are roughly 200 drugs that have been shown to cause hearing loss, including some that may already be in your medicine cabinet.

They are known as ototoxics, oto meaning ear and toxic, of course, means poison. They can result in temporary or permanent damage. If you are already suffering from hearing loss you should be aware of that these drugs may cause you to lose more.

Continue reading “Drugs that can harm your hearing”