EP018 Wow! Hearing Loops!

This episode is important to me. It’s been on my mind for a couple of years. But first, I need to ask YOU a question. It is a bit personal. You ready? Are you sure? Once I ask, you won’t be able to “un-hear” it.

Duration:  10 minutes

Hello, welcome to my podcast. My name is Dee and I am The Introverted Advocate. The mission of my podcast is simply this – to create a kinder, more compassionate world through advocacy. I began advocating back in 2014 and I have a few stories I’d like to share. Advocating is like an adventure and it can be done from the comfort of your keyboard at home, or it could be an adventure of meeting new people, learning new skills, or finding out that the world is full of caring individuals who are ready to lend a hand or their heart when they see a need. I invite you to look around in your world and see who might need a little support and kindness. It could be one individual, it could be a group or a cause, it could be a community. Are you ready? All right, let’s get to it.

Okay, this episode is very important to me. It’s been on my mind for a couple of years.

But first, I need to ask YOU a question. It is a bit personal. You ready?

Yes? Are you sure? Because once I ask, you won’t be able to “un-hear” it?

Still a yes? Okay. Here goes:

At home, do you have a loved one who turns up the TV way too loud?


If so, then please continue listening, as I will share info you may find very helpful.


But first, I must confess…

It was me! Me! Yes, yours truly.

I was THAT person who needed the TV turned up to an 8 or 9 volume. Pass the remote, please!

When visiting my family across town, I noticed the TV was too low for me to understand the show.

Like good neighbors, my family was mindful of the volume (they live on the second floor of a condo).

This was so frustrating for me. We sat there as a family watching a show, yet I missed 50 to 70 percent of the dialogue.

What was the harm in turning it up just a tad? Well, maybe more than a tad. Turn it up alot, actually.

Well, it got so bad that my family suggested I clean my ears. Oh, my good grief and for Pete’s sake and any other expression you can bring up.

WHAT??? Gee, thanks a lot.

<talking to the audience>

Folks, there are two groups of you listening to me. Those who have suggested the earwax-cleaning idea. And those who were on the receiving end of the earwax suggestion.

This is how it plays out across the globe. It’s a common theme. Many of you are nodding your heads right now.

I can hear you.  LOL

Okay, if you haven’t jump off my podcast by now, please continue to hear me out.  Eventually all this gets sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction.

And you just might thank me later.

But of course, to get to the happy ending…some things must fall into place.

So, keep listening, please. Don’t bail on me.

On a very embarrassing side note: I did buy that stuff you put in your ears to clean out earwax. Unfortunately, one morning before work, I grabbed what I thought were my eye drops. Instead, I poured this earwax hydrogen peroxide concoction into both eyes. Let the foaming begin.  (cursing commencing immediately)

I screeched and then furiously poured water into both eyeballs to stop the foaming.

Needless to say, that was not my finest moment.  I made a mess with water everywhere, my feelings were hurt…and I felt resigned that something was wrong with me.  I just wasn’t sure what to do next.

So back to my family’s exasperation…it turns out their comments were the best thing that could have happened.

It brought my ears to my attention.

Who thinks about their ears anyway? Do you?  I did not.

Well, maybe sometimes, but then the birds would sing gloriously in the morning – so I said to myself: “See! I can hear birds. Nothing wrong with my ears.”  <sigh>

In hindsight, I so wish I had pushed my doctor a bit harder when he dismissed my concerns about my left ear not hearing well on the phone. He held up a high-frequency tuning fork. He hit the instrument and it began to sing.

“Tell me when you can no longer hear the sound, “he instructed.  I focused on the sound.  Yup, I can hear it.  Still hear it.  Yeah, still going.  (Geez, we were gonna be there all day listening to this silly sound…)

Finally, he looked at me like I was from Mars. “You are fine,” he dismissed.

Boy, did I fall for it. So off to live my unbeknownst to me “hard of hearing” life.

Fast forward a year:  Circumstances brought me back to the fact that I still asked folks to repeat themselves…a lot.

You know, here’s the thing about hearing loss.

Hearing loss is stealthy.  It weaves its way into our lives without much fanfare or introductions.

It sneaks up on us and makes itself cozy. We may trip on our hearing loss without realizing “why” we tripped.

Life moves fast. In order to take notice of hearing loss, we must actually slow down and pay attention.

This podcast is my way of asking family members who are frustrated with a loved one…please investigate this great little thing called a “Hearing Loop.”

Yes, after I was diagnosed as hard of hearing, I looked for every darn gadget and technological solution to help me hear my world.

And then… I learned about Hearing Loops! (This is the good part, folks. Here we go, an inexpensive solution!)

Hearing loops came into play when I attended a seminar by Dr. Juliette Sterkens. She took an early retirement from her audiology practice in order to step up as the National Hearing Loop Advocate for HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America).

Attending Dr. Sterkens’ seminar in early 2014 was a life changer.

She handed me a ‘loop listener’ and explained it would bring the sound of her voice directly into the headset.

This copper wire (or hearing loop) installed around the perimeter of the room is the magic solution!

The hearing loop is connected to the microphone at the podium. The microphone sends the sound through the hearing loop which then sends an electromagnetic signal to the telecoil in the little “loop listener” device that Dr. Sterkens loaned me just then.

So, I put on the headset and turned on the little hand-held device.

When Dr. Sterkens first spoke, I almost fell out of my chair!  The sound of her voice was crystal-clear and it overwhelmed me.  Was this how a public speaker sounded to normal folks?

Oh.My.Word!  Literally, I heard every word.

Oh, Wow! Hearing Loops!

So fast forward to the current day. I installed a hearing loop in my living room. It is hidden under the carpet along the baseboards.  If you have hardwood floors, there are other ways to install a loop.

It plugs in easily to my TV which is the hub of my entertainment center.

I bought my own loop-listener device called the Pocketalker. You can check out the details by going to the manufacturer’s website:  Williams Sound dot com

The Pocketalker is cool. When I go out to dinner with my soft-spoken mom, we put the Pocketalker on the table (it has a microphone) and I wear the earbuds that bring her voice directly to my ears. It’s nifty.

So… if your living room is overwhelmed with the TV volume going through the roof, look into these solutions:

  1. Hearing loop
  2. Pocketalker

Again, I’ll post links on my website. Just search for “hearing loop.”

Well, thanks for listening to this episode. Oh, and if someone in the room asked you to turn up this volume so they could hear me better during this episode…well, you know what to do.

Until next time…

This is Dee, The Introverted Advocate.

Helpful Info:

https://www.williamssound.com/personal-listening-products  Williams Sound AV Company for Pocketalker

http://www.loopwisconsin.com/   Dr. Juliette Sterkens website on hearing loops (Excellent info!)


http://www.loopwisconsin.com/Images_PDF/VoltaVoicesSterkens.pdf    Best Link!!

http://www.loopwisconsin.com/DisplayTestimonials  Excellent testimonials on Dr. Sterkens web site

http://www.loopwisconsin.com/DisplayAudiologist  For audiologists

https://youtu.be/J5OiqHyW7vw  Ellie’s parents installed a hearing loop

https://youtu.be/4jL4x2kkAJ0  Jill Villnow’s daughter benefited from the hearing loop