The Lobby: Off-topic discussion

Hello and welcome to The Lobby! Your place to discuss subjects that just don’t fit in our other conversations. Make yourself at home!

Do you want to discuss an issue but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

As with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so on some of our posts because of the precisely defined nature of each subject.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we created this off-topic discussion area – The Lobby.

Any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could generate new posts for debate and discussion on Which? Conversation, so you – our community members – are able to help shape the direction of our community.

What happened to the original Lobby?

Why do we have two Lobbies? Well, like all good franchises, we wanted to experiment with a sequel. But seriously, the original Lobby was so popular (with almost 13,000 comments), it was becoming hard to load the page.

So we’re starting fresh with what we’re affectionately calling “The Lobby 2”.

No comments from first Lobby have been deleted, and you can still link to comments, but you won’t be able to add new comments.


To ensure The Lobby remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings all of our Community Guidelines apply, with the exception of one:

You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby.  🙂

Looking for other areas to talk?

• Website feedback: Let us know about any technical issues, and share your ideas on the future of Which? Conversation closure: A discussion about the closure of

Which? Members: Discuss issues related to our organisation, including governance

Welcome to the Lobby!

So without further ado… welcome! What are you waiting for!?


“What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.”

Thomas Sowell

Certain antibiotics cause hearing loss

From New Scientist today:

“Some life-saving antibiotics can cause hearing loss, and we may now know why. A study in mice suggests it is all down to the effects of inflammation, which is the body’s response to infection. This causes the ion channels in the sensory hair cells of the inner ear to become more permeable to the antibiotics – known as aminoglycosides – which then increases the cells’ sensitivity to the drugs’ toxic effects.

Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, are popular because they work on a broad range of bacteria, unlike most modern narrow-spectrum antibiotics. They are also sometimes used to treat microbes that are resistant to multiple other antibiotics.

“This makes aminoglycosides useful for treating infections where the microbe identity remains unknown,” says Peter Steyger at Creighton University in Nebraska. “

Having recently been on a course of antibiotics for an infection in one leg I can confirm that all sorts of other effects occur or erupt in unusual places completely unrelated to the basic condition. The flesh around one ear is a continuing source of sensitivity weeks after I came off the antibiotics.

Sorry to hear that, John. Antibiotics can be something of a sledgehammer approach. Hope things are improving.

Thanks Ian. I would probably not have survived without antibiotics [or might have lost the leg] and, at the beginning, the improvements were impressive. After withdrawal, recovery has slowed down, understandably, but every day is better than the one before. Probably up to 2 mph on foot now and no sticks required!

One of the most common problems with antibiotics is that they don’t just affect infections but kill intestinal bacteria, sometimes causing considerable problems, some of which can be protracted. The best known example is colonisation of the bowel with the bacterium Clostridium difficile. Many people do not suffer ill effects but antibiotics are still being handed out like sweeties or bought online.

I hope you make a full recovery soon, John.

As do I. Leg infections are not good news and that one sounds as though it was serious.