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Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Ask Why? Drink Bud Dry.

That classic Budweiser slogan - Why Ask Why? - is what comes to my mind when I ponder the essential question of why this hearing loss happened.

During my first visits to my audiologist, I asked her what I had done to cause it. Had I injured my ears by using Q-tips? No, she patiently explained that it was nothing that I had done to injure my ears. I have a sensorineural hearing loss - a loss in the inner ear which is sealed off and cannot be reached by Q-tips or anything else.

Could it have been from noise? No. Even if I were listening to an iPod at full volume every day that still wouldn't have been enough to cause it. She said my current hearing was comparable to the hearing of a 65 year old man who worked construction his whole life. Hmmm. I'm 40, work in a library, and enjoy quiet hobbies like puzzles and cross-stitch. No, noise induced hearing loss wasn't the answer.

How about ototoxicity? Ototoxicity means toxic to the organs of hearing or balance or to the auditory nerve. I looked up a list of medications that have ototoxic effects but I hadn't taken them.

Eventually I learned that it's very common for medical professionals to be unable to explain to patients why a hearing loss has occured. I found information at this link on to be very helpful to me.

Life is full of mysteries. It's best not to dwell on the unanswerable questions but move on to life's pleasures. Indeed, why ask why when you can drink [insert beverage of your choice].


Anonymous said...

You might try looking at genetic causes. I know that my hearing loss was caused by Waardenburg syndrome, which is characterized by white streaks in hair, two different color eyes, premature white hair, and a couple others. I started with a 50-60 dB loss when I was born and hit 100-110 by college. When my tonality started to go I got my implant.

Deb Ann said...

It's good to see you again. Your post is interesting, and I'm going to share it with my hard of hearing friend.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi dragonfire,
I forgot to mention in the post that my parents who are 69 and 70 years old have much better hearing than I do. There isn't a family history of hearing loss. Thanks for the information on Waardenburg syndrome. I hadn't heard of it before. For blog readers who would like to know more about Waardenburg check out this site from the NIDCD.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks, deb ann!