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do WHAT now?
Yamino and I are finishing up lunch in a local restaurant. As we wait for a takeaway order for another friend, she leans over and says in a squeaky voice, “Fuck me!”
I rear back, shocked. Here? Now? On the bar between the condiments? “What?!”
She looks surprised for a split-second, then grins and hides her face in my hair to laugh. She repeats, “Hug me, Ash, I said hug me!”
No, I'm not listening to my music too loud
My entire life, “turn down the tv/music, why can’t you hear me?, why are speaking so loudly?”
I have a cognitional hearing problem. A middle ear problem, a bone that shouldn’t be there, my eardrums can’t move properly. Hearing aids don’t help.
And the surgery that is used to fix it, only has a 60% chance of success, and this is after drilling a small hole in the back of my ears!
I think I just want the surgery so people will shut up, about my various volume issues.
I'm starting to get worried.
My hearing has not gotten better at all. The pain has gone away, but i still have a slight ring in my ear and can barely hear anything from it. It’s very foggy and last night i kinda tilted my head down n kinda hear better again. I’m going to the doctors tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get an answer. I just hope it’s not a bad one.
Researchers discover primary role of the olivocochlear efferent system
New research from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology may have discovered a key piece in the puzzle of how hearing works by identifying the role of the olivocochlear efferent system in protecting ears from hearing loss. The findings could eventually lead to screening tests to determine who is most susceptible to hearing loss. Their paper is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Until recently, it was common knowledge that exposure to a noisy environment (concert, iPod, mechanical tools, firearm, etc.), could lead to permanent or temporary hearing loss. Most audiologists would assess the damage caused by this type of exposure by measuring hearing thresholds, the lowest level at which one starts to detect/sense a sound at a particular frequency (pitch). Drs. Sharon Kujawa and Charles Liberman, both researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear, showed in 2009 that noise exposures leading to a temporary hearing loss in mice (when hearing thresholds return to what they were before exposure) in fact can be associated with cochlear neuropathy, a situation in which, despite having a normal threshold, a portion of auditory nerve fibers is missing).
The inner ear, the organ that converts sounds into messages that will be conveyed to and decoded by the brain, receives in turn fibers from the central nervous system. Those fibers are known as the olivocochlear efferent system. Up to now, the involvement of this efferent system in the protection from acoustic injury – although clearly demonstrated – has been a matter of debate because all the previous experiments were probing its protective effects following noise exposures very unlikely to be found in nature.
Stephane Maison, Ph.D., investigator at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear and lead author, explains. “Humans are currently exposed to the type of noise used in those experiments but it’s hard to conceive that some vertebrates, thousands of years ago, were submitted to stimuli similar to those delivered by speakers. So many researchers believed that the protective effects of the efferent system were an epiphenomenon – not its true function.”
Instead of using loud noise exposures evoking a change in hearing threshold, we used a moderate noise exposure at a level similar to those found in restaurants, conferences, malls, and also in nature (some frogs emit vocalizations at similar or higher levels) and instead of looking at thresholds, we looked for signs of cochlear neuropathy, Dr. Maison continued.
The researchers demonstrated that such moderate exposure lead to cochlear neuropathy (loss of auditory nerve fibers), which causes difficulty to hear in noisy environments.
“This is tremendously important because all of us are submitted to such acoustic environments and it takes a lot of auditory nerve fiber loss before it gets to be detected by simply measuring thresholds as it’s done when preforming an audiogram,” Dr. Maison said. “The second important discovery is that, in mice where the efferent system has been surgically removed, cochlear neuropathy is tremendously exacerbated. That second piece proves that the efferent system does play a very important role in protecting the ear from cochlear neuropathy and we may have found its main function.”
The researchers say they are excited about this discovery because the strength of the efferent system can be recorded non-invasively in humans and a non-invasive assay to record the efferent system strength has already been developed and shows that one is able to predict vulnerability to acoustic injury (Maison and Liberman, Predicting vulnerability to acoustic injury with a noninvasive assay of olivocochlear reflex strength, Journal of Neuroscience, 20:4701-4707, 2000).
“One could envision applying this assay or a modified version of it to human populations to screen for individuals most at risk in noise environments,” Dr. Maison concluded.
the baby wears hearing aids
They’re two-grand a piece. Nude with clear tubes. They beep when the tiny batteries are about to die. She’s a few steps behind and always will be—you can find her running in the dust of her classmates trying to catch up and make up for the years she lost, trying to develop and grow and learn while living in a mute world. Reading our lips. Learning what we meant by the tone of the faint sound in the distance and the movement of our mouths, our teeth, our clicking tongues. Despite their assistance and amplification of the sounds and movements around her, she hates them. Complains when they’re on and lies when she’s caught without them—caught red handed at the dinner table when she’s stuck in her own world and can’t contribute to current conversation. Her processes lag but she’s bright. For years, slipping them on in the morning and taking them off to shower or swim and putting them away at night have been parts of her daily routine. Does she remember life without them? Does she remember reading lips? And most importantly, as my eyes glance over her as she absorbs the conversation at hand, does she even know why she wears them and we don’t?
My mom and I rarely talk about my hearing. I think in part she honest forgets at times and others, I think she just ignores it because it makes her feel sad, or guilty. Anyways, yesterday I had a massage and afterwards my mom asked if I told the massage therapist about my hearing.
No, I said. It’s not something I usually bring up with random strangers.
Oh, she said. I told her to talk to you because she’s trying out hearing aids for the first time and struggling with them. I thought maybe you could help her.
It was a simple, casual conversation that happened while we were in the kitchen after dinner, but the fact that she could approach it, acknowledge it, and not have it be this taboo thing, I don’t know it felt important and you probably don’t understand why.
Well except you. And you. I know you get it.
Fic Fill #3
Warnings: Incest…kind of, sort of.
Prompt: Somehow along the way (via battle, large sound, hit to the head, etc) Fili loses his hearing, and tells no one. He doesn’t want to be a burden, or be pushed from the company—he’s the heir after Thorin, he has to make a name for himself, he has to continue on, as it is his burden.
Of course Kili finds out, and tries to help him out with it.
Author’s Note: This work went unBeta’d, so all mistakes are mine alone.