Shouting Won't Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You
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Audiologists agree that we're experiencing a national epidemic of hearing loss. At present, 48 million Americans―17 percent of the population―suffer some degree of loss. More than half are under the age of fifty-five. In cases like Katherine Bouton's, who experienced sudden hearing loss at the age of thirty, the cause is unknown.
In this deftly written and deeply felt look at a widespread and widely misunderstood phenomenon, Bouton recounts her own journey into deafness―and her return to the hearing world through the miracles of technology. She speaks with doctors, audiologists, neurobiologists, and others searching for causes and a cure, as well as those who have experienced hearing loss, weaving their stories with her own. Shouting Won't Help is an engaging and informative account of what it's like to live with an invisible disability―a must-read not only for those with hearing loss, who will recognize their stories in Bouton's own, but for their families, friends, employers, and caregivers.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
is quantified, you have to understand how hearing loss is measured. To understand how hearing is measured, you have to understand what a decibel is. One decibel (abbreviated dB) is the just noticeable difference (louder or softer) between sound pressure levels. A 1-decibel decrease produces a sound that is just noticeably softer than the previous sound. The softest sound a person can hear is called their hearing threshold. For people with mild hearing loss, the hearing threshold—that is, the
published, Lin amplified on the care taken in the study: “Controlling for age, medical risk factors, diabetes, hypertension, we found that people who began with hearing loss had a greater incidence of dementia.” The diagnosis of dementia adhered to the criteria established by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. How might hearing loss and dementia be related? There are some logical explanations. Hearing loss often leads to social isolation, and social isolation is a risk
skills, damaged, old, infirm, handicapped.” The result is “a double whammy. You don’t want to admit to it but you constantly fear being found out. Trying to hide it—if you don’t wear hearing aids or use assistive listening devices or ask people to speak up—doesn’t help. But then, if you do remind them, you have to remind them every thirty seconds. They forget. We’re all more interested in what we’re saying than in how you are hearing it.” Pretending to be a normal person day after day is
York State. Most rehab classes are taught by audiologists rather than speech pathologists. “It’s really a case of lack of funding and interest,” Liz said. They simply can’t find enough adequately trained speech pathologists to keep up with demand. Private insurance will sometimes pay for rehabilitation if it is with a speech pathologist. My insurance reimbursed my sessions with Liz, but only up to twelve per calendar year. Adult post-implant therapy is by necessity highly individualized. “We may
receptors, the hair cells. This leads to a loss of normal function in the auditory nerve, which itself leads to loss of normal input to the neurons throughout the auditory system of the brain. The neurons are connected by synapses, some of which are excitatory (causing activity to increase) and some of which are inhibitory (reducing the level of activity). These synapses are out of whack, causing spontaneous activity in the neurons, which tinnitus sufferers hear as noise. Tinnitus is especially