In a recent NPR podcast, Dave Davies interviews David Owen, a staff writer for The New Yorker, about his recent book, Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World.
Podcast Highlights and Analysis
The interview included a variety of topics including hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and deaf culture. The highlights of the interview relate to his description of noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, and potential interventions for hearing loss and tinnitus. He explains that damaging noise may come from expected sources such as gunfire or blast exposure, but also from everyday tools including hair dryers, food processors, and lawnmowers. He supports strongly the use of ear protection from these hearing threats.
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Mr. Owen provided listeners an easy-to-understand explanation of hearing loss and how noise will impact the configuration of the hearing loss. He explains his own experiences with tinnitus and hearing aids as well as reports from others. People with hearing loss who get hearing aids are often surprised by all the sounds they have been missing.
However, hearing aids are expensive, and they must be purchased through a hearing professional, or a “middle man.” Less expensive options are on the horizon and some are already available.
Sadly, Mr. Owen never mentioned the importance of audiologists or even the existence of audiology in this 50-minute podcast, but perhaps he discusses audiology in his book. I assume audiologists are the “middle man” he mentioned. Although he makes some very informative and factual statements, this interview serves as a continuing reminder that we have work to do. To many people in the general public, our value is unknown and underestimated.
About the Author
Erin Shafer, PhD, is the editor-in-chief of Audiology Today magazine and www.audiology.org.
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