Why I Can't Hear You

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Katherine Bouton, an editor at the New York Times, talks about gradually losing her hearing, and why audiologists say we’re experiencing a national epidemic of hearing impairment. At present, 17 percent of the population suffers some degree of hearing loss—and it’s not exclusively a product of growing old. In Shouting Won’t Help: Why I—and 50 Million Other Americans—Can’t Hear You looks at the problem personally, psychologically, and physiologically.


Katherine Bouton

Comments [18]

Noach (Independent, Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

Ironically, there is no link for downloading the mp3 of this segment, so I can't hear it!

Feb. 27 2013 11:20 PM

what about foreign accents? I have some deafness listening in American English, but Brit Eng is very hard to hear, and the female Brit register is virtually impossible. Downton Abbey is a disaster for me.

Feb. 27 2013 12:52 PM
Claudia from Montclair, NJ

Shortly after moving out of Hoboken to Montclair I began to hear a high pitch sound and was diagnosed with tinnitus. The doctor commented I may have had it in Hoboken and never noticed it because of the noise level there. I don't know if that's true, but since the diagnosis I've noticed that the tinnitus is barely noticeable in Hoboken or NYC, but very obvious here in Montclair, where it's peaceful.

Feb. 27 2013 12:52 PM
Robert from NYC

My mom got her hearing aid from Medicaid and it was more than$1000. However, only one Dr in the Bx is authorized to sell them and he seems to not be very trustworthy.

Feb. 27 2013 12:52 PM
Rebecca from Brooklyn

Can you explain what otoschlerosis is, and how it's different than other types of hearing loss. I've been diagnosed with it and been told surgery might be helpful

Feb. 27 2013 12:52 PM
Neal Teeman from Port Washington

I have complete deafness in my left ear due to an Acoustic Neuroma. I have tried bone conductor hearing aids without success. Hearing with only one ear has been a difficult experience especially in noisy environments. Any comment?

Feb. 27 2013 12:48 PM
john from NYC

Life-long Surfers experience hearing loss due to Boney growth that closes the ear canal that is commonly called "Surfer's Ear" There is an unpleasant operation that correct it

Feb. 27 2013 12:40 PM
antonio from baySide

Is it all controlled in the ear (receiving sound), can something be done to augment the brain? I would think that's the processor, so would that help?

Feb. 27 2013 12:38 PM
JimB from Long Island NY

My particular issue with noise is the loud levels often experienced in retail establishments, from supermarkets to clothes stores. Music is often loud enough that one has to raise your voice to communicate. We accept this as normal. Is there research to show these elevated levels are harmful, even if they do not exceed OSHA noise regulations for workers and consumers?

Feb. 27 2013 12:34 PM
wendy from manhattan

As a teenager, I began to favor having people walk on my right side - I didn't learn until I was in my mid 30's that I had hearing loss, and my hearing has gradually deteriorated. As I understand, health insurance does not cover hearing aids - which my doctor says I don't need right away unless my hearing loss interferes with my work or relationships. Will the Affordable Care Act have an impact on that, and is there any meaningful lobby for change in this area?

Feb. 27 2013 12:27 PM
Tim from NJ

4 weeks ago I experienced SSHL in my right ear. I was suffering from a cold at the time of losing my hearing. Following a 3 week treatment of both oral prednisone and intratympanic (injections) steroids, I had no improvement. I have since began a course of hydrating and increasing my electrolyte intake and have noticed some improvement. Also, there has been some indication that excess nitric oxide can potential be related to SSHL. I had been supplementing with L-Arginine and I come across research that shows that men who use Viagra have a high incidence of SSHL (possibly due to excess NO production).

While it may not pertain to her, has your guest heard of this possible connection?

Thank you.

Feb. 27 2013 12:24 PM
Charles Eshelman from NYC

I'm suffering from Tinnitus and believe it's caused from the ringing computer hard drives.

Feb. 27 2013 12:23 PM
john from NYC

Life-Long Surfers develop a common problem, (come to be known as Surfer's Ear) where the canal(s) grow closed due to boney growths. An unpleseant Surgical procedure corrects this.

Feb. 27 2013 12:23 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I've experienced hearing loss since my mid 40's (which is also when I began to need reading glasses.)

Since that time I have had difficulty making out conversations, especially if there is ambient noise, or being in a particularly "loud" room (very hard surfaces, causing a significant amount of echo.)

I also have a difficult time understanding folks with heavy foreign accents.

The combination of noise and accents -- forget it -- I won't make out a word.

Also, some noises really get on my nerves. One example that really bugs me is trying to have a phone conversation when the other party is in a noisy place and it all comes through the microphone to me. I have a difficult time carrying on a conversation under those circumstances, and it goes beyond the hearing aspect, as it really gets my nerves on edge.

Feb. 27 2013 12:23 PM
John A.

Tinnitus, a form of loss. Onset at 30. Rock Music.
I believe my case may be very common.
We can't congratulate ourselves at eliminating dangerous manufacturing jobs when iPods and the like will probably fill in the void and create the noise danger that we thought we eliminated.

Feb. 27 2013 12:22 PM
listener from nyc

some of the noise in nyc steams from sheer rudeness and lack of consideration. If people actually considered their neighbor's needs, or the residential needs of a neighborhood, a lot of noise could be eliminated.
there is no real crack down on this quality of life issue.

Feb. 27 2013 12:21 PM
Priya from Brooklyn

My mother used to constantly complain that my dad had selective hearing, as it turned out we found out ten years ago he has no hearing in one ear, from an early childhood injury. He grew up and compensated in a number of ways. So his hearing is selective, but not out of choice.

Feb. 27 2013 12:20 PM

I hope that the guest addresses the lack of hearing aid coverage by Medicare which leaves many elderly, especially those older than 70, without access to hearing aids unless they have family that can afford to pay for the aids.

My sister's mother in law is past 80 & cannot afford hearing aids since Medicare doesn't cover aid for "normal" hearing loss.

This is another failure of our incomplete healthcare "system."

Feb. 27 2013 10:19 AM

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