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"broken-wire" myster

DrJack811 drjack811 at aol.com
Wed Jan 22 17:18:13 EST 1997

A mystery in need of assistance, referral...

A friend of mine (now 46) suddenly went deaf at age 3.  All testing at the
time turned up nothing physically or neurologically wrong with her.  Upon
being sent to deaf boarding school, her hearing returned, then
spontaneously vanished again.

Later, in her 20's, she was extensively examined by a variety of doctors
and a battery of tests, who equally came up dry.   Very expensive hearing
aids were prescribed which helped minimally, and which she dislikes and
cannot afford to replace, now broken.  Despite, she pursued career as
professional dancer for many years, feeling the music like so many deaf
musicians do.

But the mystery is, hearing has repeatedly spontaneously returned, albeit
rarely, both in childhood and adulthood.  Usually it is under the
conditions of being very fatigued, late in the evening, and persists for a
few hours to a few days.  She says it seems "like a broken wire," an
intermittent connection that seems to click on and off erratically.  And,
of course, the hearing world she is ushered into is rather chaotic, and it
doesn't last long enough for her to really sort it out.

Is this a known condition?  Is it treatable?  Psychological factors may
well be involved here (childhood abuse), but the persistence of it (albeit
rare) and the fatigue/broken-wire aspect suggests something more or
something else entirely.  She has not sought treatment in years(she gave
up, works well in deaf world, though would not be averse to hearing), so
perhaps technology/neurology has caught up since her last exam.

Any thoughts, references, guidance -- particularly in the Miami, Florida
area where she lives -- would be greatly received!


John Townley
DrJack811 at aol.com

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