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A Quiet World by David G. Myers

A Quiet World: Living With Hearing Loss


5 of 5 stars Encouraging! November 1, 2000 

The vulnerability of hearing loss is being replaced with the confidence of new discoveries and the promise of exciting advances in hearing technology. David G. Myers takes us through his journey to the silent world. He has lived through the panic of searching for a replacement battery for his hearing aid and responded to words that were never spoken. Later he realized what he had misunderstood or laughed at what he thought he had heard.

Like a comedy of "ears," he recounts the humorous and sad "errors" in his life due to hearing loss and takes us through a myriad of experiences with various hearing aids. Many of these accounts are laugh out loud funny, while others tell of a world where words are garbled, sentences lack clarity, and the sound of his own voice sounded strange and hauntingly distorted.

Many in the silent world compensate with sign language, learn to read lips, or use computer technology to communicate effectively. The denial of the hearing impaired also points to the fact that it can at times be embarrassing. In his journal-style writings, David draws on his own experiences and explains the dread he feels when he must ask for a sentence to be repeated. He tells of the isolation he feels when he must mimic others laughing around him even though he didn't hear the punch line, or how he is determined to see his life from different eyes than his mother saw her own silent life.

You will be amazed at the patience and love his wife shows as she finally convinces David to seek out an audiologist. Through a great love for each other, they manage to maintain an optimistic outlook, show immense patience, and stay emotionally connected. Together they offer sage advice on how friends and family can encourage hard of hearing relatives and friends to seek treatment.

In the first part of this book, I laughed. In the middle, I felt well informed. The ending left me hopeful. I was pleased to see a comprehensive resource guide for further study. David is well known for cutting the facts down to size and for explaining them in a way that makes you feel enlightened, or at least very well informed. You will learn how sound travels from the ear to the brain, see a picture of the hearing mechanism, find out what 16 thousand hair cells are doing inside the cochlea, and finally wonder where your biology teacher was and why she never taught you this! (pages 120-128)

"Why not do today's kids a huge favor and make information about hearing an essential part of their health education curriculum? Listening to loud music can have devastating repercussions." --David G. Myers

After reading "The American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty," also by David Myers, I believe his writings should be in every library, home and school. He has the amazing ability to discover what America needs to hear. Through his writings, he has inspired me in my own life's journey and always leaves me with a sense of hope for the future. If you know someone who is dealing with this issue, I could not recommend this book any more highly. Not only will his words inspire empathy, you will gain a higher appreciation for your own "hearing." I loved all the Web site information and thought it would be perfect for further study.

You will be amazed at how many medical conditions cause hearing loss and realize how hard it would be if you had to choose between being deaf or blind. While my little cat was dozing off next to me and purring contentedly, I closed my eyes, so I could focus in on a sound David can't hear. I was also listening to a CD and while my eyes were closed, I still felt very connected to the world.

Then, I opened my eyes and closed my ears with my fingers. I closed out the music, I closed out the cat purring, I even closed out the sound of the TV downstairs. When I focused on how it would feel not to be able to hear I became more aware of what it would be like to live in a glass jar with the lid sealed on tight. The longer I resisted hearing, the more closed in I felt. Yet, I still could not decide which I would choose if I had to. Fortunately, with the new advances in science, many will be able to find great help in the future, and perhaps hearing loss will be a problem of the past.

"A Quiet World" is a book which will bring awareness to a growing problem in our society. It will help anyone become more sensitive to hearing loss issues.



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