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Volume control : hearing in a deafening world

by Owen, David, 1955-

Format: Print Book 2019
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Summary
The surprising science of hearing and the remarkable technologies that can help us hear better

Our sense of hearing makes it easy to connect with the world and the people around us. The human system for processing sound is a biological marvel, an intricate assembly of delicate membranes, bones, receptor cells, and neurons. Yet many people take their ears for granted, abusing them with loud restaurants, rock concerts, and Q-tips. And then, eventually, most of us start to go deaf.

Millions of Americans suffer from hearing loss. Faced with the cost and stigma of hearing aids, the natural human tendency is to do nothing and hope for the best, usually while pretending that nothing is wrong. In Volume Control , David Owen argues this inaction comes with a huge social cost. He demystifies the science of hearing while encouraging readers to get the treatment they need for hearing loss and protect the hearing they still have.

Hearing aids are rapidly improving and becoming more versatile. Inexpensive high-tech substitutes are increasingly available, making it possible for more of us to boost our weakening ears without bankrupting ourselves. Relatively soon, physicians may be able to reverse losses that have always been considered irreversible. Even the insistent buzz of tinnitus may soon yield to relatively simple treatments and techniques. With wit and clarity, Owen explores the incredible possibilities of technologically assisted hearing. And he proves that ears, whether they're working or not, are endlessly interesting.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In a world that becomes increasingly noisier, more people are dealing with hearing loss. The same individuals who readily get fitted for glasses, however, often wait for years before seeing an audiologist. Owen (Where the Water Goes, 2017) acknowledges the stigma that comes with hearing aids, but he presents a convincing case for tuning in before all hearing is lost. The brain, according to Owen, has to use too much power to understand conversation when there is a hearing loss, power that's needed for other functions. And impaired hearing can lead to social isolation and depression. He describes the hearing process and discusses some of the historical causes of loss, including weapons of war, hunting rifles, and rock music. Owen talks to scientists, audiologists, and manufacturers of hearing aids, detailing their successes and failures. He also explores the science behind cochlear implants and the social connections of the deaf community and offers specific recommendations on over-the-counter ear plugs and hearing devices. Accessible and surprisingly entertaining, this work addresses an important issue for the growing pool of aging baby boomers.--Candace Smith Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Owen (Where the Water Goes), a New Yorker staff writer, wrestles with the complexities of the human ear in this informative extended essay on aural perception. Owen, who suffers from tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears, describes in detail his experience and also touches on other conditions, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, a balance problem that occurs when the wrong hair cells in the ear are stimulated, and otosclerosis, which occurs when bones in the middle ear fuse. As part of his research, he is fitted for a pair of hearing aids and visits Starkey Hearing Technologies in Eden Prairie, Minn., to witness the device in production. Owen also acquaints himself with advances such as cochlear implants, which directly stimulate fibers in the auditory nerves and thus create new stimuli for the brain to process as sound. Readers may object that topics such as the stigma of deafness and the deaf community don't receive much attention. Otherwise, in exploring a bodily mechanism "so remarkably small and complex and hard to observe that scientists still don't completely understand how all of its components work," Owen delivers an illuminating account of human hearing. Agent: David McCormick, McCormick & Williams. (Oct.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Deafness.
Hearing aids.
Publisher New York :2019
Language English
Description 292 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780525534228
0525534229
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