LOS ANGELOS, CA (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Trees blowing, birds singing, children laughing; they’re all things many people enjoy hearing, but for one woman just about every sound was excruciating.
Imagine hearing your own heartbeat pounding inside your head and your voice echoing. Every sound you make, every sound you hear is amplified! That was the reality for Kerrie Aitken.
“My whole world just changed. I had no control over myself anymore,” Kerrie Aitken told Ivanhoe.
For nine months Kerry suffered from dizziness, nausea, and depression. Doctors did not know why. She was told to see a psychiatrist.
“It was way too much for her to handle,” Kerrie’s husband, John Aitken, told Ivanhoe.
“We would have to like see her cry,” Kerrie’s daughter, Jonna Aitken, told Ivanhoe.
“She was pretty beaten down. She had lost a lot of weight,” head and neck surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Quinton Gopen, told Ivanhoe.
UCLA head and neck surgeon Quinton Gopen pinpointed the problem inside Kerrie’s ear. It was smaller than a pinhead.
“The problem that Kerrie had was at the top of this balance chamber here, the superior canal, a little opening in the bone formed,” Dr. Gopen explained. “In the normal situation, there is still this white cap of bone here and as you can see here, this little tube is now opening up.”
Dr. Gopen opened Kerry’s skull, moved the brain to get to her ear, and filled the two millimeter hole with a bone wax. He then lined the area with muscle, and covered it with a tiny piece of bone from her skull.
“People wake up in tears, not from pain, but from joy because the noise is gone immediately after surgery,” Dr. Gopen said.
“The first thing I did not hear was that wonderful heart beating. I was so happy,” Kerrie explained.
Kerry’s problem is called Superior Canal Dehiscence. The condition was not discovered until 1998 and it is just beginning to be taught to students in medical schools.
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