Saturday, November 9, 2019

David Owen

David Owen's new book is Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World.

From the transcript of his Fresh Air interview with Dave Davies:

DAVE DAVIES: Well, David Owen, welcome back to FRESH AIR. What are some of the ways that moderate - even moderate hearing loss affects us that aren't so well-known?

DAVID OWEN: There are many, and it has an impact on health generally. People who have trouble hearing tend to have health - unrelated health issues, more unrelated health issues of all kinds. It puts a - it sort of overworks our brains. If you can't quite hear what people are saying, you have to work harder to figure it out, and the brainpower that you use to do that is brainpower that you can't use for anything else.

People who have trouble hearing also tend to withdraw. You know, I have an acquaintance who, at cocktail parties - he has a reputation for being just a grumpy, sullen person. But when I was working on this book, I realized that - I said, you know what? He really is - he can't hear, and the reason he sits at parties and glowers out at the crowd is that he doesn't know what's going on. So it has effects that we don't necessarily associate with it and that pervade all parts of our lives.

And then, you know, because of human nature, we tend to ignore it. The average wait for a person who first notices a hearing problem - the average delay between that moment and going to the doctor is 10 years. That's the average. So it's - we don't treat it the way we treat other sensory problems. If you have trouble seeing things, you go - you get glasses. But people tend to put off hearing - getting hearing aids for a long time.

DAVIES: Yeah, so people might be happier if they paid a little more attention to this.

OWEN: That's right. It's worth paying attention to.

DAVIES: You know, when I choose a restaurant, I think one of my highest priorities is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue