Social and lively teenager Cindy Redmond’s life was forever changed when her friend’s step-father blew an air horn directly in her face, damaging them forever, originally reported by Daily Mail. Having been perfectly healthy prior to the injury, Cindy now has to live with hyperacusis, a rare disorder causing hypersensitivity to the ears resulting in immense pain.
Cindy’s ears are now so sensitive, that she remains in as much isolation as possible, which is hard for a young girl who loves being social. People simply talking, a baby crying or even sirens outside could cause her so much pain that could last for an hour up to two days. The pain she describes is excruciating, like someone is stabbing her ears. As you can imagine, it has completely altered how she lives her life. Cindy cannot go out in public, she now has to be homeschooled, and she can’t even visit her father’s side of the family because they are too loud. She hasn’t seen them in about a year.
About 5.9% of Americans have hyperacusis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The damage could be done to pain receptors found in the ear appearing as nerve fibers OR pain receptor replicating behavior from nerves in outer hair cells. Nothing has been proven, and there is no cure or treatment, but doctors actually suggest subjecting individuals to sound rather than avoiding it altogether.
Now, why did her friend’s step-father blow an airhorn in her face? Cindy apparently took a phone call at dinner and when she didn’t hang up right after he requested, he pulled out the air horn and blew it directly in her ear canal instantly causing her pain and irreversible damage. Sadly for Cindy, she has not received an apology from the man, and her friendships have been tarnished. Hopefully one day, the emotional side can be mended along with the physical.
For now, Cindy wears ear pieces that help replicate white and pink sounds to slowly expose her to more noise. Unfortunately, she hasn’t noticed any results and hopes to continue to look for a treatment that will help.