When 14-year-old Cindy Redmond answered a phone call at a friend’s house, her life changed forever.
Sitting at the kitchen table at a friend’s family dinner, Cindy was punished by her friend’s stepfather for talking on the phone during dinner.
When Cindy didn’t hang up the phone, her friend’s stepfather blasted Cindy in the face with an air horn. The cruel punishment changed her life forever.
Immediately after being punished with the air horn, Cindy felt a horrific pop in her head. And ever since, the pain hasn’t left.
The day after the family dinner, Cindy went home from school early. She felt ill and her peers and teacher’s voices seemed incredibly loud. Now, the pain is so intense that the 14-year-old, who lives in Delaware, can no longer attend school at all.
For about six months, doctors claimed that she had an inner ear canal infection, and they prescribed her with Tylenol coated in codeine.
Since the pain was still present, Cindy and her mother approached many doctors in specialized fields. They finally found an answer when they met with an occupational therapist, who recognized the cause and effects and diagnosed Cindy.
As it turned out, Cindy has a rare and incurable disorder known as Hyperacusis.
Unfortunately, Hyperacusis is not curable. It consists of neurological and inner ear damage. When someone suffers from this condition, everyday sounds can be painful. Such things as a dog’s bark or a baby’s cry could result in stabbing pain in the ear or a burning sensation, and it could take days to recover.
Cindy’s condition took a toll on her way of living. Since then, she has been forced to isolate herself at home and stay in a quiet room. She has since been home-schooled, missing family gatherings, and she might never experience going to concerts or parties without a cure. Getting a job seems impossible so far as well.
In addition, if Cindy is exposed to prolonged noise, it takes mostly two days for her to recover.
Laurie Redmond, the mother, shared how they have to plan their outings ahead of time to make sure that the location would not be too populated.
She shared, “For her 14th birthday she wanted to go to the aquarium. Twenty minutes in she was sobbing from the pain.”
Laurie expressed her worries that her daughter might not have a normal life since a cure is yet to be invented.
Not much is known about Hyperacusis. Up to this day, it is still considered a poorly studied condition.
So far, experts believe that the rare phenomenon is caused by severe damage to the nerves in the inner ear or perhaps by neurological damage.
Cindy has been subjected to wearing a special earpiece that is like a hearing aid and can produce white and pink noise for sound therapy. Although, Redmond suggested that there have been no significant results just yet.
While hearing loss is hard for everyone, it is especially hard for young children and teenagers.
Not only does it affect their ears, but losing their hearing also affects their performance in academics, their social life, their self-esteem, as well as their vocational preferences.
Watch the video below for more details: