What tinnitus taught Jan Mayes

Apr 29, 2022 | Blog, Quiet Coalition, Tinnitus

Photo credit: Karolina Grabowska

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

Our noise colleague and my coauthor Jan Mayes has a wonderful, personal article in the current issue of Hearing Health Magazine, sharing with the reader how an unfortunate accident inspired her to become an audiologist.

Jan was in a motor vehicle crash and suffered whiplash and a concussion. She developed tinnitus after that, and was told by her doctors that nothing could be done. So she switched her major from speech language pathology to audiology, and worked as an audiologist until retirement. As Jan explains, having tinnitus taught her empathy for her patients.

I’m sure Jan helped thousands of patients more empathetically than the typical audiologist, because she understood what it was like to have an auditory disorder.

Jan and I “met” when she sent The Quiet Coalition an email commenting on something I had written, and after exchanging several emails I asked her to write a blog post.

We subsequently wrote an article for American Family Physician, “Making Recommendations to Reduce Noise Exposure,” and then I suggested that Jan submit an abstract to the June 2021 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Jan’s insightful presentation about the dangers of personal audio systems, also known as personal listening devices or personal music players, was published in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics.

We still haven’t met in person, but now that COVID Zoom meetings are becoming a thing of the past, I hope we will both attend the same noise meeting and I can thank her for her collaboration in person.


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