June 27, 2013
Mother's Superhuman Hearing Means She Can Listen To Her Own Eyeballs Move

Julie Refern's hearing is so acute that she can hear noises from within her body that others cannot, which includes listening to her eyeballs move.

The 47-year-old mother of three suffers from a condition called superior canal dehiscence syndrome, which is a thinning of the temporal bone that exposes the inner ear to hear more sound.

Alongside listening to her eyeballs move, she can also hear her brain wobble, as well as heartbeat, and her blood move too. 

Mrs Redfern has hypothesised that the condition started after she was in a serious bike crash in 1991, which subsequently lead to her having surgery to fill in several holes in her temporal bone in her skull, however she still needs to have another operation to fully cure her of the condition.

Unfortunately, Mrs Refern was beginning to become a tad tired of these sounds, so much so that she had to give up eating in restaurants with her friends because she couldn't hear anything that they said over the sound of her own chewing.

Eating apples, chips, and other loud foods became a no-no too because they lead to a deafening sound permeating through her skull. She also quit her job as a receptionist due to the constant ringing of the telephone.

However, Mrs Redfern's toil, which has lasted for around seven years, is about to come to an end after a pioneering surgery could plug up her hearing.

Mrs Redfern's problems began just after her 40th birthday when she realised she could hear her eyes move as she played Tetris. She stated, "I remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing on the game and I thought 'What’s that noise?' then I realised that it was my eyeballs. Every time the block moved and I followed it with my eyes I could hear them squeaking. It was a horrible sensation, I could literally hear them moving, scratching, it was very weird."

Mrs Redfern, of Lancashire, England, then visited her local doctor. However he wasn't much help, as she explained, "The doctors just said 'It’s your age, when you get to 40 these things happen.' I thought I can’t put up with this forever, I knew something wasn’t right.

She then added, "I could hear things that were louder than they should have been, I could hear myself swallowing and my voice echoing. Everything moving in my head sounded as though it was swishing away. I would be stood in the queue at the supermarket and I’d start to sway, I felt drunk without having a drink."

Mrs Redfern then saw another doctor who scanned her ear before revealing that she suffered from superior canal dehiscence syndrome, which saw fluid leak from the superior canal in her ear and turning the bone into a honeycomb that amplified sounds in her body.

Mrs Redfern then went though a five hour procedure, which could have resulted in her going deaf, to cure her illness. She stated, "Even though there were risks I had to have it done, I couldn’t have coped with it for another 40 years, seven was enough."

Mrs Redfern has had surgery completed on one of her ears and plans to have the other one corrected in the near future.

[Image via auremar/Shutterstock]