What’s in a kiss?
That’s what a Hicksville, N.Y. mother would like to know after her young daughter's kiss left her with hearing loss and tinnitus, Newsday reported.
When Gail Schwartzman’s daughter, who is now 6, kissed Schwartzman’s ear, it wasn’t the sound that damaged her hearing, it was the suction force, which displaced the eardrum and paralyzed a trio of bones.
The incident happened two years ago, but will be the subject of an upcoming medical journal report, which outlines “the kiss of deaf.”
Schwartzman said the kiss was painful, but said her daughter’s emotional scars are more agonizing. (Schwartzman has requested her daughter’s name not be printed for this reason).
“What actually happened, I was out of the house for the day,” Schwartzman said. “And when I returned, I went to say a big hello to my daughter. She was 4 years old at the time. She was sitting on the floor watching TV, and she had really missed me.
So, I sat on the floor next to her. She grabbed me and gave me a hug and a really big kiss on the left ear. And while she was doing it, it felt like she was sucking the air out of my head. I couldn’t push her away because I had this terrible sensation in my head.”
Schwartzman said she was deaf after the kiss, but when partial hearing came back, she heard screeching noises. Two years later, the tinnitus remains.
“That was some kiss,” said Lisa Freeman of the American Tinnitus Foundation. “Typically (loud noises are) the perception of sound in the ears or head. This can range from ringing, clicking, swishing or buzzing and can cycle to movements of highs and lows.”
“The moral here is simple,” said Levi Reiter, chairman of audiology at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who studied Schwartzman’s case and said a similar incident happened in the 1950s. “Try not to hurt the ones you love.”