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Boston Marathon Bombing Victims Suffer Another Injury: Hearing Loss


Posted: May 26, 2015

The Boston Marathon bombing victims suffered in many ways. Many people perished, and many survivors lost or had damage to limbs in the April 15, 2013, bombing. Over 100 suffered an ear injury or hearing loss. It has been discovered that people within 1,000 feet of either blast reported hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and imbalance. All of these are problems which persist today.

Heather Abbott is one of the survivors. When she works out, it’s difficult to determine that she wears a prosthetic because of the left leg she lost in the horrific bombings. She also suffered an invisible injury: hearing loss, and she stated the following according to CBS Evening News.

“I struggle to hear what people are saying. And sometimes I’ll ask them to repeat themselves so many times that I just pretend I’ve heard at a certain point… It’s interesting how much I wasn’t hearing that I didn’t realize.”

Many of the 100 survivors who suffered hearing loss are taking part in a three-year study at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Alicia Quesnel, an otologic surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School and the lead researcher, notes that prior research focused solely on soldiers injured on the battlefield, not on civilians. She stated the following, according to CBS Evening News.

“This was, of course, in a crowded group of spectators who weren’t wearing headgear or helmets and so thinking about that in terms of blast mechanics, and how pressure waves ricochet off of buildings, surroundings are very important in terms of how much damage is actually done.”