Sunday, February 11, 2018

Family History - why do it?

I have come across those people who do not understand why I am passionate about the research into family history that I do (shocking I know), but if for no other reason I am often reminded that one good reason to research my heritage is for medical issues.
Genetic issues with health are bound to prepare, warn or assist us during our lives. Some may never affect us but then you will come across something you have that is genetic, that you had no idea of existed in your family until you start to really look!
Recently I was told I have Otosclerosis, the first question the ENT specialist asked was "do you know of any of your ancestors who had it?"  Did I? Well my father has a hearing issue, which I believed (from what he had said) was fluid in his ear. The one defining difference...the pressure test - if there is fluid in your ear the pressure in both ears is different....if it is otosclerosis the pressure is the same! He, by luck was going to a hearing test the next day so I asked him to find out about the pressure - they had done a test on him a year ago...the pressure was the same in both ears! Bingo! As the ENT suspected when I mentioned my father, I have inherited this from my fathers line. I guess the question for my research now is which line did he inherit it from?!
As you do, I have jumped onto Trove - was this a known condition? If so, how far back can I find some detail on it for the common folk  - the answer Yes it was and the earliest mention I found in a newspaper was
1st Feb 1913 they even knew then it was inherited! But no one in my family has passed this information down..3 generations!?
By 10 June 1945 a surgeon had perfected a surgery to rectify this form of deafness with great success!
Today, now in this world of technology what can be done?! Well otosclerosis is no longer as common as it once was due to flouride in toothpaste and the there are not as many surgeons performing this operation, in NSW there are about 4 who see approx. 40 patients per year for the whole state! This, I have been told, is a precise operation, although 98% are successful there are risks of losing your hearing in that ear altogether; having the facial nerve damaged, not improving your hearing at all. 

The alternative is hearing aids - this is the path I shall begin with as the less invasive no risk avenue!

1 comment:

  1. Great to see you blogging. Sorry to hear of your latest challenge.