Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Medical Mystery of the Month

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What is all that noise I hear?

The world can be a noisy place. Sometimes you just have to get away from it all, find a quiet place and relax.

However, what if the noise was coming from inside your own head? What if you could not get away from it, ever? For people who suffer from Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS), it can make everyday living a nightmare.

As reported on, “Researchers at Johns Hopkins identified superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) in 1995. This condition involves an abnormal opening in the uppermost canal of the vestibule of the inner ear. SCDS may be caused by the bony surface of the canal not growing to its normal thickness during development.” Common bodily functions, such as chewing or swallowing appear very loud. Those afflicted can even sometimes hear their own heartbeats or the blood coursing through their veins. And any external noises, such as coughing, speaking or a telephone ringing can cause vertigo, blurred vision, headaches, anxiety and nausea since every sound is amplified. Flying, head trauma, or any straining, such as giving birth or heavy lifting, can cause symptoms to appear. Some people also notice it as they grow older.

According to, others with SCDS may experience an echo when speaking or chewing, and/or think that items that are stationary are actually moving. Until recently, these complaints were considered psychosomatic and patients were often referred to psychiatrists.

Once diagnosed, the only way to fix the condition is through surgery. Additional physical therapy may be needed to overcome any lingering dizziness. For more information, go to the SCDS Society at

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer emergency calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Our Auxiliary Group holds fund raisers and provides other much needed support for our members. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you, or if you would like to become a part of our organization. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or

Written by Susan Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.

One thought on “Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Medical Mystery of the Month

  1. I have never heard of this disease and it must be very difficult to live with. Hearing yourself chew-your heartbeat etc-wow! Great article as usual Sue!


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