Pa Alice is completely deaf to the words “help,” “dishes,” and “Get out from in front of the TV.”
We recently heard that eating a meal can affect a person's hearing. After a person has eaten, the sense of hearing is affected, and a person cannot hear as well. Is this true? Why? — P.S. and K.B., San Diego
Can you speak up? I just had a hoagie. Actually, according to Ma Alice, president of Martyrs Anonymous, the threshold of human hearing declines only selectively after a meal. On a scrap of paper in her housecoat pocket, she has data confirming that in the first postprandial hour, Pa Alice is completely deaf to the words “help,” “dishes,” and “Get out from in front of the TV.”
The Alices aside, I consulted with Dr. Otto Scope, staff quack, renowned diplomate of the American Academy of Diseases of the Rich. He says if you think you heard that eating affects your ears, you have a life-threatening wax buildup. But he can cure that and throw in a cosmetic lobe reduction for a price in the low four figures, if you’ll just step this way. About the only connection between your full stomach and your ears is the fact that digestion diverts some blood temporarily from other body parts. But certainly not enough to affect hearing. Snap, Crackle, and Pop would be on welfare today if we all went deaf at the breakfast table. Perhaps dinner can affect your hearing if you’re a very poor aim with a fork and tend to clog your ears with macaroni and cheese. Or if your rumbling stomach drowns out the dinner guests.