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Meniere's and Musical Inspirations


David Alstead grew up in a musical family and learned to play the piano at a young age. In fact, he was competing at the age of 8. He was that good.

That all changed when, at the age of 16, David noticed a change in his hearing. "It was very disturbing. I would hear a sound, and at the same time, hear the same sound slightly higher.

Lower tones would be doubled further away from the original tone than would higher tones, and this made listening to music impossible.

It wreaked havoc with being in choir, and orchestra, where I played violin. It was shortly after that that I began being hit by the feeling of fullness and debilitating vertigo, along with nerve noise."

There's cruel irony when a talented musician and composer experiences hearing loss (think Beethoven) but David Alstead has not allowed Ménière's Disease to slow down his musical career. In fact, he just recently released his third album, this one a collection of Christmas music, just in time for 2008 holiday gift giving.

During an exclusive interview with Healthy Hearing, David talked about his latest release and his earlier compilations.

"...since my first CD, "Piano For Both Ears", I felt compelled to make some reference to my hearing. I did it again with "Pieces Of Piano", and made it three with this Christmas CD, "I Heard The Bells."

When I was in the planning stages for "I Heard The Bells" I discovered "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day", an old Christmas carol I wanted to have some fun with, so "I Heard The Bells," as a title for the CD, was born."

David's remarkable ability to compose and play music while experiencing Ménière's disease is, in itself, inspirational. Fortunately, his compositions are inspiring to all, making David a truly remarkable musician.

What is Menieres Disease?

Here's how the federal government's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health, describes Menieres:

"Ménière's disease is an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear. The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss. Named after French physician Prosper Ménière who first described the syndrome in 1861."

Researchers continue to study Ménière's to determine the cause of the condition. However, the symptoms are the same, making life difficult for those who experience this single-sided deafness (SSD). And doubly difficult if you happen to be a talented composer and musician. That's what makes David Alstead and his music so inspiring at this special time of year.

Looking for a Little Inspiration?

Both David and his music inspire and capture the true meaning of the holiday. And even though the holidays have come and gone, any one of his CDs will make the perfect gift for a loved one in need of inspiration throughout the entire year.

That's truly a gift that keeps on giving and one you and your family will grow to love. For more information on David and his CDs, visit his website: http://www.DavidAlstead.com

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