If you could pick a Super Power?

February 3, 2016

A child’s imagination game made real


We are sure that we all played this game as kids…(and sometimes as adults!) “if you could pick a super hero power, what would it be?” Imagine being able to fly, or have the power of invisibility… perhaps you chose super senses?

The fact of the matter is all super heroes have a unique power, sometimes more than one. They always use their ability to do good things and this is what makes them heroes, but these abilities are certainly not beyond our reach. No way! We have the imagination & the technology!


The ability of SuperHEARoes

Wolverine is far more than just a tough guy wielding retractable claws. His powers include an ability to heal himself and magnificently sensitive senses. His hearing is so acute that he can hear changes in a person’s heartbeat enabling him to detect when they are lying. His super hearing also allows him to react quickly when trying to save the world – there is no sneaking up on Wolverine!

Imagine if Superman did not have his super hearing, he would continue his day without knowing of any potential trouble. Most of Superman’s talents would have been wasted without the ability to hear a cry for help. And what about DareDevil who became blind through an accident as a child? His reliance on his hearing thereafter enhanced his perception of sound whch made him almost unstoppable.


But what is Super Hearing to us?

The average person can hear sound in the range of 20kHz (not dissimilar to a mosquito buzz) to 20Hz (heavy bass in a concert). Which leads us to the question, is it possible to hear outside this range and if so, what is the possibility of developing this super human hearing?

In normal hearing, sound waves enter our ear and strike our eardrums, causing them to vibrate. Our eardrums are connected to the middle ear bones namely the malleus, incus, and stapes which are commonly referred to as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, simply due to their shapes.

As these bones vibrate they push against a structure called the cochlea in the inner ear that resembles that of a tiny snail shell. The cochlea contains tiny hairs cells that send impulses to the hearing nerve which in turn are sent to the brain and interpreted as sounds. So surely if we could control direct access to these mechanisms we could create super human hearing, and make a SuperHEARo out of you?!


Cochlear Implants

We at Southern ENT partnered with Cochlear™ because we enjoy empowering people who have been affected by hearing loss.

A cochlear implant or Baha implant compensates for non-functioning structures in the ear by either replacing it (cochlear implant) or bypassing it (Baha – bone anchored hearing system)

Not only can those affected by hearing loss now hear, they can control volume, stream audio directly to their sound processor and adjust environmental sounds to eradicate unnecessary noise.  The Baha 5 sound processor even has an App to control it! All of this is not dissimilar to Blue Ear, the first SuperHEARo with hearing loss, by Marvel Comics. The list of ‘superhuman’ abilities is endless. So if you choose senses as your super power of choice, believe it or not, some of this technology already exists.


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