ESPN's Sean McDonough Tests Hearing At Game Before Determining Return
ESPN’s Sean McDonough had “surgery Nov. 30 to fix a hole in the bone that separates his left inner ear from his brain,” and he will attend Friday's Bucks-Celtics game hoping the crowd noise “will help him know whether he’s ready to return to announce two bowl games,” according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. McDonough was diagnosed with superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS), which "can cause autophony -- a condition in which a person’s own voice, footsteps, etc., sound unusually loud.” He is scheduled to “return for ESPN’s Texas-Oregon State Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 and its Louisville-Florida Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.” The problem is while McDonough now “can’t hear well in his left ear and is having some hearing problems with his right ear, ‘loud noises are really loud.’” But Hiestand writes McDonough’s “pounding sounds are gone.” He is “not sure what happens next ... and figures his left ear’s recovery will take months” (USA TODAY, 12/21). In Boston, Chad Finn notes McDonough was “originally scheduled to have the surgery Aug. 7 but put it off until a time when his schedule was lighter and the weather wasn’t as good.” McDonough: “They have to cut a hole in your skull and move your brain and have to lift your brain off the bone that they’re fixing. It’s daunting, it’s scary, and I really had to weigh, which I did for a long time, the pluses and minuses of the surgery.” He added, “The symptoms were awful, to the point of almost being debilitating. But you can live with them, and you have to make that decision. I realized they can get worse over time, you risk the onset of vertigo, and a lot of people try to live with it, go back to the surgeon one, two, three, or five years later, and say I can’t live with it anymore. … I just figured I don’t want to live with this. Plus, I’m hoping the titanium in my head gives me 10 more yards off the tee” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/21).