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This week’s episode of "The Bachelor" brought drama, tears and a vulnerable moment from fan-favourite Daisy Kent.
On Monday's episode, the 25-year-old account executive from Becker, Minn. scored a coveted one-on-one date with "Bachelor" Joey Graziadei. During the dinner portion of their date, Kent opened up to Graziadei about the health issues she experienced during her teen years, which resulted in profound hearing loss.
“A life with me is probably going to look a little different than with any other girl in the house,” Kent told Graziadei. “The reason I can communicate with you the way I can is because I have a cochlear implant.”
Although her summary of her health hurdles was brief during her date with Graziadei, Kent spoke to CBS News in August 2023 about how she began losing her hearing when she was 15.
"It started as a lot of high-pitched ringing and then just progressively got worse, and I couldn't understand speech very well," she said of losing her hearing. "It was very isolating."
At 17, Kent was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, an inner ear disorder. After trying hearing aids, Kent began researching cochlear implants.
"I was going and looking for people who had them, and I was joining support groups on Facebook, and people were writing about it and sharing their experience with me, but didn't see anyone going through the process," Kent told CBS.
Kent's parents encouraged her to begin sharing her experience and documenting her cochlear implant journey on social media. A video of her implant activation from May 2023 currently has more than 12.5 million views on TikTok. She now has a combined following of more than 200,000 on social media and has written her own children's book called "Daisy Doo and All The Sounds She Knew" that follows a little girl with a cochlear implant.
What is Ménière's disease?
Ménière disease, also known as idiopathic endolymphatic hydrops, is a rare inner ear condition that affects balance and hearing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Ménière's disease is caused by a buildup of endolymph a fluid in the part of the inner ear that controls balance. In advanced cases, Ménière's disease can result in permanent hearing loss.
What are the symptoms of Ménière's disease?
Symptoms of Meniere's disease can include:
vertigo (dizziness, spinning sensation)
tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
feeling pressure in the ear or "full" feeling in the ear"
Less common symptoms can include:
Can Lyme disease cause Ménière's disease?
During her one-on-one date with Graziadei, Kent said that she travelled to Germany for treatment for Lyme disease.
Other risk factors can include:
family history of Ménière's disease
head or ear injury
viral infection of the inner ear
How do you treat Ménière's disease?
There is currently no cure for Ménière's disease, but there are treatments to hep with symptoms of the disorder.
Treatments can include:
diuretic medications (to remove excess fluid from the body)
medications to reduce nausea
steroid injections in the inner ear to reduce pressure
In more severe cases, doctors may recommend surgery like a labyrinthectomy to remove the labyrinth of the ear and improve balance. Although beneficial in improving vertigo, it does result in a total loss of hearing.
Other treatment options include a vestibular nerve section to preserve hearing and treat vertigo or a endolymphatic sac surgery to decompress inner ear fluid.