A man who could hear his eyeballs moving in their sockets has been cured of the ultra rare condition following an operation.
Charlton resident Stephen Mabbut, 57, began experiencing symptoms several years ago when he found it was becoming increasingly difficult to hear the world around him.
A number of visits to GPs saw him being treated with nasal sprays and antibiotics, though his hearing deteriorated and he began to develop new symptoms, including loud noises causing dizziness and his eyesight also pulsated as he spoke.
"When I raised my voice I could hear it reverberating in my head and the vibrations made my vision vibrate. Eventually I could hear my heart beating and my eyes moving in their sockets. It was really distracting," he told the BBC.
After being assessed by Martin Burton, a surgeon at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital who was responsible for establishing the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group, through the use of a CT scan, it was discovered that there were small perforations on the inside of the semicircular canals in the patient"s ear.
Mr Mabbutt was finally referred to ear expert Richard Irving and diagnosed with superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS), which is also known as Minor"s syndrome, after its discoverer, Dr Lloyd Minor, and requires surgery to cure.
SCDS was not even discovered until 1995 and only affects one in 500,000 people, though Mr Mabbutt was able to undergo an operation which involved making a channel through the bone behind the ear to find the organ responsible for equilibrium, and using his own bone to seal it.
The operation was a complete success and Mr Mabbutt told the BBC: "It feels great now. I feel like I"ve got a new lease of life. I"ve got more energy and I feel brighter. It"s an amazing difference."
by Martin Burns