An inquest heard Kelvin Edmunds, 61, from Cyncoed in Cardiff, suffered from Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome
A musician was driven to suicide because his hearing was so sensitive he could hear his eyeballs moving in their sockets.
An inquest heard Kelvin Edmunds, 61, from Cyncoed in Cardiff, suffered from Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SSCDS), a rare condition which affects fewer than 1 in 1,000 people.
It causes hypersensitivity to noise and amplified every sound he heard, leading to his mental health deteriorating.
The inquest heard he stuffed tissue paper into his ears to drown outside noises but could still hear his own heartbeat – and even head his eyeballs moving in his head.
Former rock guitarist Mr Edmunds tried to hang himself when he decided he could no longer live with the hearing condition but was found by his partner Phanrutai Walford, who saved his life by cutting off the noose and giving CPR.
But the inquest heard Mr Edmunds attacked Miss Walford, 46, because he was angry she had prevented his suicide bid.
He went missing on the day he was due to be sentenced for assaulting Thailand-born Miss Walford and was later found hanged.
The inquest heard he was convinced he would go to prison for attacking his partner even though she had forgiven him. Pictured: Phanrutai Walford (centre) and Kelvin Edmunds (left)
Miss Walford told the hearing: ‘He could hear his eyeballs moving in their sockets – he would go to bed just to get some silence. He had two operations to sort it out but they didn’t work.’
Miss Walford told how she followed Mr Edmunds to the garden shed at their home in September last year because she knew something was wrong.
She said: ‘I saw him put a noose around his neck and when I tried to stop him he strangled me until I passed out.
‘When I came around he was hanging but with the help of a neighbour we got him down and gave him CPR.’
Mr Edmunds tried to hang himself when he decided he could no longer live with the hearing condition but was found by his partner Phanrutai Walford (pictured)
He was admitted as a voluntary patient to a psychiatric unit in Whitchurch, Cardiff, where he was staying on the night before his court case.
The inquest heard he was convinced he would go to prison for attacking his partner even though she had forgiven him.
Mr Edmunds told nurses he was going to walk to home and then go to the court hearing with Miss Walford on October 5.
But he failed to arrive and was found dead in woods at Cwmbach, in the South Wales valleys, where he used to play as a child.
The inquest heard Mr Edmunds worked as an engineer in Libya when his Welsh rock band Rhode Island Red failed to make the big time.
Family and friends regarded him as a hero for giving up his plane seat to a young Filipino girl during the 2014 evacuation of Libya.
But the inquest heard Mr Edmunds became mentally fragile after suffering from SSCDS for 15 years and it was impacting on his well-being.
Glamorgan Coroner Andrew Barkley said: ‘He had some difficulty with low mood caused by his ears and sensitivity to increased noise.
‘He was charged with an offence in relation to a his partner in terrible and tragic circumstances.
‘We also know he had researched suicide and had written a will just weeks before.’
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.
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What is hearing condition Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SSCDS)?
Superior semicircular canal dehiscence was first described in medical literature in 1998.
Patients diagnosed with the condition can suffer from vertigo, hypersensitivity to noises and oscillopsia – the sense that stationary objects are moving.
The condition is caused when a hole, or thinning of the bone, develops between the inner ear and the brain.
This bone should cover and protect the inner ear but with SSCD the inner ear is exposed to more vibrations.
This can develop from a trauma or slowly over time as a result of the pressure placed on the bone by a part of the brain called the temporal lobe.
The average age of diagnosis is 45 and it is believed that one to two per cent of the population have an abnormally thin bone covering the superior canal.
Some people with the condition control their symptoms by avoiding the situations that distress them.
However, for other patients, the symptoms are much more debilitating and usually require surgery to treat the problem.
Source: American Speech Language Hearing Association