Hearing care and hearing loss

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by GoodEnoughGear, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Hi folks,

    I thought I'd start a thread on the most important gear we have - our ears!

    Since early childhood I've had what my parents referred to as a 'punctured eardrum' in my right ear. It resulted in slightly off balance and a small amount of hearing loss. Now in my mid-40s it's worsening (tinnitus on and off, discomfort), so I'm off to the Ear Institute in a couple of weeks to see exactly what's up and find out how to manage it.

    I don't listen to headphones at loud volumes - I think. KEF M500 with a GOV2 on low gain, volume set by default through Power Mixer at 13, rarely go any higher than that. But I do lots of conference calls with a Jabra OE headset and lots of flying (almost weekly) and am wondering if those are contributing. Over the years I have attended a few very loud shows of course (NIN at Universal Amphitheatre comes to mind) that I'm sure must have taken a toll...now I take earplugs along to shows I know are going to crank up the volume.

    Anyone else managing hearing loss out there? Care to share?
     
  2. rayfalkner

    rayfalkner Not to be confused with Roy Fokker - Friend

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    About 8 years ago when I had to stay in hospital; among the other 2 patients sharing the room together is a 30 ~ 35-ish years old mine worker, waiting for his third auditory system-related surgery, all within the 10 years of that career of his so far. Back then he is waiting for his tympanoplasty procedure.
    He told me his story of how the mining company he works with doesn't have a good standard for workplace safety; such as not all of the mine workers are provided with the safety earmuffs or earplugs, and even then some of those earmuffs are no longer fit for working condition, etc.

    This time, the man got an almost permanent deafness due to a communication error between the team who work underground vs the team at the surface (this probably due to most of them are having degraded hearing already anyway). The surface team is supposed to switch on the machinery (that also chains into a certain amount of controlled explosion) after receiving the all-go signal from the underground crews, but then that accident happened;
    before the underground team had time to properly seal and secure their ears, the machinery switched on and the deafening sonic blast from the explosion follows. Luckily for the man, no one in his crew is injured by the explosion but all of those underground had their eardrums ruptured; they all crawl back to the surface disoriented, cannot stand or walk straight, most with blood visibly running from their ears.

    To think to have such degree of hearing loss in that age is a bit sad isn't it. I wonder how that man will do when he reach 50 and up, hopefully he'll still be able to hear the merry blabber of his grandchildren and such.
     
  3. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    I value my hours of silence. My mild tinnitus and I work in hospitality require those hours of silence.
     
  4. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    Yeah, I have high frequency hearing loss. Got the luck of the draw with some bad genes that runs in the family so I'm enjoying my hearing while it lasts. My hearing also got knocked a bit with chronic sinusitis due to allergies that left me with some ear drum scarring and tinnitus in one ear.

    I'm really hopeful by the time my hearing really deteriorates that stem cell research will have advanced to the point where we can regenerate hearing cells. My ENT doctor is actually keen for me to start wearing hearing aids, even though they are not really needed at this point, so I can delay my natural hearing loss till the technology becomes viable. Apparently the nerve links break down once you can't hear certain frequencies and even restoring those hearing cells means your brain won't be able to perceive those sounds any way.

    I'm quite cautious of live audio performances and always take hearing attenuators with me to them. Loudest show I attended in my youth was Radiohead when they played a show in the Netherlands when I was still living there. I had tinnitus for 2 days after that show, I'm sure that couldn't have any good for my ears!

    Hunting and golf are popular pastimes here in South Africa, there are a surprising amount of people including friends that have some degree of hearing loss due to not wearing hearing protection on hunting trips. Another interesting point of research currently going on is hearing loss in golfers where the metallic ping noise from titanium drivers are suspected to be the cause of hearing loss. Loudest thing I've ever heard was a fighter jet starting up about 10 meters away from me.

    I was never listen to my headphone or Hi-Fi system too loud. Occasionally like to turn it up, for maybe one song max.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  5. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    downloadfile.jpeg

    The NIOSH standards are the more recent and accurate versus OSHA.

    Some people lose their hearing more easily than others.

    Many highly hyped ciems and iems, such as the JH13fp and Nt6pro have giant spikes in the treble. If you listen at a level that gives the mid and vocal ranges a comfortable dB, you're getting, in the case of the Nt6pro, literally 10 dB more at one spot in the treble. That's basically a deafness induction device.

    One thing that should be considered in thinking about reviewers is their hearing loss. |joker|, for example, consistently rates iems with treble spikes as being neutral. It seems likely he has hearing loss in that range, which is common. This is not a criticism, merely something to notice and be aware of.
     
  6. Colgin

    Colgin Friend

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    I have had tinnitus for at least the last 5 years. I probably had it longer than that, but I first realized I had it about 5 years ago. I cannot say it was due to headphones. It could have been loud concert exposures, medications I have taken, genes/(bad) luck of the draw. Fortunately my hearing is otherwise good for my age (late 40's so I don't hear the highest frequency). But I definitely try to limit volume and length of exposure when listening to either speakers or headphones.
     
  7. Tuco1965

    Tuco1965 Suffring from early onset Alzheimer's - Friend

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    I have tinnitus. It seems to have developed in the last few years. I have a SPL meter that I keep near my listening station so that I can from exceeding safe listening levels for prolonged time periods.
     
  8. BioniclePhile

    BioniclePhile The Terminal Man - Friend

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    Although I can still hear up to about 17.5 Khz, I've got noticeable tinnitus due to marching band, jazz, pep band, and most recently, using earplugs at work due to the machinery being pretty loud the whole night. The earplugs would slip out after a few minutes and I'd push em back in, causing undue stress on my eardrum a few dozen times a night. I didn't notice my tinnitus that much until just this last year, so I've ditched the shit ear plugs and I'm getting some custom ones that won't slip out and need to be pushed back in repeatedly. I had half a mind to sue the earplug manufacturers until I remembered that I'm a poor college student and I should've probably read the fine print.
    One cool thing is I remember chickens and other birds regrow the little hairs in their ears and they're studying those genetics to see if they can implement it in humans. Probably a very long way off, but it's cool. As is deep brain electric impulses.
     
  9. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Ahh... for future generations, that they might not suffer the same way. It won't come in our time. Or not mine, at least.

    I didn't go to that many really, really loud ears-ringing concerts, but I did a few, and then, when I was doing labouring jobs in engineering factories in my early twenties, I used to enjoy the ringing crash from throwing pieces of steel plate on the pile. I suspect that that was one of the most damaging things I ever did to my ears.

    Whilst you have a whole octave on me, with hearing falling off (at the last test) from 8k, it is not as catastrophic as it sounds. Those with perfect hearing might want to play around with EQ and filters, and, never mind what is alleged to exist over 20K, there is not much in top octave of that. Missing some cymbal shimmer, some of the more tinkly bits of percussion, and the "air," but still getting plenty of music.

    In fact, I do better at music than I do at conversation!

    I'm not recommending it though. Youngsters, take care of your ears!
     
  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    My hearing tops out around 14khz. I have been to a few super loud concert without any protection. I remember my ears ringing following a concert but it would usually disappear after a day or so. A couple years ago I was testing my high frequency hearing and I was playing a little too loud and have had tinnitus ever since. The frequency is somewhere between 7-9khz. One thing I notice is that when I play a tone similar to what I am hearing that the sound disappears and I get some relief. I have also been reading a lot about neuroplasticity and phantom pain. I have been trying to retrain my brain to recognize real sound from my tinnitus with this site.

    http://plasticity.szynalski.com/
     
  11. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Thanks for all the replies, folks. Music is a big deal to me so it is a little unnerving dealing with this.

    Can anyone recommend a SPL meter that can be used for headphones? Thanks :).
     
  12. Tyll Hertsens

    Tyll Hertsens Grandpappy of the hobby - Special Friend

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    I've heard the SPL meters on phone apps are pretty accurate.

    Put a hole in a piece of cardboard to cover the pad. Stick the phone mic up agains the hole.

    Should be close enough. Or you can go to Radio Shack and get one of their hand held SPL meter and do the same thing.
     
  13. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    I've used earplugs (Leight Max) every day for ~15 years. My hearing has become more sensitive except above ~15k.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  14. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    I use the Sound Meter app in Android to check the SPL on mine. The mic on my phone seems to be limited to 85dB though, but that is already uncomfortably loud to me. I try to avoid going over 80dB.

    Usually it's more risky using open headphones in a noisy environment as you will crank up the volume without noticing. It's one thing I enjoy about proper sealing in ear monitors as one is able to enjoy your music without too much volume. Unfortunately nowadays with in ear monitors my tinnitus feels a lot louder due to the good isolation.
     
  15. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I just noticed the kitchen timer sounding rather weak, and coming from somewhere else. Either my hearing has taken another dip, especially on one side, or it's wax. It's usually wax. ENT doc visit next week...
     
  16. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    If you have an iPhone grab the SPLnFFT app. It's been tested accurate by NIST and is definitely good enough for quick and reliable measurements. (http://www.sandv.com/downloads/1507kard.pdf)

    I leave it running all the time during my DJ gigs so I don't push the sound level too much. (I wear -15dB musicians earplugs as the booth is usually right next the speakers)


    Edit: My hearing is still good to 17K but I have a minor issue with a the Eustachian tube in my right ear being a bit lazy. Also, right ear hearing (threshold test) is about 5dB down from the left though it's still above average. Left is just really good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    I met one of the researchers responsible for data that formed the OSHA standard. Had they known then how the data would be widely (mis)used for such regulations, they might have recommended the OSHA limits be 10 dB more conservative, closer to the NIOSH standards.
     
  18. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    This will provide more accurate results due to better coupling of the SPL mic to the headphone:
    http://home.hccnet.nl/joop.nijenhuis/headwize/hpdbmtre.htm
    I've built one similar and it is much more accurate than holding up the smartphone mic to the cans, especially with low frequencies. You need to be checking dBC to be safe with your ears.
     
  19. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    A research paper has been released about what seems to be a successful intervention on tinnitus.

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2022.758575/full
     
  20. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    Pretty small sample though, and all from the same hospital. I'd wait for larger replication studies before getting my hopes up. Also kinda wary of studies using SPSS in this day and age cos it's more difficult to see the exact analytical decisions made.
     

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