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Old 11th February 2006, 08:21 PM   #1
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Question Hearing damage

I've been concerned about my hearing lately. I'm 18 and last time I checked I could hear up to about 18.5Khz (well, anything above that and my soundcard seems to produce lower tones for some reason so probably a few Khz higher).

Every so often when I mess with my hifi I show my father the changes and he really likes to crank it and we listen for about 15 minutes. During this time it gets pretty loud, usually not far from the "pain" barrier, but sometimes loud transients hurt a bit. This concerns me a great deal but it doesn't happen very often, the worst case being once a week at the most. Another thing that worries me is that when breaking up wooden palettes for firewood, sometimes the springy planks make obscenely loud bangs when you hit them with a hammer which actually makes my ears ring for a few seconds. This happenes every other day, and has been going on for a couple of weeks (but not for long hopefully due to the weather getting better)

I've had tinnitus since around 7 or 8, and after the extended loud listening sessions it gets slightly worse for a few hours. This really worries me. I'd estimate this has happened about 20 times over the past 8 months however, the longest I'm exposed to the SPLs is about 15-20 minutes and I don't go to loud clubs or parties. These are the only loud things in my life.

Basically, I'm really worried that what I'm doing will ruin my hearing. Last summer I could hear bats in the evening, and I'm scared to think this summer I wont be able to (not that listening to bats gives me much of a thrill but the fact that I wont be able to hear them any more is significant )
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Old 11th February 2006, 08:52 PM   #2
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A good pair of earplugs is one of the best investments you can ever make (right up there with some good safety goggles). I always wear both were appropriate as I can't imagine loosing / damaging my hearing or sight. Grab a pair of Etymotic earplugs or similar and keep your dad's fingers away from the volume knob.

Hope you can still enjoy the music, and take steps to keep it that way.
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Old 11th February 2006, 08:59 PM   #3
Hara is offline Hara  United States
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Anything over 85db is not good for the ears. Like velmeran said, wear ear protection, whether ear muffs, or ear plugs, and tell your dad to lower down the volume.

Hear is some literature on hearing impairment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearing_impairment
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Old 11th February 2006, 09:30 PM   #4
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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I'm pretty worried now
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Old 11th February 2006, 11:17 PM   #5
SimontY is offline SimontY  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Don't start worrying about it excessively. But do get some ear plugs for the crate smashing! I'm often too lazy to wear ear protection when using power tools and things, but I never do anything continuously for very long.

Remember it's not transient bursts of loud noise that causes damage so much as it is sustained abuse. Things like rock gigs and distorted club sound systems are the worst. I went to a club a few weeks ago that seemed to have cranked the system way too far and we all came out 90% deaf. Even the next day my hearing was subdued. That's a sign of damage for sure, you want to avoid that. I keep meaning to get some ear plugs for clubbing...
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Old 12th February 2006, 12:03 AM   #6
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A "cottony" feeling in the ears is a good indication that things have been overdone a bit.

The little foam earplugs perform well for the cost and convenience, and are easy to keep for unexpected need. You might want something better for foreseen and especially noisy events.
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Old 12th February 2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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Not to make light of this but... I seem to wear ear plugs for most things even a little bit loud and then remove them so I can damage my ears during the loud music. Go figure.
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Old 12th February 2006, 04:20 AM   #8
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Certainly loud bursts of sound energy can damage hearing. Damaging the "hairs" inside the inner ear and surrounding tissue that connect to the auditory nerves. This can be a slow process and not be noticed until it is too late. I hear people all the time booming their car stereos and sometimes it is even loud in my car sitting in traffic beside theirs. I can only imagine what is taking place inside their ears sitting right in front of the speakers. I like loud music but there must be common sense involved. If it hurts, it is beyond too loud.

Target practice with firearms is a good way to release aggression and to hone in skills. However, safety is always first and MOST important. This certainly includes hearing safety. When firing large caliber firearms, one MUST use ear plugs or hearing gear. Try firing my brother's .50 cal Desert Eagle without ear protection and you would be in quite some pain. Would someone PLEASE answer the telephone ringing in my head? Same goes for rock concerts such as the Pantera, Metallica or Slayer concerts I have attended. (ear plugs recommended for these shows)


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Old 12th February 2006, 04:38 AM   #9
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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i have done much **** to my ears but my ears have cheated death many times. i think it is fine, they are still great. so don't worry aboiut your ears. enojoy life while you can, i say.
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Old 12th February 2006, 05:56 AM   #10
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And if you want to be anything other than stone deaf by the age of 40 I suggest you rethink that.
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