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Horrible hearing shock!
Horrible hearing shock!
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Old 1st August 2006, 03:46 PM   #1
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
Unhappy Horrible hearing shock!

I've always considered myself to have really good hearing. I'm 19, and can hear some kinds of bats as they fly past. However, recently my hearing seems to have gone downhill. I started to suspect something when certain sounds - like a running tap or something with a lot of higher harmonics, had lost their 'bite'. They didn't sound as sharp as they used to. It was quite a subtle effect, but I'm pretty sure I noticed something.

A lot of electronics emit lots of HF noises from hard drive motors etc, even my LCD monitor does. A while ago I noticed that I could only hear all the HF junk if I turned my head so my PC was on the right of me, but not to the left. At first I dismissed this has me not positioning my left ear properly as HF sounds are very directional. However, today I was taking some pictures with a digital camera. The LCD display in it makes a high pitch, and I could only hear it holding it up to my right ear. This worried me so I put on some headphones and used the tone generator in WinISD and played 18Khz (the highest my soundcard seems to manage without having some kind of weird distortion). I could hear it. I put the balance to the left - nothing at all! I turned the headphones around, I could hear it. Listening with my left ear, I lowered the tones, getting more and more worried, passing 17,16,15Khz which I could barely hear until I got to 14Khz which seemed even with my other ear.

14khz is pretty rubbish for a 19 year old, and I'm pretty sure both my ears worked evenly not that long ago. Despite this, my hearing actually SOUNDS fine, music doesn't sound any less good, It's just a shame my hearing suddenly deteriorated like it did
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Old 1st August 2006, 03:51 PM   #2
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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I'll bet it is a temorary thing... wax maybe...

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Old 1st August 2006, 03:53 PM   #3
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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Don't DIY and go see a good doctor. You seem to be gifted exceptionally so do all you can to preserve it.

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Old 1st August 2006, 04:04 PM   #4
PeteM is offline PeteM
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Don't DIY and go see a good doctor.
Agree.. and don't use cotton buds

Only DIY I use on my ears is Audiclean available at BOOTS Chemist http://www.audiclean.co.uk/

Oh welcome to getting old add a few more decades to 19 and you will be catching me Then you notice smd is a problem
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Old 1st August 2006, 04:08 PM   #5
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Now you mention it - my ears do feel a bit waxy, however there's one thing I forgot to mention

One time on a coach journey a couple of years ago me and my friend were listening to his walkman, one earplug each. (It think I had one in my left ear) The problem is, he had it on stupidly loud and I don't really know why I didn't say anything or even listened to it for any period. It was pretty stupid. When I got off the coach my left ear was definately less sensitive than my right, it lasted a while but not THAT long. I definately realised it was stupid of me even back then.

I think that's pretty much the worst abuse my ears have ever had I think, but does not include these:

Being in a night club a couple of times

Smashing up wood with a hammer for firewood, sometimes the CRACK of the wood would make my ears shriek at about 6Khz for a few seconds - this is also pretty terrible, I started wearing ear defenders.

Listening to a hifi with my dad pretty stupidly loudly but not very often and only for about 20 minutes

I recently went to stock car racing. It was SO LOUD, but NO ONE ELSE seemed to be aware of how PAINFULLY loud it was!! Cars without silencers! I stood as far back from the track as I could while my friends seemingly obvlivously stood really near the track. I warned them but they didn't seem to think it was that loud My ears still hissed as I went to bed afterwards.

I seem to have a much lower pain threshold in my hearing than most people, which is odd. I think I've listed all the abuse my hearing has had, and none of it was on a regular basis but it's quite a lot of things, so it does still worry me. I do try to avoid loud things, but sometimes you just get exposed to loud stuff
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Old 1st August 2006, 04:53 PM   #6
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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professional evaluation is a good idea

simple explantion of the problem:


cheap protection:

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Old 1st August 2006, 05:05 PM   #7
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Horrible hearing shock!
Or maybe you should change your taste in music, what ever that may be
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Old 1st August 2006, 05:18 PM   #8
angsuman is offline angsuman  United States
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I carry those etymotics around with me where ever I go. They really help in many situations, such as a party, a CES convention, noisy restuarant etc. I'm sure in the long run they'd be the best $12 investment i've made to protect my hearing. Being 16 and being able to hear up to 20khz rules. (Though tones are painful that high). Yea i'd definately go get that checked out a doctor. Maybe you've recently had some loud sound that only your left ear was exposed to gunshot, fireworks, etc.
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Old 1st August 2006, 05:50 PM   #9
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Horrible hearing shock!
Hi bigwill,
I've done most of what you have done, and more (being north of 45 years old). This includes industrial noises, gunshots on and on.

Being a lucky fella, I had just had my hearing checked and it's pretty good. Better than most. No matter how you try, something will always surprise you and make a big noise.

In a night club, avoid drinking too much. Things tighten up in there when you are sober, not when you are drunk. This helps save your hearing.

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Old 1st August 2006, 05:53 PM   #10
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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Horrible hearing shock!
The cure fore young people with over sensitive hearing, which stresses them....well, its listening to music

Honestly I think you need some high quality DIY "gear", to get your hearing straight
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