Have you had a hearing test?

I'm 49 years old and work on cars for a living so I'm exposed to noisy air tools, engines, grinders and other loud noises. Plus I spend about three hours a day listening to my stereo system with the average level in the 80db range, sometimes louder when the mood strikes. The other day, a customer came in and requested I take a test drive with him to listen for a "jingle bell" noise emanating from under his car and once under way he remarked "there it is, do you hear it" and I told him I didn't hear anything that sounded like a "jingle bell" noise. My service advisor then rode with him and he told me he could hear the noise but not identify it. So, my 30 year old service advisor could hear the noise but not golden eared me, hmmm. I decided the best course of action would be to have my hearing tested. I checked in the yellow pages and found to my surprise that there were many centers that offered free hearing tests. Yep, absolutely free. The test took about 40 minutes of my time including filling out the questionaire and personal information forms. The results for me were better than I expected. I do have slight high frequency loss but excellent hearing up to the 2K range on the Audiometry test. I checked some sites on the web under the topic "hearing test results" and found I'm in pretty good shape for my age group. Almost all men my age will exhibit some loss but I wanted to establish a benchmark now so that I can take the exam again in a year and monitor any changes. I will definitely be more aware of sheltering my ears from loud damaging noises since I have already experienced some hearing loss. I also found a chart on the web that indicated the maximum recommended time exposure to certain db levels which was very informative. The 95db max was two hours, so if you are going to crank up the tunes, keep it short. I would recommend all you Hi End enthusiasts get your free test and establish a base line, even if you are not forty.
I did the same thing as I was always feeling bothered that I was hearing a little less out of the right ear. I felt a constant nag of worrying that the balance was slightly tilted to the left. My hearing test showed that I had 100% in the left and 96% in the right. The audiologist said that was considered 100% overall, but that maybe I was noticing that very slight reduction in the right. I think I was really starting to become a hypocondriach over it, but after getting the test and finding out everything was OK, it helped me to stop worrying about it so much.

It really is a good idea to get a hearing test to get a benchmark of where your hearing is at so that if it does decline you will know how much.

A great thing to have done is custom ear mold ear plugs. They are so much more comfortable than the foam ones. I regularly wear mine almost all day in noisy work situations and when I pull them out at the end of the day my ears feel refreshed and crisp. You can get vented ones that knock of 20db, you can still hear most things clearly and still protect your ears from sudden loud noises that unexpedetly occur. You can get the hearing test and the molds done all in one stop at most hearing centers
To anyone who cares to hear, "PLEASE WATCH YOUR HEARING, AND VALUE YOUR EARS!".
This is the best advice I ever got in the audio business. And I like to think my hearing is "much keener" for it!
I've had to repeat myself on far to many occasions while speaking to elderly people, whom didn't protect their hearing when they were younger. It's sad(not to mention a neusance and a bother).
I've also been pressured by MANY guys over he years, at both concerts and racing events, that "covering my ears just WASN'T MANLY OR MACHO!"..AND OTHER COMPLETE IDIOTIC INFERENCES!
What complete morons some of these people are!!!!..."not manly!"...please!. I've had guys stand right next to me at the drags, while "deafening" Top Feulers cam roaring buy at ear bleed noise levels, comment to me that "I must be joking in covering my ears!!!!", or that "real men can just take the pain"!...COMPLETE TOTAL FREAKILNG IDIOTS!!!!!!!..hillbillies really.
I've gotten these same kinds of coments at concerts and from band members saying, "you'd never be a band member if you couldn't withstand the noise level!".
Yeah, and these rocket scientists will all be "TONE-DEAF" REAL QUICK LIKE!!!!...GARANTEED!..NOT MAYBE..GARANTEED FACT!
So, my moral is "don't be pressured into thinking that protecting your ears at the Gun range and construction sight is for sissy girls!". It's these middle earth hillbilly nincompoops that you always see at the local BBQ and racing events with "beet read faces and backs" gettin "BBQ'd", who's skin looks like fruit-leather, who simply won't take care of themselfs, because they're supposed "real men!".....NONSENSE!
Be aware OF YOUR HEARING AT ALL COST!. Let everyon else around you go deaf if they want. We'll build more hearing aides for em later.
Despite playing in a rock band for over 15 years, my hearing is still "above average". I had it tested not too long ago, and at the same session, I had molds taken for custom earplugs. These have been invaluable, as they fit very well, are invisible to the eye, and can accomodate different "mufflers" for various levels of attenuation. Best of all, the sound remains clear, just quieter. In truth, I find them more helpful for the rare times that I get to hear another band (as opposed to when I am playing). In most cases, the sound levels hitting the audience are much higher than those that the musician's experience on stage. Interestingly, our lead singer/rhythm guitar player has suffered significant hearing loss, which is what prompted me to get this last test (I have had several other tests over the last 5-6 years, too). It is strange that we have been in the same band for 15 years, have had the same exposure (neither of our jobs involve high SPLs), and one of us experiences significant loss, while the other is (apparently) not effected.
While my own hearing is quite good I am finding it harder to isolate background noise from that which I am attempting to hear. I understand this is quite common.

So, while a hearing test can reveal many things with those head phones on, even those of us who still have really good hearing can find ourselves frustrated.

It is much like the husband, sitting in the living room, doubling the volumn on the television when the wife turns on the kitchen fan.