How to tame...

Dear folks,
I love live music more than my rig or my music collection but lately I started feeling a hearing loss and almost stopped visiting concert venues. I observe it especially when talking over the phone having an effort to recognize spoken sentences and words and at a distance or when someone is not looking at me directly. Is there anything that I can use to tame the loudness at the concert venues? Is there anything I have to do at my work place since it's often getting hard to communicate with me especially over the phone?... Is there anything could be done besides getting a hearing aids at my age of 35?
Several musicians, including Pete Townshend, have suffered damage to their ears from listening to loud music, especially tinnitus. He, and others, now wear earplugs when they play and recommend that concertgoers do the same.
I don't know if I have suffered hearing loss, so I guess I'm lucky. I do remember concerts where I have come home and have had my ears ringing through the next day.
You might want to talk to a doctor to isolate the cause of the hearing loss. Once you know why it's happening, and there could be lots of reasons other than exposure to noise, you can then address it. Smoking, exposure to solvents, infections, fluid in the middle ear and other factors can all lead to hearing loss. There are also different types of loss with different treatments. Get it checked out. It'll cost less than a new cable and may produce much better results. Kidding aside, please check it out.
This is my biggest gripe. WHY do we have to listen to music so LOUD?? Then we wonder what hapeened to our hearing. OSHA gives fines to companies who's employees are NOT wear hearing protection and yet OSHA looks the other way at resturants, concerts, Ipods, and etc! I HATE ROCK MUSIC FOR THIS REASON!!!! There is NO REASON rock music has to be played loud. Just this morning, at the bagel shop, I gave an order to a younger person and see couldn't hear me and gave me wrong thing. All because she couldn't hear.

One of the my beloved gifts is to hear my stereo, (NOT LOUD)!
Get to a friggin' ENT and get tested and're too young to have a big problem....something is wrong...get it checked out now.
Two people to consult: Otolaryngologist and audiologist. It may not be sensorineural hearing loss, but even if it is, I suspect that in the next ten to twenty years hair cell auditory receptor regenerative therapies will have been developed. In the meantime, wear good quality attenuating ear plugs. Great for lots of things: airports, airplanes, long (or short) car rides with the kids, rock concerts, Imax movies, Omnimax movies, regular movies at home or in the theater, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, using power tools, watching televised presidential addresses (either party, it doesn't matter at all), and the list just goes on and on.
Hi Marakanetz. I recognize your symptoms. I have a hearing impairment myself, mostly caused by bad genes on both sides of my family. At least it's isolated primarily to one ear in my case. I've talked to audiologists, family doctors and medical specialists to discuss the issue. Also, my brother in law is an ear, nose, throat specialist, so he's been a useful source of information too. The news I might pass on to you is likely to be somewhat pessimistic.

Visit your general practitioner/family doctor first. If you're really lucky, it may be something like a chronic middle ear infection which can be cleared up. Another possiblity is that you have an ear wax buildup to the point where your ear canal is plugged. If it is this, your ear canal can be flushed out and it will be back to normal. Although if you're prone to wax buildup, it's likely to occur again with time so ear flushing will be a regular event every couple of years. Flushing only takes about thirty seconds. The doctor simply uses a large syringe to jet some water into your ear to clean it out. It's gross what comes out.

If it isn't an infection or wax buildup, there are two general categories of hearing loss.

The first is mechanical. Basically, the small bones in your middle ear become more rigid and don't respond to air borne vibrations as easily. This usually occurs with age. It's a "normal" ageing process. This can be corrected by surgery. What they do is bypass the bones by inserting a small wire. The wire mechanically transmits the sound instead of the bones. This is an effective operation, but it is a delicate procedure. There is a chance that the operation will fail and you might lose hearing completely in the operated ear.

The second reason for hearing loss is nerve damage. This is not reversable, at least not until genetic engineering gets to the point where we can manipulate and regenerate nerve cells. A hearing aid is all you can do for this, and even then, only to the extent that you have some nerves left to transmit what the hearing aid picks up.

Hearing loss sneaks up on you. It usually starts in the teenage years, then a few years later, all of a sudden you notice you have a problem. The damage is already done. You tend to lose high frequencies first. This has the effect of making conversations and TV viewing difficult. Without the higher frequencies, voices become more muffled. You compensate by turning up the volume, or leaning closer to the person wyou're speaking with. You also start to say "Pardon Me" a lot, asking people to repeat themselves.

You also start to lose the ability to locate the source of sounds. Our brain use time differences in the arrival of sounds to our two ears to help to locate a sound producing object in space. As our hearing deteriorates, the brain isn't getting the information from our ears. Thus it has a harder time locating the source of a sound. That's why you need to be looking at somebody in order to identify the source of the sound. You need your eyes to locate what your ears cannot.

If you go to live rock concerts, consider ear plugs, or just don't go. If you can feel the music vibrating through your feet, it's too loud for your ears. Think of those little bones in your ears slamming against each other. Even if you can't feel the vibrations in other parts of your body, if your ears tell you it's too loud, believe what your body is telling you. If your ears ring after you leave the room, the music was too loud to be safe. If you hear ringing the next day, you have suffered hearing damage. Maybe not a lot if it was just once, but it accumulates. It will catch up with you.

Ncarv, from you post above. Bad news man. It's starting for you. Your body's warning you.

You asked if there's anything you can do to tame the music. Yes, ...earplugs. Either that or turn it down. If you can't turn it down because it's a concert, don't go. Buy the video so you can control the volume. Sorry. It's not a joke.

Please see your doctor.
Even Pete Townshend says that the hearing damage occurred not from performing, but from playing/listening on headphones.
Beware of those insidious devices.
Also, you might consider attending more concerts of un-amplified music, and less of the amplified variety. A good mix of the two is a good thing.
I still like the rock show, but I probably spend more time at Orchestra Hall (Chicago) now that I'm getting old (39) and don't enjoy up to 3 days of ringing in my ears (which happened once after a Bob Mould show).

I also second the motion that you run, don't walk, to a doctor for a check of your hearing. We all suffer hearing loss as we age, but for most it's gradual and you don't really notice it too much.

Cheers, and good luck.


Our noise-filled urban environments tax and often damage our hearing abilities. Jackhammers, lawn mowers, boomboxes, etc.etc.are likely to take their toll. But not all diminishments of our abilities to make sense of sound stimuli relate primarily to the "ears" as such. Sometimes there are degredations in processing abilities that compromise our understandings of the speech of others. In any case, it is very important to have competent medical personnel examine you.
You're right.
It started earlier but don't know how far for sure.
Now as you speak I'm not able to locate the source of a sound.
If smocking does affect, I do consume marijuana if not daily than every other day?...
However I do not smoke cigerettes and very rare I smoke pipe or cigar.
See doctor now.
He should be able to get you ear plugs custom fit for you.
They make some that, supposedly, mute the SPL evenly throughout the audible spectrum. THis way you can still fully enjoy the concert without sharing in the hearing loss of those around you.

Best of luck!