Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I can hear perfectly fine--I'm just not listening

Ear trumpet I hear perfectly fine.  When I'm not in a crowded room, or if someone is looking at me.  The rest of the time?  Not so much.

What happened?

For more than 25 years, I wore earphones to listen to music.  When I went to concerts, I didn't wear ear protection.  (I didn't wear it when I cut the lawn, or in other noisy places, like working in a machine shop for 18 months.)  All that loud music had an accumulative bearing on what I can now hear.

I gave up earphones when I lost my day job.  No need to wear them anymore.  I do have an MP3 player, but usually I plug it into my little speakers, which don't play very loud--just loud enough.

RushWhen you're younger, you don't care about the long-term effects of noise.  Years ago, I remember going to a Rush concert, and when we came out my brother was rather proud of the fact his ears were ringing.  I was smart.  (I had put in earplugs before the concert began.)  Two hours of explosively loud music had damaged my brother's hearing just a little bit more.  Me?  My ears weren't ringing.  I went to one more concert after that, and since have been to none.  The music is just too loud, and I now value my precious ability to hear more than I value a couple of hours of listening to a favorite band live. (That's why they have live albums.)

I suppose eventually I'll have to get a couple of hearing aids, and I'm not looking forward to that day.

How about you?  Have you damaged your hearing?