I took a hearing test...

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
This is just a FYI for anyone or if you want to comment, compare notes/hearing. Although I'll be talking about myself, I was told that my case will be similar to other muso's so you might like to read.

So anyway, I expected hearing loss but the result was good... I have normal hearing. The hearing specialist charted out my test results and I was above the "normal" threshold, although I do have a dip in my ability to hear high frequencies.

Why did I think my hearing was bad? Well I'm a bit of a hypochondriac I guess but when I go to clubs I have really hard time hearing people speak and being heard, and in restaurants with bad acoustics, sometimes it gets to me and I want to get out of there. Same with watching live music, sometimes it feels like the loud volume is doing damage. The specialist said this just means I have good hearing and sensitive hearing, and sensitive ears are not a sign of hearing loss. I guess not being able to understand people is more of a social thing, and a comprehension thing.

I first started using proper ear protection (musicians earplugs and over ear headphones) in 2011, and using those made me realize how useless and potentially damaging it was for me to use regular earphones and cranking the music while I drummed along.

My hearing is very slightly better in the right ear. I don't know but my guess is it might have to do with my hi-hats abusing my left ear. The specialist noted that I have a dip in my hearing at 4000 (hertz?), and this is typical of musicians, there was a casual term for it, can't remember what it was.

She said because drums are generally low frequencies that whatever hearing loss I have suffered was probably because of the other loud noise in the music venues I was playing at, but the high cymbals of frequencies prob didn't cross her mind.

I actually went there to get new moulds made but I asked her if I should lose weight first (I've put on a bit of weight recently) and she said yes. It does change the shape of your ear canal and I remembered being told about this last time. The ears can change over time anyhow so I will work on not being a fat ass and then I'll go back and get new plugs made.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I was told at one time, maybe a college health class, that humans lose hearing in different ranges. My son speaks at a range that I find very hard to hear at times. When hs wife is with us I have no trouble hearing her. I would love to know what is the secret to the 4000 range, what is it we hear there.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
'Sibilance' is what the high-frequencies are often referred to as by audiologists. Often between 4,000-10,000 Hz. That's the 'magic' you're talking about Gruntersdad. The reason that people with high-frequency loss struggle is because they can't hear the tiny sibiliances at the end of speech - words use them a lot. Differentiating between words is largely done by the sibilance and if you can't hear them, you can't make out what people are saying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sibilant
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
It is very frustrating losing your hearing-I had tinnitus and vertigo for about four years and if not for being married and having young kids I would have blown my head off it was driving me crazy-i don't know how people live with long term. Eventually they discovered a benign tumor in my middle ear causing the problems-took a huge hearing loss in that ear with the cure. Still have some transient vertigo and tinnitus but I'm not staggering around like a drunken sailor anymore. I really miss my hearing and I'm in high hopes stem cell therapy might help with hearing loss. Men tend to lose hearing more so than women with age too. The higher frequency part of the Organ of Corti is closest to the eardrum and most prone to damage. I'm almost 60 so my good ear has decrease to the point of needing a hearing aid-my hearing loss in my good ear is right in the speaking range so dang communication is somewhat comical at times. I hate the artificial sound of hearing aids but they are a dramatic improvement with the digital over analog. It is really frustrating trying to hear other musicians and yourself, then too I don't know how much fidelity the sound I'm hearing is the real sound.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
When I separated from the military a couple of years ago I had to take a hearing test. I knew that I had tinnitus and hearing loss for years but I didn't realize how bad it was until the VA told me I had lost about half of the hearing in my left ear from 250hz to 1000hz. I have like a 70 dB loss at 250hz and an 80dB loss at 500hz. Luckily it is all really low freq so it doesn't affect my ability to understand people talking too much, but movies are brutal, when there is a lot of background noise everything kind of blends together.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
A friend studying Audiology at UA asked me to participate in a sample group for part of her finals. Having tinnitus already I was very interested. I have what she called a "standard 8K dip" which is what happens from prolonged exposure to high decibel levels. On a graph all of my frequencies are well above normal except for the 8000 kh range which is just normal. It affects sibilant sounds which in speech translates to k, t, ch sounds. From what I understand people with extreme tinnitus can only here vowel sounds.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I have what she called a "standard 8K dip" which is what happens from prolonged exposure to high decibel levels. On a graph all of my frequencies are well above normal except for the 8000 kh range which is just normal. It affects sibilant sounds which in speech translates to k, t, ch sounds.
Very interesting. Am guessing then a word like 'ketchup' or 'catch' is quiet washed out audibly for those with tinnitus.

I suspect in some cases the ear is a bit like other organs (say lungs or livers), to abuse or excesses in life. I've read/heard Jimmy Page still has an incredibly sensitive ear despite being next to Marshall stacks a good part of his life. Others fare not so well.
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Very interesting. Am guessing then a word like 'ketchup' or 'catch' is quiet washed out audibly for those with tinnitus.

I suspect in some cases the ear is a bit like other organs (say lungs or livers), to abuse or excesses in life. I've read/heard Jimmy Page still has an incredibly sensitive ear despite being next to Marshall stacks a good part of his life. Others fare not so well.
I've heard this about Page. In fact he just did the remix/remaster of Zeps entire catalog. I'm no good behind the board, well that's a bit harsh, I'll never be a professional producer, let's put it that way. That subtle ring I hear affects my mixes.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well I started drums at 10 (attended lots of rock concerts where my ears rang for days) and bird hunting (dove, quail, ducks) from about the same age on too (ears would ring for days after big shoots), then a tumor in my middle ear so I count my blessings I can hear anything. It's all good because with so little hearing I seem to sound much better with age LOL. Then too with growing senility I'll soon be convinced I'm a rock star LOL.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
I'm like you, Dre25 - i have the same sort of dip in hearing at that freq range but was happy to know much of the rest of my hearing was above normal. I also am very cognizant of my hearing and do what I can to prevent as much loss as possible, although I enjoy the occasional "blasting" of good rock music at home and in the car :) Once in a blue moon I have a ring in my right ear which lasts for a few minutes but I definitely attribute that to going to a 311 concert in my late 20's without earplugs and being 100 ft away from the speaker stacks. Never again will I make that mistake!

I have musician's plugs (custom molded) which I wear at every gig and major concert events to protect my hearing now. I consider my hearing an "asset" to my musicianship and want to enjoy playing as long as I can with good fidelity.
 
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