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  #1  
Old 02-07-2018, 06:21 PM
MouseyBrown MouseyBrown is offline
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Default Some honest advce re ears

Hi drummers, without wanting to bore you all, Iím basically a major hypochondriac. Iíve been drumming seriously for a year and have worn ear protection religiously. I wear in ears AND some of this industrial Peltor things over the top. And yet I still freak about my ears. I feel a bit of pressure in one of them, and it leads me to think things like Ďno matter how much I protect my ears, itís impossible to escape ear damageí. I never have ringing in my ears after playing or anything like that, but Iím just worried to be told that some how my ears are absorbing damage, no matter what I put over them. And it just gets me down and bummed cause it ruins something I love.

But am I just nuts?! Can anybody tell me it IS possible to be a drummer and not get hearing damage? Thanks all.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:31 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

It sounds like you're off to a good start on protecting your hearing!

I don't know if it's possible to completely eliminate hearing damage due to drumming, there must be some measurable effect, however minute. And, there'll be occasions musically and in life in general, where you simply can't avoid or may be unprepared for volume bursts.

But protection is smart, and you'll certainly minimize any damage through isolation and by keeping the volume down.

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Old 02-07-2018, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by MouseyBrown View Post
Can anybody tell me it IS possible to be a drummer and not get hearing damage?

Frankly, it's hard to be a human and not have some hearing damage and/or deterioration over the years of living. You're doing all the right things to minimize that, at least as far as drumming is concerned. Plenty of people encounter hearing loss from other causes, though, so be cautious about your surroundings if you can.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:50 PM
MouseyBrown MouseyBrown is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
Frankly, it's hard to be a human and not have some hearing damage and/or deterioration over the years of living. You're doing all the right things to minimize that, at least as far as drumming is concerned. Plenty of people encounter hearing loss from other causes, though, so be cautious about your surroundings if you can.
Haha I know....fact is our ears will get worse with age even if we live in a quiet cave our whole lives.

But I guess if my fears were justified, then by implication EVERY drummer would have some hearing issues. But the must be some who havenít. If just one person said they took care of their ears and drumming has done nothing to damage them, then Iíd be happy that Iím doing the right thing, and stop worrying.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:19 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

I also was always militant about wearing ear protection and to this day some 20 years after first picking up a pair of sticks, I do not have any type of tinnitus or noticeable hearing damage.

While I think you might be overdoing it with the double protection, you're on the right track and as long as you always carry plugs to the kit, you'll be fine.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

Anyone experiencing an extreme traumatic or repetitive loud sounds will have high frequency hearing loss-short answer-cause the high frequency hair cells are closer to the damaging traveling wave. I've never worn hearing protection, till more recent years, and when I was younger I was an avid hunter (more like Conan the Barbarian, but my abuses got me interested in anatomy, biology, ecology and nature which I pursued as a career) so lots of loud shotgun and rifle-my ears would ring for a couple days after dove or duck hunting, then later in life everyone wanted the loudest sound systems at home-and live concerts were extreme sound wise so my ears ringing again. Really didn't notice any loss till after a few years of vertigo and tinnitus that at first they thought was MťniŤre's disease but it turned out to be a benign tumor called a cholesteatoma in my middle ear in my 40s. It was huge and I lost hearing from the removal in my left ear. But my right ear has always been good (least I thought)-till my 50s and when I "finally" started using hearing protection but by then also needed hearing aids too. It's insidious you don't really notice till it hits the speaking frequency range. But I think a lot is age related as about all my friends-most between 50-70 all suffer from hearing loss. Yeah yeah "Be young be foolish be happy" snappy song but hell no-you are smart to wear hearing protection. But honestly no one in the 60-70s was touting hearing protection that I recollect. Another fine mess I've gotten myself into.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:47 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

You will probably suffer more damage going to a concert then playing drums with what you are wearing now.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
You will probably suffer more damage going to a concert then playing drums with what you are wearing now.
Yes, and on that note, every one, musicians especially should be wearing plugs at loud concerts.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:48 PM
single-ply single-ply is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

I agree with all here that you should stay vigilant with the hearing protection. However, I will add that I think the amount of damage done to our ears is to some degree genetic. I will fully admit that I am not good about wearing plugs for rehearsals, practicing, and concerts. I get frustrated that I can't hear the other instruments very well and everything sounds muddy, so I invariably take them out. Once out, everything sounds harsh and brittle for a while.

That said, I'm in my mid-fifties and have zero hearing loss, even at the high range, which is common to lose. I do consider myself lucky and not the norm.

If I could find some earplugs that reduce ALL frequencies EQUALLY, I would be all-in. Over the years, I've purchased several types, some very expensive, and none have made me happy.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by single-ply View Post
I agree with all here that you should stay vigilant with the hearing protection. However, I will add that I think the amount of damage done to our ears is to some degree genetic. I will fully admit that I am not good about wearing plugs for rehearsals, practicing, and concerts. I get frustrated that I can't hear the other instruments very well and everything sounds muddy, so I invariably take them out. Once out, everything sounds harsh and brittle for a while.

That said, I'm in my mid-fifties and have zero hearing loss, even at the high range, which is common to lose. I do consider myself lucky and not the norm.

If I could find some earplugs that reduce ALL frequencies EQUALLY, I would be all-in. Over the years, I've purchased several types, some very expensive, and none have made me happy.
There's some on the market now that are basically designed not to reduce anything until it gets over an unsafe DB level. I use the 15 DB vater plugs and can hear everything great. I hold conversations at normal levels without taking them out, then play heavy rock a moment later.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

Generally mammals don't regenerate their auditory hair cells after they are damaged , unlike fish, amphibia, birds and reptiles, but the genes that regulate the transformation of supporting cells that can turn into hair cells have been identified and artificially manipulated to partially restore hair cells and hearing in rodents. There are some interesting clinical trials trying to do so in humans too-which I follow in hopes of a restoration of my own hearing. Probably not in my lifetime but I still have hopes of having restored hearing. They always say hindsight is 20/20 but despite hindsight having good vision it can't hear a damn thing.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:00 PM
oldskoolsoul oldskoolsoul is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by MouseyBrown View Post
..Iím basically a major hypochondriac..

I think would be more wise to try to solve that problem, instead of trying to find a satisfying answer here that no one can give you for this..

And in the meantime just protect your ears like you are now..
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2018, 10:02 PM
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8Mile 8Mile is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
... the genes that regulate the transformation of supporting cells that can turn into hair cells have been identified and artificially manipulated to partially restore hair cells and hearing in rodents. There are some interesting clinical trials trying to do so in humans too-which I follow in hopes of a restoration of my own hearing.
I actually had some good success with a rather controversial procedure based on these trials. You can tell just by looking at this photo of me how much I'm enjoying my vastly-improved hearing.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2018, 11:53 PM
Mastiff Mastiff is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

I have minor tinnitus from playing super loud in an enclosed space when I was younger. My personal take on it is that you will have no significant hearing loss (attributable to drumming) if you simply wear anything to just take the edge off of the high end from snare and cymbals. I'm not an expert by any means. Having said that, I'm investing in some custom molds so I can reliably cut the drums and hear the music/click/whatever. A more likely hearing damage scenario for me is turning up the music to hear it over the drums.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:09 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseyBrown View Post
Hi drummers, without wanting to bore you all, Iím basically a major hypochondriac. Iíve been drumming seriously for a year and have worn ear protection religiously. I wear in ears AND some of this industrial Peltor things over the top. And yet I still freak about my ears. I feel a bit of pressure in one of them, and it leads me to think things like Ďno matter how much I protect my ears, itís impossible to escape ear damageí. I never have ringing in my ears after playing or anything like that, but Iím just worried to be told that some how my ears are absorbing damage, no matter what I put over them. And it just gets me down and bummed cause it ruins something I love.

But am I just nuts?! Can anybody tell me it IS possible to be a drummer and not get hearing damage? Thanks all.
Iíve worn hearing protection on and off over the years, and now at 52, I have suffered some loss, but itís not as bad as one would think. The culprits for me if youíre playing in a band, isnít necessarily your drums, but the errant noise from your better amplified friends. I cringe every time I see that picture of MITch Mitchell set up in front of Hendrixís Marshall stacks. I would say whenever youíre on a stage, wear hearing protection at all times. I have general earplugs that will cut 26 dB (like a gunshot) because you never know when something on stage will just freak out due to operator error.

But if itís just you playing drums, you just want to curtail anything painful, and just that goes a long way to protecting your hearing. In fact, if youíre super serious, I think there are several manufacturers now who make custom ear plugs that protect you up to 26dB, but also make all frequencies the same, so itís almost like natural hearing, but reduced to manageable levels. If you had those, you could do away with your Peltors.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:16 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Yes, and on that note, every one, musicians especially should be wearing plugs at loud concerts.
hear, hear! Sorry for the pun :)

I got sent deaf in one ear watching a concert. Fortunately it only lasted 30 mins after the gig. Your hearing is not worth messing with.

I always wonder who these sound guys are who cure everything with volume and how they get work?

On stage as long as you use earplugs there's no reason for any hearing damage, especially if you're micing up through a PA or in a small venue.
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:05 PM
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veecharlie veecharlie is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

I think you are pretty good right now.
I have the same fear, because I have the responsibility of flying (comply with medical standards).

let's just put stuff in numbers:
- hearing loss starts at 85db. The scale is logarithmic.
- average drumkit volume if you play with normal dynamics, should be around 90 to 100db.
- average of on ears (peltors) noise reduction is around 25db for the good ones.
so, let's say 100-25 = 75db. 75db is pretty much like your vacuum machine noise.
if you add in ears or ear protection below your on ears, you can get 30 to 35db more or less. so you can get it down to 65db. more or less.

Sounds good no?

In anyways, we have to remember we all experienced hearing loss nevertheless. doesn't matter if we play drums or not. Just take care.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2018, 06:45 PM
MouseyBrown MouseyBrown is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

Hey thank you all. Some good advice. Especially that my hypochondria is probably the issue I should get sorted!

But yeah it really also made me think I'm taking good care of my ears when I play drums, and that therefore there is no reason that drumming should be harmful. Which is good, because I really love it, and the more I practice and the better I get, the more and more I love it.

Also, it made me think that it really is nuts to worry about drums but not so much about other loud situations. I was in some bars last night which just made me cringe with how loud it all was. That's where I should be more careful.

So thanks again.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2018, 03:04 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

You are fine doing what you are doing now.

If you are getting no acute ringing, that is great.

Be careful though if you get into in-ear monitoring. This is where things can go bad if your monitors are not set-up correctly!
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2018, 04:14 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Some honest advce re ears

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Originally Posted by MouseyBrown View Post
am I just nuts?!
You answered your own question :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseyBrown View Post
Iím basically a major hypochondriac.

Your ears are gonna be fine.......but you might get hit by a bus.
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