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Thinking about hearing Loss - Permanently wearing earplugs

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Sup guys, so recently I've been in a dilemma

 

I think I've gotten hearing loss.

 

Pre 2010, My Iphone volume slider would be roughly 50-60%

Post 2011, My iphone volume slider tends to pass the 70% mark.

 

Of course, this is all subjective, but in all honesty - my Cowon J3 volume needs to be at a constant 30 (for me to enjoy comfortably)

 

You guys can discuss this as you wish, but my true subject is that of earplugs.


I'm thinking about having custom earplugs molded (which I'll wear as much as I can on any given day).

 

I am hoping this will re-sensitise my ears to sound (some great broscience here)

 

Any thought? :)

post #2 of 57

Go get your ears checked by an audiologist.  He'll give you back a graph showing exactly how your ears are doing with respect to various frequencies.  You might just have ear wax build up.  You might have hearing loss.

post #3 of 57

what do you do on a daily basis that can cause such hearing loss? occupational hazards?

 

if you have begun to have true hearing loss, you've already lost it - you won't be able to "re-sensitize" your hearing, so to speak, to regain the sensitivity that you've lost. what earplugs will do is perhaps prevent further hearing loss, but that's about it.

 

have you gotten your ears checked recently? significant wax build up or even impacted ears might be the cause rather than true neurological loss.

 

i don't know if you'd need custom plugs for hearing protection, unless your work is the true cause of your hearing loss. any foam plugs with about NRR 30 should suffice for normal day to day things.

 

i think the most important thing is to determine the primary cause of your hearing loss, and prevent any more of that happening, rather than wearing earplugs all day.

post #4 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendaryLvl1 View Post

Sup guys, so recently I've been in a dilemma

 

I think I've gotten hearing loss.

 

Pre 2010, My Iphone volume slider would be roughly 50-60%

Post 2011, My iphone volume slider tends to pass the 70% mark.

 

Of course, this is all subjective, but in all honesty - my Cowon J3 volume needs to be at a constant 30 (for me to enjoy comfortably)

 

You guys can discuss this as you wish, but my true subject is that of earplugs.


I'm thinking about having custom earplugs molded (which I'll wear as much as I can on any given day).

 

I am hoping this will re-sensitise my ears to sound (some great broscience here)

 

Any thought? :)


You listen to music very loudly to begin with.  My iPod rarely ever hits goes past 1/3 (actually, 37.5% is the highest I ever go nowadays; it hits just about 80dB in rough estimate).  I used to jack it up between 37.5% and 50%, but I've stopped.  This was enough, after years of exposure, to cause some ringing in my ears.  The ringing has since stopped with my last 8 months not passing 31.75% on my iPod.  How long do you listen to your iPod daily?  50% isn't too harmful for a couple hours (2 max).  It just goes down from there though, so listening at 70% is really harmful.

 

I'd go see an audiologist to see if he can help you out.  Do you get ringing in your ears at all? 

post #5 of 57

Something I took to using my phone was setting my volume limiter to ~50% and then listening around 3/4 volume, which effectively puts it around 37% overall volume. Lately using Equalizer, I've set my pre-amp volume to -19db and listen about 75% volume, although what kind of db that is out of the phones, I'm not sure, certainly quiet compared to most.

post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubercaffeinated View Post

what do you do on a daily basis that can cause such hearing loss? occupational hazards?

 

if you have begun to have true hearing loss, you've already lost it - you won't be able to "re-sensitize" your hearing, so to speak, to regain the sensitivity that you've lost. what earplugs will do is perhaps prevent further hearing loss, but that's about it.

 

have you gotten your ears checked recently? significant wax build up or even impacted ears might be the cause rather than true neurological loss.

 

i don't know if you'd need custom plugs for hearing protection, unless your work is the true cause of your hearing loss. any foam plugs with about NRR 30 should suffice for normal day to day things.

 

i think the most important thing is to determine the primary cause of your hearing loss, and prevent any more of that happening, rather than wearing earplugs all day.

I used to work in a warehouse (part time job for uni) - and they had some pretty loud noises what with all those forklifts and machinery.

 

I think I'll go for customs over universals - is there any significant difference?

 

 

post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post




You listen to music very loudly to begin with.  My iPod rarely ever hits goes past 1/3 (actually, 37.5% is the highest I ever go nowadays; it hits just about 80dB in rough estimate).  I used to jack it up between 37.5% and 50%, but I've stopped.  This was enough, after years of exposure, to cause some ringing in my ears.  The ringing has since stopped with my last 8 months not passing 31.75% on my iPod.  How long do you listen to your iPod daily?  50% isn't too harmful for a couple hours (2 max).  It just goes down from there though, so listening at 70% is really harmful.

 

I'd go see an audiologist to see if he can help you out.  Do you get ringing in your ears at all? 


Yes indeed I had/have Tinnitus, it only happens when I've been listening to music (at a loud volume) over an extended period of time, and even then it only happens for a few moments right before I go to sleep. But now with my general concerns, I've been avoiding loud music and thus the tinnitus has gone :)

 

post #8 of 57

I can appreciate that you think you have tinnitus--due to a ringing in your ears, no doubt--but as someone whose mom has tinnitus, I doubt it. Tinnitus is not something that is there "for a few moments".

 

Like others said: just get it checked by an audiologist already.

post #9 of 57

If you are using sub-32ohm iems at that volume, then I'm guessing its hearing loss, I crank my volume up to 30% on a loud bus, and use only 10% or less during quite times, even at that volume my hearing has degraded compared to a year ago, when I only needed 5% during quite times.  Most people turn their volume up to 30%~50% But I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it was indeed hearing loss, just get some ear plugs to prevent further hearing loss in loud conditions and use lesser volume. Whats lost is lost. 

 

Good luck and hope its just ear wax atsmile.gif

post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

I can appreciate that you think you have tinnitus--due to a ringing in your ears, no doubt--but as someone whose mom has tinnitus, I doubt it. Tinnitus is not something that is there "for a few moments".

 

Like others said: just get it checked by an audiologist already.


?? Tinnitus is tinnitus regardless of duration

 

post #11 of 57
I'm sorry, I understood tinnitus to be a permanent condition.

Still, why aren't you getting your hearing checked if you're concerned it's damaged?
post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

I'm sorry, I understood tinnitus to be a permanent condition.

Still, why aren't you getting your hearing checked if you're concerned it's damaged?


Because as you said before, once it's been affected, the damage is irreversible. 

So the only thing to do is to protect my hearing from this point forward. I'm just wondering what kind of earplugs to get :+

 

post #13 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendaryLvl1 View Post




?? Tinnitus is tinnitus regardless of duration

 


Tinnitus usually refers to severe permanent tinnitus; not intermittent or temporary. Most people hear ringing when in a completely silent room when exposed to louder noises previously.

 

Start cutting back the volume or cut back on music listening if you want your sensitivity to return. Having your ears constantly hearing something loud is desensitizing them.


Edited by wind016 - 8/11/11 at 4:33am
post #14 of 57

There is a huge difference between custom and universal plugs, primarily in the area of sound quality. Best way to go is the ER Series Musicians Earplugs, offered by several manufacturers. The are based around the ER Series filters, developed by Etymotic. These are amazingly flat filters, eliminating the muffled/veiled sound quality from any OTC hearing protection. They are available in -9, -15 and -25 dB strength; your audiologist will help determine which is appropriate for you.

 

I recommend Sensaphonics, as theirs are made from soft-gel, medical-grade silicone -- the most comfortable for long-wearing situations. Cost is $150 plus the audiologist visit -- which you definitely need as well. Sensaphonics Golden Circle audiologist network is also recommended, as they are trained specifically in working with IEMs.

 

http://www.sensaphonics.com/?p=331

 

Regarding hearing loss: it's usually subtle, slow and progressive. If it's exposure-related, smart listening habits can help a lot. The important thing is to get a baseline hearing test, then get retested annually. (You have your eyes and teeth checked annually; why not your ears??)

 

The apparent dearth of knowledge on hearing health on hi-fi sites continues to amaze me. Seems like people who love great sound would want to optimize their ability to hear it, long term.

 

Anyway, congrats on deciding to do something about your situation. And good luck!

post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackKontney View Post

There is a huge difference between custom and universal plugs, primarily in the area of sound quality. 

 

I've not listened to custom fit myself, but in a thread I was reading here yesterday people put the difference in SQ at about 15%. I'm not saying that you're wrong, but I think there is a large degree of subjectivity (as always with audio) multiplied by the degree to which stock plus fit you.

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