Hearing Damage, how do u know? without doctors checkup?
May 20, 2002 at 8:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

kenchi1983

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As a rule, there is no cure if our eardrums are damaged permanantly.

Duh.

Ive been listening to some mild punk rock music using my ksc50s.

As any owner will know, the ksc50s are very open....and thus sometimes we (or I) tend to turn up the volume even more just to get the maximum feeling from the music we're listening to. And with rock, we do this more often.

OF course, i only have the volume up more when theres a portion of the music that i love, easier to do this using a player with volume knob. But sometimes the track is so great, that you say to ureself "naw, few mins of this will not do any harm"


So heres my question, is there any thing i can do to know if im experiencing hearing damage without doing those doctor checkups?

Sometimes, i even tap something with my fingers, if i hear the slight sound.....then that means im still on safety hearing zone. ***Is this thinking good?****

Im only 18. With so much more years ahead of me.

On second thought, i am really going to buy those mx500s now. since i think it will have better isolation than the koss.


If you're wondering, i was listening to Zilch. some crazy sound band produced by japanese singer Hide.

Thanks for reading.
And im awaiting for your experienced comments.

wink.gif
 
May 20, 2002 at 8:49 AM Post #2 of 13

Jeff Guidry

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There is no substitute for a hearing exam administered by a professional. If you have any doubt, get a REAL exam and find out for sure.
 
May 20, 2002 at 1:42 PM Post #3 of 13

Jim R

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There is nothing you can do about past abuses but you can try to prevent future problems. Get a Radio Shack sound meter so you can actually measure how loud you are listening (the cheaper analog version is fine). Stick the microphone end next to your earpiece (where your ear would be) and measure the decibel level. Try to keep the vast majority of your listening below 70-80 dB and you will be fine. When I did this, I was surprised how loud these levels actually are - I rarely go much above this normally.
 
May 20, 2002 at 2:05 PM Post #4 of 13

phidauex

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Hearing damage is hard to detect... Traditionally, part of it includes a narrowing of your frequency response, but also dropping out of vocal ranges. Its not something people realize, but often voices are the first part of the range to 'go' when you have hearing damage. If you find yourself turning up EQs a lot in the mid-ranges, that can suggest hearing damage.. but by then its probably too late.

I'd look around for a hearing test. If you went to a doctor just for that, they would probably charge you up the ass. But keep your eyes open for free/cheap hearing testing events. They set up a bunch of booths, and just mass test people, either for free, or for some nominal fee, 5$ or something. Its focused on old people, so look around in places where they might put up ads for old people, like in the pharmacy department of grocery stores and stuff. They might look at you a little strange when an 18 year old comes to get their hearing tested, but it always pays to be safe!
smily_headphones1.gif


In the meantime, measuring your SPL levels is a good start.

I suggest reading the following article, its got lots of good info, and charts on safe SPL levels.

http://www.headwize.com/articles/hearing_art.htm

peace,
phidauex
 
May 20, 2002 at 4:16 PM Post #5 of 13

pedxing

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Check your medical plan and see if a visit to an audiologist is free or affordable. When I was a grad student, I got a free hearing test (or the insurance company lost the paper work and never charged me, not sure which yet and its been over a year). This is the only way to really find out if you have lossed any hearing.

Be careful with the SPL meter. 70-80 decibel source right next to your ears is not good. Usually the funny charts you can find on the web assume you are like 5-10 feet aways from the source and sound pressure dissipates over distances.
 
May 20, 2002 at 8:49 PM Post #6 of 13

phidauex

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The sound pressure charts are for dB SPL at your listening position. dB, being a relative measurement, does not have an absolute measure, it has to specify a distance. So commonly for speakers you see a rating in terms of dB SPL @ 1 meter. For headphone dB SPL, they are probably given in terms of dB SPL @ 2 cm, or whatever distance they expect your ear to be from the driver.

So if you measure 70 dB SPL at your ear's position next to the headphone driver, that is the same relative level of sound that you would be getting if you measured 70 dB SPL at your listening position in front of your speakers. It doesn't matter if the speakers are a mile away, or 1 cm from your ear, the dB SPL at your ear's position is the important value.

dB SPL does dissipate over distance, according to the inverse square law for radial wave propogation. In open space, whenever you doubled your distance from the source, you would halve the precieved volume, and it would go down by 6dB SPL. In a room, it doesn't go down that far because of reverberations and echos, but it still loosely follows the inverse square law. If you double the distance your ear is from the driver, it should be half the volume. This will be more accurate with an open headphone, because it more accurately simulates a free space situation.

peace,
phidauex
 
May 21, 2002 at 1:49 AM Post #8 of 13

FCJ

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I bought the analog one yesterday. It's easy to use and has made me rethink how loud I should be listening. $40 is pretty hefty, but I guess if it saves my hearing than it's the best $40 that I ever spent.
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May 21, 2002 at 2:29 AM Post #9 of 13

phidauex

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40$ is a steal for such a sensitive measurment instrument. There are definately better SPL meters out there, but you should be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars for anything surpassing the radio shack ones.

Besides, if you are happy to drop hundreds on equipment to destroy your hearing, you can afford to drop a few dollars on something that can help you protect it.
smily_headphones1.gif


peace,
phidauex
 
May 21, 2002 at 10:58 AM Post #10 of 13

newspaperguy

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Not sure if anyone else does this or not, but one way I "self-test" is by blocking out sound to my ears -- usually by putting my hands over them -- and listen for any ringing.

When I was in my teens and had particularly loud headphone listening sessions, I would hear a slight ringing afterward. This made me realize I was listening too loudly.

Same thing happens to me (and likely many of you) after a concert; I'll be driving home and will hear ringing in my ears. Again, it tells me I've exposed them to higher sound levels than they wanted to hear.

I'd say try this self-test first if you're afraid you're listening at dangerous levels. For me, the ringing always went away afterward (thankfully). But it certainly made me heed caution and change my listening habits.

Hope this helps.
 
May 21, 2002 at 7:38 PM Post #11 of 13

jerikl

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I'm kind of wondering about the slight ringing I hear when I'm in bed at night and everything is extremely quiet. I believe this happens to most people and is not really any sign of hearing damage. I can remember hearing this sensation when I was young, like, really young (before age 10). And sometimes, you can just, rub your ear or something and the ringing goes away. I guess my real question is, what causes this ringing? Is it because you have been hearing some form of noise all day and are finally exposed to the sound of nothing? I don't know... anybody?
 
May 21, 2002 at 8:41 PM Post #12 of 13

zzz

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http://www.headwize.com/articles/hearing_art.htm

This article goes into some detail explaining what causes the ringing. Quoting:

Quote:

If loud noise only damages the hair cells beyond their capacity to heal completely, then either hearing at certain frequencies will be diminished and/or the listener will suffer tinnitus, when the damaged cells fire continuously even though there is no real sound. Tinnitus is typically described as a persistent, loud buzz in the head at the frequency of the hearing damage. For some tinnitus sufferers, the buzz is very loud - 90dB or more - and can compromise the quality of life, not to mention completely ruin all ability to enjoy music. Diminished hearing can be corrected to a degree with hearing aids. Tinnitus is currently not curable, but there are treatments and devices to minimize its impact on the sufferer.


Maybe you should see a doctor (especially if you *don't* listen to very loud music).
 
May 21, 2002 at 9:21 PM Post #13 of 13

kerelybonto

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Yes, jerikl, that's normal if you're thinking of the same sound I am. If you've ever been alone in a good sound-proof room, you'll know there's two distinct sounds you can hear: a low-frequency rythmic thumping and a very high-frequency buzz.

The first is your heartbeat, obviously -- you've probably heard it in other situations, too, such as lying against your arm or after an intense aerobic workout or something.

The other sound, which is a bit like a much less intense version of the noise made by a TV or other electronic component when the volume is all the way down, is actually your central nervous system. Yep, you can hear it if it's quiet enough, and I sometimes notice it in a very quiet room, especially at night.

I don't have tinnitus, but I suspect the ringing caused by it sounds very much like the sound produced by your CNS, but much louder. If you start hearing a buzz in not-so-quiet surroundings, something's wrong.

By the way, I read a very interesting article about tinnitus probably a year ago that had a very positive outlook on potential treatment. I'll see if I can find it. ...

kerelybonto
 

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