IEMs bad for your ears?
Mar 13, 2009 at 3:17 AM Post #16 of 49

nickdawg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MegatronRx /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Audiologists and ENTs sell custom molds because they make money off of them. Putting something in your ear is unnatural and should only be recommended for people who have hearing disorders or other ear complications. IMHO, if you don't have any of those aforementioned problems there is no medical reason to place a foreign object up your ear.



Uhh, what about people working with loud equipment? Or going to concerts? Or any other situation where hearing protection is required? When I'm working, I'd rather take the risk
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of shoving the earplugs in my ears than subject them to loud noise and hearing damage. Same goes with music. Same goes with music. I'd rather wear IEMS/canalphones that block noise and do not have to be played as loud.

There's plenty of natural reasons for putting earplugs in your ears. People are wearing them every day. If there was anything bad about them, we'd know about it!
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Mar 13, 2009 at 6:08 AM Post #17 of 49

jsmithepa

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If there was a prob with IEM, musicians would had stopped wearing them a long time ago. IEMs, b4r it was mass-marketed, was worn by musicians for years (decades?)
 
Mar 13, 2009 at 7:44 PM Post #18 of 49

MegatronRx

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Jazzdude and nickdaw,

I totally agree with ear protection in noisy environments and even commuting. It's the lesser of two evils. On the one hand you'll be creating an ideal environment in your ear for wax build up and bacterial proliferation. On the other, you'll be be protecting your ear drum against damage. The risk of ear wax impaction and bacterial infection is quite low so in my opinion, you need to wear ear protection in those circumstances.

On the other hand if you're using IEMs for purely entertainment purposes you are subjecting your ears to an uncomfortable and potentially harmful experience without the added benefit of protecting your eardrums. In fact you're placing a speaker quite close to your ear drums which can further damage them.

In the instance where you are using IEMs for protection from noise and for listening to music the benefits may be outweighed by the harmful effect of the music playing in your ear. Everyone seems to suggest that you play these babies at a low volume, however, I sincerely doubt most people follow these specifications. Most people turn these babies up way past a safe volume level. Psychologically speaking it's tempting to turn headphones up to have the immediate benefit of a enjoyable musical experience vs. the long term costs of hearing loss.
 
Mar 13, 2009 at 8:07 PM Post #19 of 49

El_Doug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MegatronRx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Everyone seems to suggest that you play these babies at a low volume, however, I sincerely doubt most people follow these specifications. Most people turn these babies up way past a safe volume level. Psychologically speaking it's tempting to turn headphones up to have the immediate benefit of a enjoyable musical experience vs. the long term costs of hearing loss.


sadly this holds true to the same extent with speakers, full sized cans, clip-ons, and earbuds. so really, is it fair to use that argument to put down IEM's?
 
Mar 13, 2009 at 8:46 PM Post #20 of 49

MegatronRx

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Quote:

Originally Posted by El_Doug /img/forum/go_quote.gif
sadly this holds true to the same extent with speakers, full sized cans, clip-ons, and earbuds. so really, is it fair to use that argument to put down IEM's?


I agree that other sound equipment causes the same problem, however, I find that a lot of IEMs market themselves as protecting your hearing so I think it is fair to single them out vs. other audio equipment (FYI, noise canceling headphones are also a fair target). I've also found in the Toronto area that Shure has audiologists as authorized dealers of their products. Furthermore, ENTs and audiologist make form fitting ear attachments that can fit onto IEMs. This doesn't seem right to me and almost a conflict of interest. Kind of like a respirologist selling less harmful cigarettes to his patients.

I believe the noise isolation aspects of IEMs are great but what makes me hesitant about them is that they are placing a phone even closer to your ear-drum so in some ways the benefits are being outweighed by the risks.
 
Mar 13, 2009 at 8:52 PM Post #21 of 49

theBigD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jazzdude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have been using IEMs for several years, and obviously they are very popular in general. I recently went to the doctor and he told me that I have some earwax slightly impacted in one ear that will need to be flushed out. I have no idea whether the IEMs played a role in that, but it seems it would make sense. The old maxim is "never put anything in your ear bigger than your elbow." Oddly, though, I've never seen anything written about canal phones being a problem and, in fact, audiologists/ENTs often sell custom molds for earphones. Has anyone else encountered a problem like this or have any knowledge in the matter?


Youre IEMs are bigger than your elbow?
 
Mar 13, 2009 at 8:55 PM Post #22 of 49

El_Doug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theBigD /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Youre IEMs are bigger than your elbow?


i think the OP meant "pinkie"
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 1:17 AM Post #23 of 49

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No, actually the saying is "bigger than your elbow". It's a "tongue-in-cheek" way of saying that you should never put anything in your ears. The point I was trying to make (perhaps no so artfully) is that despite the fact that doctors will tell you never to put anything in your ear canals, people do just that every day with IEMs and there seems to be little discussion about whether this is potenitially harmful except with respect to the danger of playing music too loudly.

As MegatronRX correctly points out, there are other issues to consider also, such as the hospitable environment that wearing IEMs for long periods of time can provide for bacteria, etc. that can cause infection and the fact that pushing the IEMs into one's ears can cause earwax to become impacted in the canal. While you will often hear people say that you need to keep your ears clean, ENTs will tell you that earwax is there for a reason and that the ear canals never really need to be cleaned, absent a specific issue.
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 3:29 AM Post #24 of 49

Bonthouse

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This is actually realy simple right?
If you don't stick something in your ear, the wax build up will be normal, if you do stick something in there, there will be way more earwax, so you compensate by taking the excess earwax out.
The trick is to leave as much in as needed, so don't go OCD on trying to have the cleanest ears on the planet, because that's baaaaad.
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 3:40 AM Post #25 of 49

MaloS

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There is an argument that I am hearing over and over that makes NO sense to me. How is extra proximity of a driver to the ear any worse? How is a sound wave any different from 20 feet and 1/8th of an inch?
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 4:36 AM Post #26 of 49

a3plew

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Iem's allow you to enjoy music at lower volumes, becuase you dont have to turn it up as much to drown out the background sounds and due to the driver being closer to your ear. If people are dumb enough to crank them up to max they deserve to go deaf.
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Its all about the spl in the dba weighting that will be damaging. 110dba from over the ear or 110dba in your ear is just as damaging and not safe.
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Mar 14, 2009 at 4:42 AM Post #27 of 49

MaloS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by a3plew /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Iem's allow you to enjoy music at lower volumes, becuase you dont have to turn it up as much to drown out the background sounds and due to the driver being closer to your ear. If people are dumb enough to crank them up to max they deserve to go deaf.
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Its all about the spl in the dba weighting that will be damaging. 110dba from over the ear or 110dba in your ear is just as damaging and not safe.
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That's what I am thinking too ^_^.
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 2:04 PM Post #28 of 49

Bonthouse

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With IEM's there is a vacuum created in the ear, and I think that is bad according to many doctors.
I just stick them in my ear so I don't have to listen to conversations about party'ing and make-up while commuting, and can listen to a soundlevel I like, instead of turning up the earbuds volume to hear something instead of other people's conversations.
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 4:12 PM Post #29 of 49

boomy3555

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I find that the increased heat generated by the seal of my Customs makes it necessary to clean my ears more often as the wax is softened by the heat, flows to different parts of the ear and then remains there when cooled by the air upon removal of the IEM's
 
Mar 14, 2009 at 4:18 PM Post #30 of 49

boomy3555

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bonthouse /img/forum/go_quote.gif
[size=small]With IEM's there is a vacuum created in the ear, and I think that is bad according to many doctors.[/size]I just stick them in my ear so I don't have to listen to conversations about party'ing and make-up while commuting, and can listen to a soundlevel I like, instead of turning up the earbuds volume to hear something instead of other people's conversations.


The eustachion tubes provide a path between the inner ear and your throat so there is no vaccum. The is a slight feel of pressure while the air pressure is balanced, but no true vaccum. If you insert and remove them slowly and gentley, there should be no problem. The benefit comes from the ability to lower the volumes at which you listen because the seal helps block out outside noises that one would normally compensate for with higher music volumes.
 

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