If you are older than 25, I have a question to ask you.
Remember all those things your parents said about loud noises, particularly loud music? Well they were right. The louder you listen to things, the more problems you are creating for yourself when you are older.
Let me explain.
When I was younger, I enjoyed listening to loud music. One of the proudest moments of my young life was when I purchased my first sound system ($100 I think is what I saved to buy it). I listened to it loud. It was the 70s; it’s what you did.
Later I bought a Pioneer 8-track player for the car I drove. Music was louder then.
Fast forward to my early 50s, and the ringing in my ears is with me all the time. It never goes off, never gets quiet. Always ringing.
And yes, I know that tinnitus is not caused by to loud music as much as it is likely caused by a single extremely loud noise that affects the neurons related to the hearing process (or, in my case, since I can recall when it was not a problem with one ear, and then it became a problem in both, I suspect it was in fact two loud noises that caused my problem).
I know this, that it grows more irritating with each year.
Why is it that when we are young we feel ourselves immortal, and as we age we discover the folly of youth contributes to the slow deterioration of our senses?
Life isn’t fair.
Still I would love to be able to do a few things that would give me a break for just a bit of time from the constant hissing/ringing in my ears.
Because, you see, it isn’t enough to just have tinnitus, I think my hearing probably took a few shots by living in a constantly loud urban setting for many years.
So now I find myself hearing but not hearing it all, from my wife’s words to my workmates comments, to my child’s conversationa.
What would I do different? First, I would go back to the few things I remember that likely caused the problems, namely going shooting with a friend without ear protection. One shot was all it took to cause ringing in my left ear.
And I would not have sat so close to a speaker during a dance I went to with my daughter a few years later. That DJ owes me!
What can you do to prevent hearing trauma that impacts your hearing?
Wear ear protection when appropriate.
Turn down the volume on the earbuds and in the car.
Cause, in truth, it doesn’t matter how old you are. At some point noises that are way too loud will eventually catch up with you and you’ll miss again the things you can no longer hear.
That’s my thought. What do you think about hearing loss?
Update: After writing this I came across this study which indicates there might be help for those suffering from tinnitus.