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Hearing problems redux


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There was a recent thread about hearing loss induced by mainly by our amplifiers.


Several of us have pronounced hearing loss and some of us also have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).


I made a CD of the sounds I hear from my tinnitus and made him (my son) listen to it for a day. I then took some of his "music" and made him play it the way that I hear it (using my hearing curve to set the EQ) and made him listen to that for a few hours, too.


He goes around, now, telling his friends how bad tinnitus is and that they should turn down their music if they don't want it to start sounding like crap. He then plays that tinnitus CD for them so they can hear it.


That was a good idea you had, Ellwood.


I'm trying to think of other good ways to get the message across that hearing loss/damage and tinnitus _can_ happen to you and that it's permanent.

Born on the Bayou


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Yep it was a good idea and thanks..am glad you went through with that plan to let him hear what it is like!!! He and his mates will thankyou someday for sure. So in the sprit of throwing ideas around..lets see... well I dont know HOW to do it but if you could get some current rock stars in all types of rock to get together and put out a public announcement and run some little articles in Mags LIKE Guitarplayer (HINT HINT..editorboy) you could reach TONS of young players to drive this point home. Ear doctors can jump up and down all day and ONE guitar superstar could do more in one article or tv add than they could in a million years!! Ill tell ya what Im gonna do NOW is talk to the manager at GC and ask him if he would post a warning sign over the big amps of how to use them correctly in terms of their hearing protection. Im gonna even compose the copy for him to make it easier!! I played last night and sitting here in a quiet room I can feel it in my ears and I had plugs IN!!!
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Originally posted by FormerOceanwaySlave:

I would very much like to have a copy of that CD and the EQ curves that you feel best simulate your tinnitus. I know a few people around here who could use such information. Perhaps you could post the audio on an FTP site.




Alan Tomlinson

The CD holds an hour of the tinnitus tones, so an MP3 file of that would be pretty large (I have only the WAV). I'll see what I can do to make a short (read smaller) version of it.


Tinnitus doesn't affect your hearing in an EQ way. That comes from hearing loss. Nearly everyone's hearing loss is different but there is a "classic" pattern that most people are close to. Some people have it more in one ear than than the other because of proximity and direction of constant loud noises.


That loss of hearing accuity does have the effect of making tinnitus seem louder because the sounds perceived by the listener is not as loud in the higher registers due to the hearing loss. Therefore the tinnitus sounds in the higher register don't have to "compete" with actual sounds. Consequently, the tinnitus sounds louder than it used to.


Typically hearing loss does not attenuate tinnitus since tinnitus is a neural disorder brought on by the overstimulation of nerves in the inner ear.


Hearing loss generally deals with hardening of the eardrum and the loss of the hearing "hairs" in the inner ear. Some hearing loss can be caused by the loss of nerve function from the cochlea and that will reduce the volume of tinnitus as well. But that type of hearing loss is generally due to infections, not loud noises.


Tinnitus (ringing in the hears) can take many forms. It can go from ringing sounds (think if a shrill electronic telephone ringer) to humming, buzzing, whooshing and whining sounds and any combination of the above. It can be variable or stable and monotone or multitone.


My tinnitus is both variable and multitone. It consists of a relatively constant whine that is different frequencies in each ear. It also is variable in that it gets louder and softer all on its own. On occasion my right ear shuts down completely for a few seconds (including the tinnitus) then comes back to full hearing in about 30 seconds.


At times its so loud that I can't hear people talking to me in a conversational tone. Fortunatley that's rare. Other times, I can't hear it at all (that's a blessing). But it always comes back fairly soon (within a few minutes).


I hear multiple stable tones in my right ear. One is a high pitched whine (about 7Khz) and the other is a quieter hum about 3Khz. In my left ear it's variable in pitch and in volume with about a 20db range in volume and ranging from about 1200Hz up to about 5Khz. I get a harmonic which sounds awful when the variable pitch in my left ear nears the lower pitch in my right ear.


If you want to simulate what my hearing loss has done to my ears, try setting up a preset in iTunes using these settings. 32Hz -4db, 64Hz -5db, 125Hz -3db, 250hz 0db, 500hz -1.5db, 1Khz -3db, 2Khz -6db, 4Khz -7db, 8Khz -4.5db, 16Khz -2.5db. Add to that a 8.5db rolloff on the preamp. Then switch between on and off. That's what 35 years of loud music has done to my hearing.


Well, the attenuation on the 16Khz band has more to do with age than loud noises. The loss is more acute in one ear than the other. This is a combination of the curves in both ears.


I'm not a doctor. I'm just a layman who has tried to educate himself about his own condition with regard to hearing loss and tinnitus. I'm told, though, that my case is fairly typical.


The slightly depressing part is that it is permanent and irreversible.

Born on the Bayou


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