Hearing Loss - - How much of a risk is it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Harnish, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Okay, ever since I got my Kenwood HTB-504, I've been yelled at EVERY DAY for playing it loud (and I don't even do it THAT MUCH!). The supposed reason being is that I will incur complete, total hearing loss within the next six months. Now, keep in mind I am already hearing impaired -- with no hearing in my left ear and around 50% hearing left in my right ear (due to a virus I contracted early in life). What is the general consensus on hearing loss? Will I incur total hearing loss by listening to it loud (keep in mind, this is still well below reference levels) almost everyday? Exactly how much damage will it cause?
     
  2. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are serious about this question you should consult a Doctor. You should also get a Sound Level Meter and see how loud it atually is?

    Perhaps you could try enclosed headphones?
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Brian,
    IN GENERAL, I dont think you have anything to worry about going deaf from listening to the home audio system. With all due respect, there are loving people close to us who still say you'll catch a cold if you are WET so bundle up!
    Beyond the old wive's tales, there are those loud rock concert stories; one home theater enthusiast has posted that he has permanent ringing and he's just in his mid-30s.
    Still, there are serious concerns. I will briefly describe the ringing in my ears that has only come about since I starting using my new, expanded audio system a year ago. Remember, this is only anecdotal, and not medical science.
    Federal OSHA health standards set limits for high levels of sound for the workplace. It may be something like listening to 120dB for 15 minutes. Now, in calibrating one's system... nobody plays the loud tones that long, I know. Yet I can only suspect that down the line audio playback has affected my hearing somewhere, somehow.
    For whatever reason, I now have tinnitus, an IRREVERSIBLE ringing in the ears, that varies in intensity from day to day. Right now, I seem to be less than 5 percent "noise floor." Other times, it seems more than 30-40 percent and it's too discouraging to play my system/tv. There are many factors of personal health (blood pressure, smoking) that play some part in tinnitus. But the joke is that the only "cure" for tinnitus is a tranquilizer.
    Like I warn, this is just my story, but I dont recall have ringing in my ears more than a year ago. At least it doesn't affect my tonal RANGE -- the highs still come across and AARP now regards me as a senior citizen.
    Yes, I like to shoot at the pistol range, but I always wear heavyduty ear protectors. I now wear 'em when calibrating as well.
    SO WHAT'S MY POINT? It just makes sense to avoid all bursts of high-level, high-intensity sound even for short, transients IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.
    (discussion using headphones deleted; possibly damaging, too)
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i think i may also have a very slight case of tinnitus. sometimes when it's really quiet i can hear that ringing nose, but it's pretty mild. and i'm very thankful for that.
    as a kid i used to crank my stereo pretty loud (at home and in the car) plus i used to attend concerts on a pretty frequent basis. i'm sure that had something to do with it. i'm actually surprised my tinnitus isn't worse.
    but i attribute my mistake to youth and ignorance. it sounds like you're more intelligent that that. [​IMG]
    as long as you don't crank your system all the time, i really don't think you'll have to worry too much.
    but i do agree that if you're serious about seeing what's up, medical attention/advice is the only smart thing to do.
     
  5. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I've read that most adults have some level of tinnitus and many don't even realize it because it's so mild. As Bill said, there are many factors besides exposure to loud noises that can contribute to the condition.

    I would think that anyone who watches movies at reference level on a regular basis is in danger of damaging their hearing. One of the reasons I rarely see action movies at the theater is because I can't stand the volume levels. I watch a lot of movies, but the absolute volume of my home theater is rarely higher than -25dB. That's plenty loud for me. There's full, rich, powerful sound, and then there's just plain loud.

    I would consult a doctor for hard facts if I were you. If I only had 50% of one ear left, I'd be concerned about losing it.
     
  6. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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  7. MichaelGomez

    MichaelGomez Stunt Coordinator

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    A few things to remember.
    Low bass (80 and below) at 140 decibles will take forever to cause hearing damage.
    High frequencies will take a matter of hours to cause damage.
    Here is a good discussion on the matter. 2 things to note. About halfway down there is a link to OSHA with a table. But even more important is the post by Richard Clark near the bottom.
    http://www.carsound.com/ubb/ultimate...c;f=1;t=014585
    Also, just remember that headphones that fully encapsulate your ears are really bad. There is no place for the pressure to go but in.
     
  8. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Count me in as another person with Tinnitus. I noticed it about a year and a half ago and it is quite annoying. Some days are better than others. Having this happen has really made me aware of what volume I listen to music and movies at. I'm only 32 and I don't want to have my hearing get any worse than it already has.

    I used to make jokes to my wife that I was really counting on advancements in hearing aids for when I got older. Those jokes aren't very funny anymore. If you're worried and you have this pre-existing condition then I would talk to your doctor. It's too important not to.

    Good luck.
     

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