Hearing

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Wayde_R, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi. This might be gravely the wrong message board for this kind of question but it might just be the right one on the other hand, sorry if my questioning is deemed inappropriate and my apiologies for the length.

    My question is about hearing. As an audiofan (hesitate to use audio"phile") I love my hearing. I am even more afraid of hurting my sons hearing who is a curtain climber of 17 months.

    How does hearing damage work? Does it slowly corrode over time? Or is it an all or nothing thing, you either chip those fine instruments in my inner ear or you do not? Does an evenings de-sensitivity to loudness indicate (or can it promote) hearing loss? IE: I start with the volume at 45 and it seems loud but by end of my listening session I've got it up to 55, my receiver calls the rating db, but I doubt it's exactly that many dbs, how would the receiver know?

    How many DB of what frequencies does it take to damage your hearing? Does your hearing naturally corrode with age? Are there guys in their 50s-60s and beyond still marveling at subtle details in strings over their speakers, or is the lifespan of the audiophile knowingly finite?

    Finally, are babies more sensitive to having their hearing damaged? My son seems to be utterly amazed by LFE when I pop in a movie, he loves it. But I take extra care not to get loud when he's in the room.

    I don't think I have any hearing problems for now, although I have better hearing out of my right ear. In my younger days I've gone to concerts and rave parties where most of the next day everything around me sounded as if it were on the other side of a pane of glass (accompanied by a low buzz) the phenomena would subside after several hours. I never get to that point with my own stereo. Any advice from an audiophile would be appreciated.

    Thanks for reading and any answers.
     
  2. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Protect Your Hearing

    Provided by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

    Know which noises can cause damage. Wear ear plugs when you are involved in a loud activity.

    110 Decibels - Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss.

    100 Decibels - No more than 15 minutes unprotected exposure recommended.

    90 Decibels - Prolonged exposure to any noise above 90 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

    How Loud is Too Loud?
    Example noises and their decibel levels:
    140 Decibels - rock concerts, firecrackers

    120 Decibels - boom cars, snowmobiles

    110 Decibels - chainsaw

    100 Decibels - woodshop

    90 Decibels - lawn mower, motorcycle

    80 Decibels - city traffic noise

    60 Decibels - normal conversation

    40 Decibels - refrigerator humming

    20 Decibels - whispered voice

    0 Decibels - threshold of normal hearing

    http://health.yahoo.com/health/centers/hearing_loss/4
     
  3. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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  4. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info guys. I just did some reading on that cdc site, it's very good.

    From the site:


    So, this probably means that most people listening to very loud music/movies regularly are weakening their ears. How loud do you listen to your music?

    It seems that 85db is the max acceptable volume level before hearling loss occurs. It also happens to be the THX standard (coincidence?).
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Naturally, sustained levels of high noise is a sure way to accelerate hearing loss. A few years ago I worked with a woman in her early 20s who had severe hearing problems, having spent her teen years sitting in front of speakers at concerts and listening to headphones at high volume levels. Five or six years of “good times,” now she gets to live virtually deaf for the next 50.

    Consider this: Everyone knows that shooting guns will give you hearing loss in fairly short order. Yet, all you have there is sharp transient of rather low frequency content, lasting less than a second. Comparatively, that should give you some idea of what you’re doing to your ears at a rock concert.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Here's some random thoughts from a guy who knows he has a certain amount of damage. Luckily, not too much to still enjoy my system. [​IMG]

    1) I wonder if there's an *ideal* level at which to listen to music for example? Obviously, too loud and there's damage. Too low, and you start to lose detail. I don't know if there could be an average good level for most people? Or if that optimal level would be different for each individual?

    2) See if I get a rise out of anyone with this one: I always get a chuckle out of people who talk about hitting 100, 110, 115 dB with their sub. At the same time, unless the person is in another room or have ear plugs in, hearing damage is probably occurring right then and there.

    Wayne, I might disagree with your statement about 300 - 7kHz. [​IMG] Usually the high frequencies go first. I'd be surprised to find many 40 year olds that can hear much above 15 kHz, let alone 18 kHz.

    3) I don't know about y'all, but I typically "listen" to movies between - 10dB and -15 dB (reference is 75 dB). Anything louder than that to me is too loud, and is probably causing hearing damage.

    4) I still remember the two loudest rock concerts I've been to. One was the Plasmatics in 1984. (Really good show actually!) The other was Steve Stevens or somebody in '89 or so. The guitarist from Billy Idol I think. He came to a bar in Pittsburgh (200 people max), with a sound system that belonged in a 4000 seat venue. So loud I got physically nauseous and had to actually leave.

    Tinnitus? Yup, I have it.

    Ear plugs? Never leave home without 'em. Now. [​IMG]
     
  7. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I used to go see Gwar every Halloween in Detroit. That got loud. I would actually feel a sort of pain in my ears when I knew it was way too loud.

    I started taking ear plugs when an older friend pointed out that it's a good idea. I went to "parties" and concerts, I'd keep plugs in my pocket and put them in when I knew it was getting loud. I think I can still hear very good although I should get the ears checked.

    I know I have a lot of putty in my ears that won't let them pop, I have a hard time with flying, my brain hurts!!! Landing in Virginia last year I seriously thought I was going to die of my head exploding right in the seat of the plane. Flying is so painful for me it takes me days to recover. I've taken all the advice, chew gum, blow through my ears. Popping is slow and painful, happens in stages. I don't know much about what's going on in that canal, but I hope that pressure isn't hurting my hearing. I am going to an ear doctor before my next flight, I never want to be in that situation again.

    Is it possible I have too much wax in my ears? Is lots of wax a good thing for protecting your ears from sound?
     
  8. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    I know a number of carpenters in their forties who can't hear anything that is in the same frequency of a circular saw.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Chris- You reminded me of a story I heard once. Maybe still, but in the old days, the Army used metal detectors to look for mines. Something like it plays a tone at one single freq, and then the tone or freq changes when you get over a metal object. I heard that the Army used to limit its use to so many hours in the day, because if you used it for too long, you lose sensitivity to that freq, and you couldn't hear when the tone changed.

    Wayde- I don't know how old you are, but I will hit 40 soon, and about 5 years ago, I started having problems with wax build up. (At first, I thought it was an infection, went to the Dr, and they did the warm water H2O2 trick.) Kind of cool now, in that I can tell when it starts to reach a critical point, and I get some of carbomide peroxide (or whatever) stuff from the drugstore, and works like a dream. Wax might protect your hearing from damage, but at the same time, it is negatively *affecting* what you hear. [​IMG]
     

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