My right ear has been bothering me just a little lately and I'm worried that it's from too much headphone monitoring plus ipodding. I also use soft plastic earplugs on a regular basis which could cause irritation. Web searches don't mention my symptoms a least having to do with noise damage. It may be my mild allergies and it is that time of the year. I'm going to give my ears a little rest and see what happens.
Has anyone else experienced something like this or know someone who has.
Bizzarre as it sounds, my hearing always takes a swan dive in the spring.
In my case it is because I am very allergic to oak and related tree pollens, which causes my body to go into full defense mode. Mucosal membranes do their thing, soft tissue swelling ocurs, etc etc. Like the ol' bod is trying to seal out the outside world. This includes my ears.
The rest of the year my hearing is acute to the point of being annoying.
I have experienced this. I prefer monitoring critically on headphones (speakers are for mixing, but can't beat headphones for picking up every creak, sniff, or whatever). Anyway, I used to have them on loud so I could pick up absolutely everything... it caused significant hearing loss in mid to high frequencies. It went away after about a month of not using headphones. Now I keep levels in check, and use headphones much less than I used to. I was quite concerned about it while it was with me, but it went away eventually... now all I have to worry about is hearing loss due to sinus infections... oh brother!
To me, sticking things *in* your ears is a really bad idea. It disrupts the protective and lubricating waxes and oils, and doing it on a long-term basis inevitably leads to irritation, potential infection, and the possibility of hearing damage in some cases.
I do use earphones, and I use them extensively -- but I use a lightweight, open frame variety; and other than a very small amount of critical editing where it is necessary to torque up the levels, I'm very careful to keep the volume conservative.
Hearing loss is a very serious concern for musicians, especially those of us who do our own audio mixing and studio work. I have a significant loss in the right ear (due to an illness years ago), and it's a continual problem -- the main reason I'm never confident of my mixes... I can't hear them.
No amount of augmentation, enhancement, or technical correction can "fix" a hearing problem to the point where it's compensatory with your natural hearing -- so protect those ears!
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going to switch to headphones for hearing protection at least temporarily and lower my monitoring levels and ditto for the iPods. I do have good monitors for mixing but one is being repaired right now.
I'm not going to have a whole lot of time or energy for music until about mid July so hopefully I'll be over it soon and major allergy season will be over also if that is a contributing factor.