adrian is rad



Filed under: — adrian @ 4:24 am

A couple weeks ago I went swimming. The next day my left ear felt a bit weird and my hearing felt muffled. I thought there was some water still in it. After a few days it still felt weird so I had assumed it had developed into a minor ear infection, “swimmer’s ear”.

After two weeks, I decided I should have it checked out. I’m going to be place next week where it’ll be even harder to go to a doctor, so with the help of some coworkers I went to a doctor this evening and he checked me out.

There’s no water, ear wax or ear infection in there. The doctor things it’s noise trauma. Basically (hopefully) short term partial hearing loss. (Ironically, I’d light-heartedly talked about thinking I was going deaf in my left ear because my ear buds were breaking about 3 weeks ago.) His instructions: no ear buds/ headphones and try to limit limit noise for a few days.

The short term is unpleasant: no ear buds at work (at night I can play music softly on speakers that I have) means no music and I don’t like being without music. It makes me antsy. I’m going to be on planes and trains for most of Friday, alone and that would be a particularly nice time to listen to some tunes. More than it being nice, at times I almost find it necessary. After a bad or long day, after a frustrating decision, when I need to drown out this foreign world or mitigate loneliness, music is often my first resort. It may not be the best thing to turn to but it’s certainly better than turning to the bottle. This is a bit distressing.

The longer term, the prospects, the possibilities, at least, are traumatizing. That there’s even a possibility of longer term hearing loss is scary. Music is a big part of my life and between being a college radio DJ and having a music blog it’s more like a vocation. That that might be endangered or altered permanently is not a prospect I look forward to.

Just to note, I’ve always been very careful about the volume of my music on earphones and other people who try my headphones often think I listen to music too softly. I wear ear plugs at concerts, even advocating them publicly. If there’s one probable culprit here it’s listening to music on the bus and/ or while walking along streets here. Both are quite noisy and can encourage a louder-than-healthy volume on ear buds.

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