Oct 28, 2008

Knicker Knotter #6 - HUH?

October is "National Protect Your Hearing Month." I think it's too late for the generations behind mine. And statistics back that up. People are losing hearing at earlier and earlier ages. Probably because they've had headphones or earbuds stuffed in their ears since they were old enough to stuff them in by themselves, and they are almost always turned up too loud. (BTW, if you have earbuds on and the person next to you can hear your music, your music is loud enough to damage your hearing.) They think loud is better.
I usually always wear my hearing aids out in public or when I am with another person. I feel more connected to the world that way. However, lately, I've stopped wearing them when I run errands in town. Mainly because just about every store I go into (and most restaurants) play music so darn loud that I end up turning them off anyway.
I have several marvelous conditions often associated with hearing loss. One is called "hyperacusis." This means that loud sounds sound REALLY LOUD AND ARE PAINFUL TO ME. That's why I turn off my hearing aids. Grocery "shocking" is bad enough without being in physical pain.
Everything is louder here in the college town I live near. The students are used to blasting their ears with sound, so this loudness is "normal" to them. There's one store I frequent where I can tell which manager is on duty by the volume of the Muzak. The college student has the volume turned way up; the guy my age has the volume much, much lower.
I bought a CD recently and the seller told me it was a great album and to make sure and "turn it up real loud!" Volume does not equal good music. Experiencing music is not dependent upon how loud it is. More bass is not better. But then, I'm a music and singing snob - what do I know? Uh, I know enough to protect what hearing I have left.

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