Hearing loss. How much do you care about your ability to hear?


Partly inspired by stories such as Huey Lewis tour cancellation due to hearing loss and my own admission I had to get tested and now wear hearing aids.
Much discussion is made about equipment, room acoustics, wiring and noise. But how about your ability to hear well? Do you ever think about it? How much have you done for your own hearing health?
Also, how much do YOU think this affects your ability to evaluate quality sound?
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One thing I’ve always tried to do was to protect my hearing. I’ll be hitting the big Eight-0 in two months. There’s no doubt that I don’t hear like I did at 20. However, my granddaughter is a speech pathologist and she has commented about how good my hearing is just by her observing how I hear during low level conversations. She said my hearing for my age is really beyond the norm. I have a problem with ambient noise though ... like when trying to follow a conversation in a crowded restaurant for example. I seem to be the designated hearing aid for my older friends. They always look at me and say ... "What did he say?" Or "What was that again?" :-)

Frank


@oregonpapa , glad to "hear" that, that's great!
My theory is that most of us (audiophiles) have, or have had, better than average hearing.
Happy early birthday!

Tom
Considering how human life expectancies have increased from 40 to 60 to 90's. I feel that all the +55's out there should accept some degradation in our sensory range, let alone our hair...
B
It's my belief that a trained ear is more likely to stand one in good stead during the aging process.  I experienced a small tear in my right eardrum due to a failed pressure equalization during a dive in my teens and a subsequent puncture in 2004.  Both traumas healed well, but higher frequencies and dynamic range are no longer on par with my left ear.

Despite that, I can still immediately hear when a cartridge is mis-tracking, VTA is wrong or a resonance develops in the room because of where something was (mis) placed.  I attribute that to a very large amount of time spent listening, carefully, to music I liked in both live and recorded presentation.  In short, I trained myself to notice when the reed in a clarinet or the body of a violin or a piano was resonating naturally and not inducing a distortion in some other object/system.

I've also learned that I need to recalibrate my mind's ear with some frequency.  Another thread here was on the topic of systems sounding bad one day and great the next.  I've experienced that too, and I've never found it was my gear, grid or suchlike.  Always, always, always it was the stuff between my ears.  Shut down, get some good shut-eye and trying again reveals all really was and is as it should be.  I was simply not mentally acute enough to realize it at the time.  Note to self:  Don't listen when I'm tired!

Now that I'm hum-mumble-something old, I'm literally hearing how things are changing slightly with each passing year.  I have usually used earplugs when appropriate, but conversations in noisy backgrounds are increasingly difficult to follow.  Soft music in a moderate noise environment is more painful than pleasurable now because I simply can't discern it as well as I used to.  Doesn't affect my listening pleasure with my system or at concerts, just when the audio environment isn't very good.

My wife has also recently been afflicted with a marked degradation in hearing due to age.  It will be correctable with hearing aids, but watching her deal with stuff blowing past her unnoticed that she took for granted all her life until now has been...  Poignantly educational.  As is much in life.

Do, live and love what you can while you can.
I’m a Month shy of 65 and have been wearing hearing aids for over four years. Hearing loss can be an invisible event with a person not realizing how much has occurred. I’ve told this story before, my equip didn’t sound right so I hauled it to Music Technology which gave it all the ok. Anyway I called Bill Thallman and mentioned that my equip still sounded not right. Anyway imagine this, he comes to my house and puts his ear to my GMA Europa tweeter and says that there was plenty of energy coming through. I could not hear it. Hearing test and the aids followed.
Over 50, think about going to Costco and get a free hearing test (not affiliated with them). Or at an audiologist that you feel can be trusted. The hearing aid tech changes constantly and for the better. Music now sounds wonderful.