Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Don't Care If I Lose My Hearing, I Want It Loud!

Every time my mother asks for me to wear ear plugs when I'm going to a concert, or when I'm practicing with my band in a tiny, cramped basement, or when she asks me that the music in my headphones, I just never listened (that could be a bit of a pun, maybe?) Of course when I don't listen, I'm bitching for the next few days that there is a constant ringing in my ears that I can't get rid of.

In my foolish opinion, music needs to be turned up, it needs to be vibrating throughout your entire body in order for you to be able to capture the true essence of it. What I am also learning at too young of an age is that it is a fast and easy way to lose your hearing. Sure, I am in complete and total denial that I'm going to want to have the ability to hear at age 50, but at the rate my hearing is diminishing, it is a daily concern that I won't be able to rock out to "A Certain Shade of Green" any longer.

Where is this heading, ah yes, the ringing in the ears. What I always ask myself while it is irritating me, is how in the world the noise is created. Turns out, there is a bit of science behind it (who would have thought?). On the website for the Cornell Center for Material Research, a reader asked the question, "Why Do your Ears Ring?" When your ears receive an excessive amount of punishment from the speakers blaring heavy metal right next to your head, "delicate cells inside your ear" push through what are called "sound messages" to the brain. This is called tinnitus.

These delicate cells have things sticking out of them that look like tiny hairs, basically cells with beards (not basically, but that's what I would like to think.) Soon your brain is interpreting sound when pressure waves travel through the air into your ear, making your ears vibrate. This whole process then begins to effect the fluid inside of your ears, and once the fluid is effected, their movement will bend those hairs. The bending of these hairs soon cause your brain to think there is more sound, since there are "electrical signals" being sent to the "auditory nerve." This would be the reason why it may sound like a hear monitor is flat lining inside your ears.

This is supposed to only last for a short period of time, but if you are like me and 44 million other Americans, the ringing tends to be a bit more persistent. the article suggests that it is too loud if you have to shout over the noise. Thank god they don't know that I'm constantly stuck in the situation of someone shouting something to me, and all I get is that their mouth is moving.

All right, I'm in trouble.

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