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Anyone else? I guess all those years of playing loud whole and half notes with the bell rim near my left ear are taking a toll. Tinnitus and moderate hearing loss,primary in left ear. I wonder if it's primarily right ear in England? New forum: the aging tubist . Happy birthday to me. 48 tomorrow.
Troy University-adjunct tuba instructor
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Yup. But I cannot imagine it's from playing tuba. Mine is severe tinnitus probably caused by prolonged and intense exposure to radio signals while in The Navy, loud music, and firearms reports while not wearing hearing protection... and doing other stupid stuff while I was young and invincible. The damage was done years ago but is aggravated by sitting in front of the percussion section. Children's voices, piccolos, and drunken females laughing loudly are also a problem.
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Current 'stable'... Rudolf Meinl 5/4, Bohm & Meinl helicon, King 2341, Alphorn, BBb cimbasso, and misc. other strange stuff.
A few years back (2012?), I came down with double pneumonia and was coughing like crazy, blowing my nose etc. ... Causing a lot of pressure inside my ears. About that time is when I started to notice the tinnitus setting in. I also wonder about other causes... constantly being around computers and electronic equipment, riding a lawn tractor without hearing protection, WiFi allergy and Aspartame. I do seem to notice a slight decrease when I avoid Aspartame... Maybe I just need to try to avoid it for longer periods of time. EMF/RF... Good luck avoiding that in today's world
http://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52 ... d-tinnitus"
https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/em ... eries.415/
Last edited by cktuba on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:32 am, edited 5 times in total.
I keep Hearos in my wallet. In a wind ensemble I sit close enough to a snare drum that I shrug my shoulders and bump the person's music stand. Hearos come out for the warm up period. Today I can hear normally instead of the temporary hearing loss.
We don't realize it, but we're slowly deafening ourselves during practice. It's a fair amount of dB over a pretty long period every day, and it adds up. Earplugs (even the fancy ones) are a crappy solution, but they beat going deaf. That said, I only use 'em during certain ensemble rehearsals.
I think this is more common than most players realize. I half remember that at the first Tuba Euphonium Conference back in 1973 this topic came up. There was also a discussion about some players having issues with their left eye getting lazy and not functioning since it was stuck behind the bell. There are other physical accommodations that occur due to our hobby/profession. Just compare your thumbs for a quick verification. While on right handed people it is typically larger, it tends to be more pronounced on tubists. I presume it is from holding the horn.
Happy birthday, Mike. My 81st is later this month. My left ear has been bad for a long time, ever since I was near an explosive charge in Army basic training. The ear rang for weeks after that. Then, in further military service in Army bands I always marched in front of the percussion unit---two bass drums, two cymbals players, and six field drums. Year after year of that took its toll. The VA is compensating me and I get free hearing aids. -Ace
I have left ear hearing loss as well but it's mostly my high frequencies that are compromised. I've always played lower pitched instruments myself, but for years as a bass guitarist I've been in fairly close proximity to drumsets particularly cymbals on a small stage in a big band setting. Also in concert band in the Army reserves I sat just to the left and slightly in front of the trumpets. Although my own playing and practice has had some effect on my hearing, I think most of the damage to my hearing has come from players near me. I remember very vividly one rehearsal where an inattentive trumpet player blasted a high note so loudly in my left ear that it caused me physical pain. In my younger days no one wore hearing protection, and there wasn't any emphasis paid to preserving hearing. It wasn't until I was ready to retire from the reserves that they actually came around and measure the Db level in the band setting at various spots in the band that we were all told to wear hearing protection during rehearsals.
Retired Army Reserve 98th Div. Band: Euphonium, Trombone, Tuba, Bass Guitar
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I'm not sure there's an actual difference in hearing loss, but my left ear definitely builds wax faster than the right.
I've had to have it removed medically from the left ear a number of times when home remedies didn't work.
The doctor said, "It'll heal, but.....it'll never be right."
I've used custom-fit Westones for at least 20 years. My hearing is still diminishing but I hear better than most people I know my age, and I attribute that to the ear plugs, plus lack of standing in front of speakers at rock concerts in my youth. I don't wear them in all situations, but do find it necessary in concert bands and any time I'm in front of percussion. The OTC ear plugs may work, but the foam ones obliterate too much for me, and ones like the ETY hurt like hell.
The chainsaw was on MY right in every orchestra I ever played with...
(but often the yanks on the cord to fire it up would give me plenty of time to adjust my earplugs)
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
I attribute my left ear hearing loss to open car windows when driving.
I've never had noise issues from tuba, or music in general, except for this one time when I had to play Nutcracker in a pit. The cymbals were less than a foot to my left. After the first show I couldn't hear for a few days out that ear. Also, when I was younger I didn't use earplugs when out hunting. However, that one gig with the symbol crashes was much more painful than touching off a big magnum rifle from inside a box stand. That should say something about how loud classical music can get. . .
I'm religious about wearing ear protection now. I'm often around loud machines such as feller bunchers, tree shredders, chainsaws, dozers, etc. When I shoot I always wear earplugs, even when hunting. I've got earplugs stashed all over the place just in case I forget my good pairs- I even have a set attached to my hardhat.
Despite these precautions, I worry about hearing loss from bone conduction. I'm not sure if it's a real problem, but you never know. . . I have no tinnitus, but I often find myself saying "what?" or "excuse me?" in conversation with people. I've probably got a little hearing loss, but it's not bad.
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Most long term hearing loss is in the higher frequencies, not the lower ones that the tuba is known for producing. Sure there are overtones and timbre, but generally it's things like loud percussive sounds with a lot of highs. So yes, sitting in front of percussion will kill your ears, as will playing percussion without hearing protection. Also, age-related hearing loss mostly affects the higher frequencies.
Violin players very often have left ear hearing loss, due to prolonged high frequencies at loud volumes. The violin tends to get louder the higher up it goes in the register, so the volume a foot away from the instrument is actually very loud when playing up there.
I keep procrastinating, but I really do need to get a set of professionally molded ear plugs with various filters. Even an attenuation of 5 or 10db can be the difference between loud and TOO loud.
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