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Ear problem

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1
    Hello all. Long time no see.

    I'm currently in university studying chemistry, and I relised that in general conversations and just lectures I tend to miss out on a lot of the words i.e. I can't actually make them out. I can hear the murmuring, but I'm having increasing trouble actually listening to people, meaning that I have to constantly ask people to repeat what they said and also resulting in me getting peeved off and frustrated.

    I've had earwax 'treatments' and stopped listening to loud music on my MD to see any improvements in my hearing. I've already arranged a appointment with the doctor and such, but I just want to ask: What possible problem could I be having with my ears? Is it just tons of earwax? Or are there more serious possibilities?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2006 #2


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    Well, stopping listening to loud music will only slow the process down. That's what a lot of people don't understand. When listening to loud music, you are doing permanent damage. For example, after going to a concert, your ear rings. That's actually severe permanent damage, so if you frequent concerts... you won't keep this lifestyle for very long.

    On the other hand, what can this be? Well it can be just too much earwax. There could be more serious possibilities, but I would vote those as pretty unlikely. I wouldn't bother thinking about that. You may have some hearing loss and that's it. That's a possibility that I don't consider serious because you can pretty much stop the loss by being more aware of what you're doing.

    I'm sure it's all fine. It can also be Q-Tips. If you use them to clean your ears, you might have done something... not so good. You probably simply pushed back earwax on the eardrum which the doctor can clean, but overall it's a really bad habit to clean them this way. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS TO CLEAN YOUR EARS!!! NO ONE!!! No one ever takes my advice on this for some reason.

    Note: I was standing next to a guy with his MP3 player full blast where I can hear it like a radio from 5 feet away!!! I couldn't believe it. Everyone in line was looking at him like he was a psycho. It was loud because normally I can not hear a loud MP3 player (people tell me it's loud but I can't hear a thing). So, when I can actually hear it, I know it has to be loud, nevermind hearing it like a darn radio! Damn, I wonder if his ears started to bleed.
  4. Nov 2, 2006 #3


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    This shouldn't be evident at your age, but everyone gradually loses the ability to hear certain frequencies which unfortunately tend to be in the range of the human voice. If you still hear other sounds normally, that could be what's going on.
    And Jason is dead right about the Q-tip thing.
  5. Nov 2, 2006 #4


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    Unless you're careful.

    Also I don't know about anyone else, but I find it VERY difficult to get a Qtip anywhere near my eardrum. The ear canal tissue is so sensitive that far back, that the Qtip causes excruciating pain long before I get near my eardrum.

    Different headsets will leak sound differently. Not saying he didn't have it at full volume, just that you can't tell.
  6. Nov 2, 2006 #5


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    Well, the real advice I'd offer, you're already planning to do, and that's to see a doctor to have your hearing evaluated.

    Don't underestimate that people might also just be mumbling. A little while back, I was starting to think I was having some hearing problems for the same reason, I seemed to miss a lot in conversations because people sounded like they were mumbling. That's what everyone tells you is the first sign of hearing loss. Plus, my grandmother and mother both have hearing problems...my grandmother's is something that she's had since a child, and my mom seemed to start having problems at about the age I am now, AND, I grew up around a LOT of noise (my dad was a builder/carpenter and I'd often be woken to the sounds of power tools in the morning while he was in his workshop in the basement building stuff for customers), so I thought it was likely that the inevitable was starting. Turns out, there's nothing wrong with my ears, and when I commented on this to someone else, the response I got is that there's an epidemic of people who do not enunciate their words.

    This is especially bad if they are lecturing or doing some other sort of public speaking. On the best day, the audio systems in a lot of lecture halls are crap, and getting the microphone positioned just right can be a pain, and some days those audio systems aren't working at all, or the batteries are dead in the power pack for the microphone, etc. It only makes it worse if someone doesn't enunciate all their words.

    So, definitely get your hearing checked to be sure, but if everything checks out okay, then it's more likely that others around you are being lazy in their talking. Sometimes I just resort to telling people I do have a hearing problem when I don't, just to force them to think about speaking more clearly so I can understand them, especially if I have to ask more than once.
  7. Nov 2, 2006 #6
    What was that? Speak louder!:rofl:
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