Too Too Inside Myself? - Part 2

I wasn't finished. No, I'm not writing about the doubts, what I think I should exhibit, blah, blah, blah.

Last week I had to go for another hearing test, because in June I experienced sporadic periods of radio and TV and traffic noise echoing in my head, culminating in my having to ask Mr Softspoken (aka Ben) to tone down. I draw the line at Ben being too loud; I knew I had to go see the doc, who suggested I get a hearing test in the first instance to see if it has deteriorated. Anyhow, no deterioration and no mechanical problems as far as the audiologist could see. But this being the third or fourth time in four years at this practice, she knows my problems in that department. 

She knew I had sleeping problems due to tinnitus for several years, how easily I startle with loud noises, and the difficulties I have with simultaneous multiple conversations. She knows I like quiet in my house and use audio books, radio, and music to shut out outside noise as much as to listen to them. She wondered if June's episode was psychological.  

Anyhow, this is what she told me.

Human ears adjusts their sensitivity according to the surroundings. At a rock concert, for example, they automatically turn the volume down so you don't hear the full blast; in a quiet room, they increase the volume so you can hear smaller sounds like the clock ticking or a car door slamming in the distance. When the environment is too quiet, your ears apparently make up noise to, as it were, fill in the void. So she told me to keep National Radio or Discworld on and don't go after absolute quiet. 

And if I don't see the connection with my hibernation/socialization continuum, well...

OK, over and out. Ice cream time.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if this relates to your hearing problem, but I have sensitive hearing also. And I enjoy a quiet house. But I find I don't sleep well at night because part of me is still "listening".
I discovered that the orange soft plastic ear plugs that shooters use at the range blocks just enough of the tiny sounds I am "hearing" that I can go right to sleep and wake rested in the morning.
I can still hear louder noises and can hear if someone speaks to me. They are soft and don't hurt my ears.
They come in a little clear plastic box and don't cost much. They last forever or until you lose them.
http://www.sweatband.com/head-silicone-ear-plug.html shows a product shaped like mine. I have tried all sorts but this shape works best for me.
Hope this helps.
Vicki Allen, weaver

Meg said...

Ear plugs, CDs, even those hideous white noise machines, I've tried them all, Vicki. I wore an ear plug in one ear (now I can't even remember which but probably the left) when I went to bed and I listened to my own heartbeat. Fortunately (?!) my hearing has regressed a little from four years ago, (though possibly improved from 18 months ago!) and we think I got used to my tinnitus that I don't need anything at night any more. And this time Jill told me to not rely on earplugs.

Unless, ahem, B snores badly.

And I have a superb lavender cream thing I use on my wrists; they smell wonderful, and again, like Discworld, I've trained myself to fall asleep when I smell that salve, so though it may not happen immediately or always, it does the job most of the times. Some nights, just looking at the tiny jar helps. And then there is the mountain of failsafe art books under the bed!