After traveling to the three most populous states in a three day span last week, I came down with something. Between that and my ears being pressurized/ depressurized on few plane flights, the hearing in my left ear is muddy and muffled at best. For someone who listens to as much music as I do, it’s pretty unsettling. It also gives me a sense of disconnection or distance from the world–I understand why they say people with hearing loss can be withdrawn and report higher rates of depression.
It also reminds me of this time last year when something similar happened. Again, thankfully that was temporary, though it lasted a couple months whereas I’m hoping the current problem will run its course more quickly. I don’t know what it is with this time of year and ear problems.
When I’m traveling I often don’t have enough as much time to listen to music anyway and with this hearing problem added in, I’ve been in music withdraw. I wondered in that post last year whether music can actually be an addiction in terms of brain chemistry. I’m still not sure. I’m not lying here shaking or anything, but it would be nice to listen to music normally again. And I’m not complaining. Mostly it feels strange not to be listening to music constantly or hearing it the same way when I do listen to it.
Lastly, it reminds me to bring up protecting your hearing. Rock concerts are loud and repeated exposure to those sorts of volumes will damage your hearing permanently. It can affect some frequencies more than others, which would also distort the music. Wear ear plugs if you go to shows. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on custom ear plugs to have a decent listening experience; I’ve made some recommendations before. Also, lots of people listen to music on their ipods too loudly (and don’t seem to care). Be careful out there. Don’t Lose the Music has some good resources related to this.
 It’d also be nice to talk at a normal volume. It’s harder to hear myself so I’ve been finding that I talk too softly.