How to compensate for reduced hearing in one ear.

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
So, on July 4th there was an accident involving a firework where someone accidentally lit an artillery shell on the ground NOT in the tube. I was about 15ft from it when it went off and my hearing in the right ear has been affected, shifting the entire image to the left. I can still hear most everything but it seems the left ear hears much better than the right now.

So assuming the worst case scenario of this being permanent what would you do? Find a way to incorporate balance control? Change speakers so that off axis listening is better? Leave audio completely? I’m pretty upset about not having my hearing like it used to be and even more so that it wasn’t my fault. So what are my options here? Any input is appreciated.

Also, I do plan on seeing an ENT or an audiologist as soon as I can get an appointment. I thought it might have just been allergies clogging up my ear since they’ve been bad lately.
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Bummer! Hopefully, it is temporary and comes back to you. An ENT visit is definitely in order. Tone controls would be the easiest fix.
 

Wntrmute2

Not So Mediocre Member
I like to have balance control in my systems. That is one prerequisite for anything I build or buy. Hopefully it is temporary - a cleaning by the audiologist may help though. That really made a difference in my enjoyment of music. I usually go once a year.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
I don't have a hearing imbalance, but I have had tinnitus for about the last 20 years (too much driving on the freeway with the windows down when I was in college and then too many loud concerts). So far it has not negatively affected my ability to enjoy music, although there are some days where I'm just not feeling it (e.g. too much ringing).

I've also learned my lesson and wear earplugs at concerts now - still too loud, but at least my eardrums are protected.
 

JoeThePop

Known member
I have used the balance control on my receiver for years. As a young dumbass I spent many days skeet shooting with a 12-gauge with no ear protection. The imbalance in my hearing showed a clear difference between my right ear (the one tucked up nice and close to the receiver of my gun) and my left ear when I had my hearing tested way back in the early 90s.
 
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TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
So, on July 4th there was an accident involving a firework where someone accidentally lit an artillery shell on the ground NOT in the tube. I was about 15ft from it when it went off and my hearing in the right ear has been affected, shifting the entire image to the left. I can still hear most everything but it seems the left ear hears much better than the right now.

So assuming the worst case scenario of this being permanent what would you do? Find a way to incorporate balance control? Change speakers so that off axis listening is better? Leave audio completely? I’m pretty upset about not having my hearing like it used to be and even more so that it wasn’t my fault. So what are my options here? Any input is appreciated.

Also, I do plan on seeing an ENT or an audiologist as soon as I can get an appointment. I thought it might have just been allergies clogging up my ear since they’ve been bad lately.

Hopefully, this is very temporary. Prayers sent for the speedy and complete return of your hearing. 🙏
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Dang, those things are dangerous, even with experienced people manning the explosives. I’m praying it’s just temporary.

First, an ENT visit is a must, as soon as possible.
Second, try toeing in the right and moving it just a bit closer if possible.

One of the reasons I have my Yamaha A-S801 is a balance control, mainly used for tweaking the toe in and distance. I can go left/right then move speakers then go back to flat. Gene Rubin has some really good gear and service is excellent. I owned a Rogue Audio Sphinx V2 hybrid and the sound was great, no balance control and some other design issues I didn’t like, but the sound a big yes. The Yamaha is different, in many ways better. In some ways the Sphinx was slightly better.

I try to stay away from fireworks. When I was young, I had a relatively small firecracker, Black Cat, go off between my thumb and forefinger and it felt like someone had smashed my hand with a hammer. In another incident, a “friend“ of mine lit what we later expected was a concussion grenade he got from “someone“ and the blast wave knocked me a couple of feet backwards. PLUS, a friend in high school had his thumb and forefinger mangled by a cherry bomb.
Now I don’t know if my judgment and reflexes were poor ( ;):confused: ) or it’s just one of those things you just never think is going to happen to you.

Get better soon!
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
Dang, those things are dangerous, even with experienced people manning the explosives. I’m praying it’s just temporary.

First, an ENT visit is a must, as soon as possible.
Second, try toeing in the right and moving it just a bit closer if possible.

One of the reasons I have my Yamaha A-S801 is a balance control, mainly used for tweaking the toe in and distance. I can go left/right then move speakers then go back to flat. Gene Rubin has some really good gear and service is excellent. I owned a Rogue Audio Sphinx V2 hybrid and the sound was great, no balance control and some other design issues I didn’t like, but the sound a big yes. The Yamaha is different, in many ways better. In some ways the Sphinx was slightly better.

I try to stay away from fireworks. When I was young, I had a relatively small firecracker, Black Cat, go off between my thumb and forefinger and it felt like someone had smashed my hand with a hammer. In another incident, a “friend“ of mine lit what we later expected was a concussion grenade he got from “someone“ and the blast wave knocked me a couple of feet backwards. PLUS, a friend in high school had his thumb and forefinger mangled by a cherry bomb.
Now I don’t know if my judgment and reflexes were poor ( ;):confused: ) or it’s just one of those things you just never think is going to happen to you.

Get better soon!
Thanks for sharing. I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided injury up till now and I agree these things are dangerous. Unfortunately this wasn’t a mistake I made, but someone else that may have damaged my ear. I’m always as careful as possible.

I probably should have made an appointment sooner but I kind of figured I would recover within a few days. That and taking care of my twins for the last couple of weeks due to illness kind of made me push it off. I’ve read steroids can help if taken soon enough. I hope I’m still within the window of recovery.
 
Really sorry to hear that happened to you. As others have said, get it checked out - hope your ear bounces back from this.

As for the larger question - how to be a hearing impaired audiophile: you won't have to resort to a mylar balloon if you've still got an ear. I've been hearing impaired for most of my life, having lost the hearing in one ear at an early age. Despite that, I've spent my life loving and performing music.

I've only developed an interest in playback equipment in the past decade. In that time I've found criteria that are important to me, and have sought out equipment that performs in that direction. What's not important here? Imaging. (Because I can't hear it.) What is? PRAT, tone, and soundstage. ('cause I can hear it.)

It's a different kind of listening but it can be just as beguiling.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
Thanks for sharing. I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided injury up till now and I agree these things are dangerous. Unfortunately this wasn’t a mistake I made, but someone else that may have damaged my ear. I’m always as careful as possible.

I probably should have made an appointment sooner but I kind of figured I would recover within a few days. That and taking care of my twins for the last couple of weeks due to illness kind of made me push it off. I’ve read steroids can help if taken soon enough. I hope I’m still within the window of recovery.
@StevenZ , didn’t mean to come across as preachy. I have been freaked out by close proximity to fireworks ever since the concussion grenade episode. I love to watch them though. I know you’ll make a full recovery.
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
@StevenZ , didn’t mean to come across as preachy. I have been freaked out by close proximity to fireworks ever since the concussion grenade episode. I love to watch them though. I know you’ll make a full recovery.
No worries, that’s now how I took it at all. All is good!
 
Sorry to hear this! Man that sux! Hope it clears up for you.

I shot a 50 caliber pistol once. My hearing was gone for a day or so. Never shot it again.
I helped build a 65 caliber muzzle loader pistol for a friend…I never shot it.
 
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