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Re: painfully loud sound
Subjective experience report (I'm an audio engineer by training,
with serious high- and mid-range hearing damage due to overexposure
+ genetic vulnerability):
I often don't know that a loud high-pitched sound has occurred until
seeing the people around me wincing -- but I will feel it as a
physical senation, like having a moth trapped inside my ear very
briefly -- batting away. Real-world examples: child screeching,
smoke alarm(the electronic kind), PA system feedback.
Very loud sound, especially with abrupt attack or onset, feels like
being kicked in the ear -- a physical sensation of quick air
pressure. To me, it does often not seem to have any actual sound
attached to it. If it's loud enough/strong enough, it does hurt.
Sometimes it feels like a single kick, sometimes a long strong
pressure like wind, sometimes a back-and-forth batting, sometimes it
sounds exactly like digital audio distortion (eww!)
I remember talking with a woman who said that for her, the point of
pain was pretty much the same as the point of hearing.
And early on in the process of diagnosing this hearing loss, I had
an experience with an audiologist who swore I was faking; maybe this
flinch effect explains that.
Quoting "Vermiglio, Andy" <AVermiglio@HEI.ORG>:
> I believe this is what was occurring when presenting high level
> pure tones to the deaf ear of a patient with a unilateral hearing
> loss. I thought (as a grad student) that this individual was
> pretending to be deaf. He claimed to not hear the loud tones, but
> kept flinching in time with the loud stimulus presentations. He
> was probably responding to pain at the tympanic membrane.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception
> [mailto:AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA] On Behalf Of Didier Depireux,
> Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 3:38 PM
> To: AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA
> Subject: Re: painfully loud sound
> On 11/9/04 7:56 PM, "jan schnupp" <jan.schnupp@PHYSIOL.OX.AC.UK>
> > nociceptive pathways and pain) I wondered: what determines
> whether we
> > would consider a particular sound to be painfully loud?
> I don't remember what it feels like to feel a "painfully loud"
> (whether it is felt inside the head, or just in the ear in
> general), but
> wouldn't the tympanic membrane itself be a good candidate for the
> sensation? The tympanum is innervated by four of the cranial
> providing general sensation through trigeminal, facial and vagal
> nerves on the outside surface and glossopharyngeal nerve for the
> I guess this might be partially answered if I knew whether people
> who lose
> their hair cells still perceive loud sounds as being painful right
> hair cell loss, even though they might not perceive the sound as
> being that
> Didier A Depireux firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
> 20 Penn Str - S218E http://neurobiology.umaryland.edu/depireux.htm
> Anatomy and Neurobiology Phone: 410-706-1272 (lab)
> University of Maryland -1273 (off)
> Baltimore MD 21201 USA Fax: 1-410-706-2512