Most Important Music Tools: Our Ears

I find it rather sad that many musicians and engineers will spend more time focusing more on the care of their instuments and gear than anything else. They’ll rewind their guitars in a timely manner with precision and care not to cross the windings for fear of making things look messing. I’ve known many engineers to spend considerable time aligning the heads of their tape decks and setting the bias almost every time they change reels of tape. I don’t disagree with this. In fact, I have done both guitar maintenance and I used to spend great care aligning and de-magnetizing the tape heads of all of my decks.

However, until a few months ago, I often forgot about or neglected the one musical tool that makes all things musical not only possible, but enjoyable: my ears. You see, a few months ago, while feeling something suspicious around my right jaw, and while trying to clean it out with a Q-Tip, I made things much worse by impacting the wax that was built up in my ear. As a result, I wound up losing the hearing in that ear. it was the one of the scariest moments in my life, because I discovered what it felt like to lose the ability to hear music. It was awful. We tried almost everything to get it out, and nothing was working. I had to wait a few days until the doctor’s office would take me in and have a look at what i had done. That was the worst three days of my life. I could hardly hear anything and I was praying that my hearing be restored. I was really down, not being able to hear music. I felt that I robbed myself of the gift that God gave me.

Fortunatly, I didn’t do any real damage to my ears. However, flushing my ears out showed just how much junk was in my ears. It also showed another issue: having had a problem with dry skin all of my life, I discovered that my ear canals were no exception. Worse than the wax buildup in my ears, I would have a buildup of a dry skin inside and the flakes would the plug-up my ears.

From that moment on, I decided that i would do a regular maintenance on my ears. Part of the regiment is a daily regiment of olive or peanut oil drops. At the onset of any perceived issue, I will flush my ears out, provided I’ve not developed any ear infection. Alhough I take great care in flushing my ears, I used part of my aspie “super powers” to memorize everything that I could about the flushing from the teamperature of water to the pressure of the flush. I don’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t attuned to their bodies in this manner as one misjudged step could result in permanent damage. Even more so, I don’t profess to be a doctor. Everyhing i do works for me, because I know me. And if you’re reading this and decide to try the things I am doing, then you do so at your own risk as I do so at mine. Remember that having a doctor do something like this is usually a better thing.

However you do this, ear maintainance on a regular basis will help keep your hearing in check. If your hearing is in check, your music will be that musch more enjoyable and in check. Also remember to be aware of the volumes that you are listening to music. It doesn’t take much to cause permanent damage to your ears. Don’t wait until it is too late. For me, not having music is like not having oxygen.  The moment you lose the music may be the worst moment in your life. Keep the music going by keeping your ears working.

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