I use my earbuds a lot.
I’ve heard a lot of noise that sounds like a firecracker, and I can’t ignore it.
I also need hearing aids to make calls and take pictures.
I’m a musician, so I listen to music, too.
I use the devices to listen to the world around me, and to listen for signs of disease, including hearing loss.
If I’m having a bad day, for instance, I might turn on my earphones to check in on my partner.
Sometimes, my hearing aids are even used to send messages on my phone.
And yet, for all my attention, I’ve never heard a loud noise coming from the device I’m wearing.
I hear a low, piercing noise.
That’s because I have no hearing protection.
I use a “loudness suppressor,” which reduces the volume of any sound I hear to zero.
It’s also possible to use hearing aids as a hearing aid, though they may not provide as much as a loudness suppressors can.
To find out if I have a loud sound problem, I turned to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They offer a diagnostic test called the “luminescent hearing test.”
I asked if I could use the device to see if my hearing is being affected by a loud source.
The CDC’s medical alert devices are the most common hearing aids on the market, and the devices are often used to help people with hearing loss understand the condition.
I put on my hearing aid.
The screen on the front of my hearing device flashes, and a small green light appears in the middle of the screen.
The device sends a low-pitched pulse to my ear, then pauses for a second to let the sound settle in.
I look down and my hearing becomes clearer.
I’m used to hearing that sound.
It can be a loud crackling sound or a piercing noise, as long as it’s low.
But I’m surprised to see that the screen on my device flashes white when a loud loud sound comes in.
That sound is my hearing loss!
But the device doesn’t actually turn on the hearing aid so I don’t know what kind of loud noise it is.
I put the device on my left ear and look down at my hearing.
It has no white light.
I start to shake my head.
I take a breath.
It seems like the device has activated.
But the white light on my screen is gone.
It doesn’t blink.
I get up and go outside to look at my neighborhood.
The sound is still there.
But my hearing has been reduced to a level that is not enough to hear anything other than a distant boom or a door slamming.
I can still see and hear a loud explosion.
I try to go outside and check the sky, but there’s nothing.
I go to a neighbor’s house, and it’s dark.
I walk over to my neighbors door, but the sound has been gone.
I open it and look outside.
The noise is gone again.
I call the doctor.
He’s in the office and tells me to take my hearing-aid out.
I have to take it out again.
I take the device off and go inside.
I close the door and sit on the floor.
The noise was gone again, but I can hear the sound in my ear again.
My hearing loss is completely gone.
How do I find out what the source of the sound is?
I go to my neighbor’s and ask if he has heard any loud noises.
He tells me that the noise came from the house and that the sound was loud enough to scare him.
I want to hear what I hear, so the next time I hear it, I will be ready to listen.
The loud sound scares me even more.
I turn off the hearing aids and walk to my car.
I pull the door open, and there it is, the loud noise.
I shut the door behind me and open it.
I walk over and look at the noise.
It looks like a loud, high-pitch sound.
The white light is gone, and my head is pounding.
I sit on my floor.
I am shaking.
I open my car door and open my windows.
I check the ground and look out the window.
There is a loud boom.
I stop shaking my head and try to think of what kind a loud blast might be.
I notice that there are lots of people walking by.
There’s a man who seems to be talking to a child, and two kids.
The kids look up at me.
The adults look around and seem to be thinking about something else.
But it’s hard to focus on what I’m thinking.
I call the hospital and tell them about what’s happened.
I tell them I have some problems and want to get some hearing aids, but also that I’m worried