Feel Every Beat

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For the past few weeks, I have been suffering from a clogged right ear due to the excessive build-up of earwax (perhaps too much information, and I am sure one of the first things you want to read about is earwax).   Despite the efforts of over-the-counter remedies, the problem was not being resolved, so I finally went to the ear doctor.

Technology has certainly improved since the last time I went.   Instead of flushing it out (NO Q-TIPS!), they now have what seemed like a micro Dust Buster to clear out the ears (maybe Dyson has patented this technology as well).   After the successful removal, I decided to have my hearing checked to see what was the impact of 20+ years of rock concerts, blasting New Order and Orbital in the car while driving, and listening to music on headphones.

While cleaning ears might have changed, having a hearing test appears to have not since the last time I had it checked a couple decades ago.   You sit in a supposedly soundproof room, put on a pair of headphones, and are given a Jeopardy-style buzzer that you are to press when a series of tones are played.

Here's the thing.   I'm sure the test is completely valid, but as you are going through the test, there are times where I was listening, and I was not sure whether a tone was being played....or I thought I might have heard a tone when there wasn't one.  You start to question whether you are hearing things (maybe its just the voice in my head).

So, what does this have to do with HR?

1.  Well, you can't spell hearing without HR.  I'm thankful I have insurance to cover the test.
2.  As always, are we asking the right questions?  Like the hearing test, do we have content validity?    As we continue our metric quest, are we measuring what we purport to measure?

In the end, the concerts and loud music have had an effect, particularly in the upper registers.  I am now contemplating purchasing a customized pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Leave your comment