I had a disconcerting moment earlier this week. While out for a mid-afternoon stroll, I rounded a corner and suddenly felt an unusual pressure in my right ear. In just a few footsteps, my hearing grew dull and I experienced the strange and unwelcome sensation that someone or something had plugged my ear canal full of miniature marshmallows.
Suddenly going deaf in one of your ears is enough to send any musician or engineer into a brief existential crisis. You can console yourself for a moment, remembering that hey, this kind of thing didn’t stop Brian Wilson or Beethoven. That is, until the far more realistic thought sets in: You’re not Beethoven.
The Leading Cause of Temporary Hearing Loss
Like many musicians, engineers and other freelancers, I’m one of the 60 million Americans who lack access to affordable health insurance. This means that when I’m stricken with some kind of unknown ailment, I tend to run to Google instead of my doctor, since I do not have a doctor.
While I’ve been able to heal myself of two slipped spinal discs and an abdominal hernia using corrective exercises and remedies found online, I still don’t recommend this method to anyone, including you. It’s likely that you’re out of your element when it comes to medicine, just like I am, and trust me, I know firsthand that self-diagnosis is no replacement for a physician’s care.
With that said, we can talk about something that’s arguably even more important than cure: prevention.