Hearing loss: a 25-year trial for musician Kevin Blackmore
A world compromised by a hearing loss would be a challenge for most, but for one Newfoundland musician, it is something he's lived with for more than 25 years.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Newfoundland and Labrador recently celebrated 30 years of service in the province and held a special event to mark the occasion.
Kevin Blackmore — who is perhaps better known as one third of the group Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers — was the event emcee.
Blackmore has hearing loss.
I've been too many things over the years which have practically ruined my hearing — but musician is probably tops among all those things- Kevin Blackmore
While he attributes his gene pool to some of his hearing issues — it was a complication from an outdoor concert sound check in 1988 that led to the condition.
Blackmore said while speaking to the stage manager and requesting more sound from his guitar, the stage monitor technician pushed the levels to their highest volume.
"He threw all the sliders up, which is like throwing all the volume nobs up until everything starts to blare, and of course the amount of sound pressure numbered thousands of decibels I presume at one point. It left me with temporary hearing loss and tinnitus for years and years after that," Blackmore told the CBC's Chris O'Neill-Yates.
Tinnitus is a head noise, which causes ringing or buzzing in the ears.
Blackmore said the majority of people don't know where or how they damaged their hearing.
"It's a daunting prospect looking at the fact that one of these days you won't be able to hear as well. I've been a mechanic, and I've been too many things over the years which have practically ruined my hearing — but musician is probably tops among all those things."
Blackmore said of all the sounds in the world — he misses bird song the most.
"I don't hear upper end bird song. I used to be a real avid bird watcher, but I've had to come away from a lot of bird watching and just go for the visual. People don't realize, but bird watching relies more on your hearing than seeing, and I don't hear a lot of the tweets anymore."