I self diagnosed myself with tinnitus after discovered the background noise of my mind was the bridge of the enterprise. This was when my ears were stuffed with silicon and I was submerged for an hour in a sensory deprivation tank. This past week, I again experienced quiet, unintentionally. My ears congested because of cold and everything became quieter.
It was interesting to see how this difference in exposure to sound made me feel during the day. I was taking a walk and the traffic sounded distant. It felt like it was a holiday. Despite sitting in crowded Starbucks, I seemed to be less distracted (even though I also where a noise canceling headset). Even during the course of the day, I got more tomato sessions in with less exhaustion. When my phone rang, it was less jarring.
Of course, there were drawbacks. I had to ask my family to repeat things. I needed to turn up the volume. Music sounded tinny. I had to increase the volume and songs seemed off.
Maybe there’s an argument for us to wear hearing protection throughout the day to preserve long term hearing? Similar to the argument to wear sunglasses or UV cream — over years, the exposure to sound could wear on our hearing.