My sudden loss of hearing as a Audio Engineer

My name is Tim, I am a professional Audio Engineer for the past 15 years. I work for a well known major corporation in that capacity. This summer, while checking a performers microphone after he placed it incorrectly, he retaliated against me by shouting into the mic while I held one headphone to my right ear. Long story short it caused permanent nerve damage and the end of my career as a front of house engineer. Im suffering greatly because of all this and I’m just looking for any guidance or advice. My new hearing aid arrives this week but I’m still a little down because of the whole situation. Thanks.

I hope you consulted an attorney and sue his ass.

I can tell you grieving your hearing is like grieving the death of a loved one. I’m about 9 months into my sudden hearing loss and finally coming to terms. Life is harder for sure, but you learn coping skills and to advocate for yourself. I told my boss that I needed him to stop using his speakerphone during conference calls because it makes it difficult for me to hear him. Little things like that come up and you learn to advocate for yourself to keep on keeping on. You can be a survivor or you can be a victim.

Getting hearing aids is a step in the right direction. Assuming your other ear is normal are you going to use a CROS system or is the damaged ear aidable? Do you have your audiogram that you could post?

What you need is a damn good lawyer…

i totally get your issue, as an audio tech myself for over 20 yrs (hobbyist these days) and a drummer for over 40 yrs
the industry has taken its toll on me and my hearing. While my loss crept up in me as opposed to a major fast shock.

just this week I received hearing aids and have a love/hate relationship with the whole issue. I like being able
to hear again but I can just see it now…walk into club start soundcheck and some jackass comments about why the sound tech has to wear hearing aids. I got ReSound LiNX² so I can control and adjust via iPhone apps
This is NOT a stopping point in your FOH life. Depending on your degree of injury it may be workable. In my case it was
loss of hearing above 4K and mostly under 60 DB. As you can relate, in a live venue we are usually mixing in settings
in the 90-100 DB range so I am not really handicapped in that situation. Had a long talk with a few audiologists about the situation and was advised to not wear HA’s during mixing. Get FOH set and stable,then use earplugs to reduce overall room volume to not further impair my hearings. Since I’m somewhat opposed to the look of earplugs I use a set of closed back headphones plugged into either the board or iPad with the volume OFF. Creates the illusion that I’m listening to the mix when I’m actually blocking the room volume.
Depending on your particular hearing loss, you may be able to continue on. Don’t loose the passion for what you love by not looking for alternates and work around. You can wear hearing aids under headphones.

As far as a lawsuit, it’s possibly worth looking into if…the offending party has any insurance and if you can prove that they knew you were monitoring via headphones and intentionally and knowingly caused an injury to you. A defense attorney would argue the point that it was not intentional and if there happened to be stage feedback would you sue the venue or speaker/mic manufacturer.

I feel your our pain and can relate better than a lot of people here can. Sorry about the long post and feel free to email me direct ( for more support and conversation if you feel the need.

It will take a while to work through the grieving process, but in the meantime get a lawyer and go after the idiot that did this to you.