Having started shooting in the 1950s when no one wore hearing protection and having persisted for half a century, I now have what the doctor describes as "profound" loss of hearing in both ears. What has happened is that some of the hairlike receptors in the middle ear, called cilia, have dropped dead from all the noise. This has had three effects: First, I have to wear hearing aids, but even with those I still have trouble understanding some people. Second, I have constant ringing in my ears, called tinnitus. Third, I have lost my ability to tolerate high-pitched sound that doesn't bother other people, such as fire sirens or Michelle Bachman speeches. This is called "recruitment."