18-Hour Road Trip in a Car — Advice for a Tinnitus Sufferer

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jack Straw, Apr 9, 2021.

    1. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Hello Everyone!

      I am going on an 18-hour one shot road trip in the near future. Since flying is still a risk due to COVID-19, I am taking a trip via car. I will have to drive for about 4.5 hours of the trip, and then I can be a passenger for the rest.

      My car isn't too loud inside. Last time I checked I think it was around 65 dB on the highway. When not driving I do plan on wearing earmuffs to reduce ear fatigue over the long ride. I don't think I will double protect since it isn't 80 dB+ like planes are. We will take about four 20-30 minute breaks along the way, which will give me a little break from the constant noise. Besides that I am going to try to food coma and sleep as much as possible. :ROFL:

      Anyone who goes on long car rides have any other advice I might not be thinking of? I am usually okay in the car without protection, but I have never driven for this long.

      Also, does anyone have any advice to reduce car sickness? If I am in the back of the car and look forward, I am usually okay, but if I try to look at my phone or read, it gets bad. Since it is such a long ride I would like to do something besides just stare forward. Some people say that if you block your peripheral vision from seeing the outside by wearing a baseball hat or something, it should help. Anyone got any tricks?
       
      • Like Like x 2
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Bump.
       
    3. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      What is the model of your car?
      Your plan is good but you should expect a temporary spike after such a long road trip. You are basically masking your tinnitus for 18 hours straight and once you are at your destination, your brain will amplify the tinnitus for a while.
      How about a Scopolamine patch? Have you ever tried those?

      If you don't want to try medication, then how about audio books or something you can listen to instead of watch?
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    4. Deamon22

      Deamon22 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Trauma
      Hey buddy. I have done a a few 4-6 hours drives since getting tinnitus. I always used normal 3M foam earplugs and never had any issues. If I fly, I usually use my noise cancelling headphones over the earplugs, but for a normal car that feels like overkill (for me).

      I once had foam earplugs in for a very long drive, a flight and a whole day in another city, all in one go, and my ears were itching like hell after so many hours with earplugs, so earmuffs are surely a good idea.

      No idea for the car sickness unfortunately. Hope you have a good trip :)
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. MBH

      MBH Member

      Location:
      Upstate NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Overloaded stress
      I flew just a couple of weeks ago for my daughter's college in the Myrtle Beach area; it was a two hour flight. I took one of those neck things that wrap around your neck — well, I brought it up and wrapped it around my ears. I like it and I had no problems.

      I also drove down to Myrtle Beach last year with my daughter and her friends. I stopped once but I should have found a hotel to stay. I love driving with tinnitus, because due to the driving I'm not bothered by my tinnitus, I'm real comfortable with it. I did both with no setback.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I got a Subaru Crosstrek.

      Never heard of those patches, but I'll look into it.
       
    7. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      The temporary spike is a great point, and it’s something I have always wondered about. I drive a nearly seven-hour trip a few times every year, and my tinnitus always seems louder once we arrive at our location. I am not entirely sure whether it is an actual increase or just the sudden absence of car noise. Even my kids have commented that everything sounds weird after you’ve spent a day in a car, so I think it could be something simple like the environmental sound change. I never paid much attention to it before tinnitus because I didn’t need to. I guess that would be my advice: do not panic if your tinnitus seems louder after the drive. Anxiety will not help, and if anything it’s only likely to impact it.

      My other advice would be to vary your hearing protection. My ears get annoyed after too much time spent with earplugs or with headphones. Even a little in between time without either might be okay.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I have noticed this from planes. Right after getting off a plane my tinnitus seems worse after I take the protection off, but then goes back to normal in a couple of hours.

      I have also noticed this when wearing hearing protection in general for extended periods of time. I had construction going on outside my house all day so I wore it for around 3-4 hours. Not because it was necessarily loud, but because it was hard to concentrate with that noise. When I took it off, it seemed louder for a couple of hours even though it was in a quiet environment.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I’ve experienced the same with flying and wearing earplugs. I used earplugs often when I first lost my hearing, and I think overuse made me more sensitive to noise.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Yeah the brain must ramp it up when there is less sound.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I still enjoy taking car trips all over California. There's so much to see here. I wear a pair of Westone custom earplugs with NRR 16 dBa filters and Oto-Ease gel to keep a good seal. I've never had any problems with spikes from driving in these. Highways are pretty rough here. Road noise can get up above 70 dB.

      I don't have any advice for motion sickness, I've been fortunate to never experience it.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    12. twa
      Busy

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      I also have the Westone earplugs. I haven't used the gel yet. Do you use it every time you wear the earplugs? How often do you wash them?

      Thank you~
       
    13. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Get two and give it a trial run first if you do. I'm one of the rare (<0.1%) people who severely hallucinate on this drug (nightmare fuel type stuff). My cousin had the same reaction, so must be genetic. Though I was completely back to normal 6 hours after removing the patch, I would have hated being trapped in a car with it. I'm sure it would have helped if I knew then it was so temporary, though.

      Anyway, most people do great on them. It does completely stop any motion sickness or nausea, I will give it that and no one outside of my family that I know that tried this had that problem.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    14. Diesel

      Diesel Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      1-2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      20+ Years of Live Music, Motorcycles, and Power Tools
      I also have a Subaru Crosstrek. It is by no means a loud car at cruising speed. Have driven it multiple hours on the highway with no issue. If you’re worried, take breaks.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg. Dose of (Anticholinergic) Drug Promethazine
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Earmuffs start to hurt my jaw after a while. I think the most comfortable protection is custom moulds.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Informative Informative x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      :eek: maybe I'll pass on it. Haha.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      • Like Like x 1
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      I still gotta get those. To be honest, I am a little freaked out getting them since they have to inject the gel stuff into your ear haha.
       
    20. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I don't want to scare you! It was 100% reversible and my reaction was extremely rare. It's probably a good idea to test run any medication anyway.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      True, but still scary!
       
    22. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Autoimmune hyperacusis from Sjogren's Syndrome
      I just dealt with this situation with severe hyperacusis that is set back by everything. Fortunately, I got through 6-7 total hours in the car. Here are some tips, most of them I did, and some I didn't do but got lucky.
      1. There's no such thing as too much protection. I don't believe in overprotection, but even if you do, it's certainly not relevant in a situation like this. I recommend earplugs and Peltor earmuffs.
      2. Benzos, benzos, benzos. Oh, and more benzos. I genuinely believe benzos were one of the biggest reasons why I succeeded. Not only does it make things more pleasant, but it reduces nerve excitability, probably physically reducing the nerve irritation. Benzos are obviously addictive, but trust me, if there's anything they were made for, it's this.
      3. Sit as far away from the engine as possible. In the backseat, put sound blankets around the windows and consider having one to put over your head if a siren or something goes by.
      4. When in doubt, take a break. Find totally quiet settings without other cars around.
      5. Sound proof the car, either with Dynamat or mass-loaded vinyl. Unfortunately, the mass-loaded vinyl that I ordered came a day late so I wasn't able to use it. Depending on how serious you want to be, there are many options here.
      6. Have NAC, magnesium, curcumin, Nicotinamide Riboside on hand. I downed a bunch (except NAC, which doesn't work for me, but does for others). If you can have prednisone on hand, that's even better. I didn't need it, but I got lucky.
      7. Depending on how much you drive, do a basic test run. In my case, I hadn't been in a car in over a year so this was necessary. I took benzos and did a 15 minute test simulation on the highway.
      8. @convolution gave me this tip, which is really good, but I wasn't able to use it. If you are a severe case, consider renting a quiet car or even an electric car. There were not electric car rentals near me, but if there were, I definitely would have done it. Well worth the money in my case.
      The most important thing is to have the mindset that it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's better to take way more total time with lots of resting and safety than it is to "do it and be done with it."
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    23. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      It's really not bad at all. It just feels like having whip cream put into your ears.
       
    24. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Yes I use the gel every time I wear them. They don't seem to create a seal without it. I had complained to my audiologist that I didn't think they fit properly, but she just kept assuring me that's how they are supposed to be. I'll probably go somewhere else in the future and get fitted for a different brand, probably Sensaphonics.

      The gel is water based so it just dries up and doesn't make a mess. I use water and mild soap to clean mine every so often. I should probably clean them more often, but I get lazy.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I drive 6-8 hours on a regular basis in a Forester.

      When I have my metal studded snow tires on, sometimes I use silicone earplugs when at highway speeds. That's about it.

      I listen to podcasts or music at not insane levels while I drive, mostly.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Helped me calm down a little on my trip.

      Btw I knew I recognized your profile picture from somewhere, but never put my finger on it. I finally just realized it’s Damnation! Haha.

      Great card! Wish I had one lol.
       
    27. leledany

      leledany Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-11-02
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I think there is no risk if your tinnitus is high frequencies. Car noise while driving could reach as much as 70 dB but only low frequencies.

      I drive regularly more than 4 hours per day.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    28. Bimmerboy

      Bimmerboy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      14/02/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      covid, infection, stress, ototoxic meds, noise, TMJ
      Just asking since you made the trip @Jack Straw, what did you end up doing? Did you wear hearing protection and, if yes, did you use earplugs or earmuffs, and did you have a temporary tinnitus spike after?

      Please let me know as I've got to make 5-hour round trip to see my brother. Good thing is I'll have about 1 hour respite before driving on the freeway again.

      Any advice you could give or am I overthinking it?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I often drive in these: Earasers

      I use the SNR 19 European Standard version.

      They don't block all the road noise, but they keep the noise down and I can have a conversation with my passengers and listen to the stereo (at a reasonable volume of course).

      I'm trying to build my courage and have started to drive without earplugs when I'm not on the highway.
       
    30. Bimmerboy

      Bimmerboy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      14/02/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      covid, infection, stress, ototoxic meds, noise, TMJ
      Quick update.

      I made the journey on Tuesday, and honestly it wasn't bad. I followed previous advice and just wore noise-cancelling headphones. They actually work real good for me. No other earplugs underneath, just a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, a cheap pair for £40 off Amazon. Maybe we do overthink sometimes.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
Loading...

Share This Page