Acoustic Trauma from a Concert — Ear Fullness Triggered by Sound?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jaybait2, Jun 9, 2022.

    1. Jaybait2

      Jaybait2 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Hello everyone, I am new to this forum, and I apologize, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my story/concern, as I am seeking to investigate anything/everything that I can do to fix my hearing as I feel that I am losing my life as I know it.

      I am a 25-year-old male who has been an avid concert/festival goer, and also musician for over 8 years at this point. Due to COVID-19, I haven't been to a concert/festival since, and well I visited a friend in Pittsburgh this weekend and decided to hit a concert for the first time. I've always been adamant of using my 100 dollar ear protectors after one concert I had a ringing ear for one day, but needless to say, I was reckless that night, wore no earplugs as they were left back at my apartment 3 hours away, blacked out on IPA's beers and according to friends I hung out for awhile at the rail of the concert for maybe close to an hour or a bit over it but not over two hours.

      I woke up the next morning, extremely hungover, and with a strange muffled/swimmers ear feeling in my left ear, but I chalked it up to being hungover since I really did not have any ringing associated with this. Throughout the day, I was nauseous, and with full-blown anxiety, but again, I thought I was very hungover, due to blacking out very bad to the point I could not walk or talk correctly according to friends.

      I woke up on Monday and this issue was not going away, and I was getting extremely concerned because my nausea, dizziness and muffled ear felt like it was getting worse, so I made an appointment with my PCP for the next following day, this Wednesday, and had this looked at. I appeared to have no visible trauma, no eardrum perforation, no liquid, no infection, but it appeared that the inside of my ear was a bit numb to touch. I was not infected with COVID-19, and Zyrtec did not help whatsoever. I was set up with an ENT visit that same afternoon after this. The ENT found no visible trauma or liquid, and said my hearing test came back normal for the low and mid ranges for both ears, with a very slight decrease on my left. He believed I may have damaged the part of my ear that translates the high noises, given it feels a bit numb and the hair cells may be damaged. He started me on 60 mg of Prednisone per day, and this morning it is my second dose.

      I find it that in quiet rooms my ear feels somewhat okay. I do not hear ringing, or feel the fullness all that much. For example, in the mornings in bed as I scroll on my phone, my ear feels somewhat normal, as soon as I get up and begin to head to the bathroom, turn the lights on and grab my toothbrush and paste, I can notice the fullness, meaning sound does this to me. If I do the dishes, or open a bag of chips, it hurts having to hear this with a slight ringing and ear pain such as hyperacusis. If I stay quiet, and read a book or something, I can ignore the fullness, once I talk, I notice the fullness.

      I think the strangest thing is that pressing the lobe of my affected ear inside helps the fullness go away for a second and the low volume return to normal sound. The weirdest of it all is that when I do the head tapping recommended for tinnitus, it's almost like nothing is wrong with my ear for a couple of minutes. I know I'm only on my second day of my Prednisone dose, but I feel as if nothing is getting better, and everyday I'm losing more and more hope, and I cannot function at all anymore due to my own stupid mistake.

      If you have made it this far, thank you for reading my situation. Does anything in my story resonate with another case or situation that can shed some light on what I could be experiencing? Is there anything I can try to alleviate this? I have heard of mullein oil and supplements that can help, but I'm not sure if taking these while on Prednisone may make my situation worse.
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Jaybait2.

      The onset of tinnitus can stressful but this usually gets easier with the passing of time. I have never taken Prednisone but know of people that were prescribed it after an acoustic trauma and found it helped to reduce their tinnitus. From what you have described I believe this is happening in your case. Your oversensitivity to sound seems to be hyperacusis, a condition that often accompanies noise induced tinnitus. This usually improves with time too.

      I have some suggestions for you and believe if you follow them, it will make your recovery easier. I advise that you don't listen to audio through any type of headphones even at low volume. This includes earbuds, headsets, AirPods, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones as you risk making the tinnitus worse.

      If your symptoms continue to improve as I believe they will, you need to be careful of being exposed to loud sounds in the future. Don't put your trust in earplugs, even the best types will not not prevent your tinnitus getting worse if external sound is too loud, because the sound will pass through your head and transfer to your inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus.

      Even if your tinnitus reduces to a very low level and might only be heard in quiet surroundings do not be fooled by this. If the tinnitus should spike from loud sound or from using headphones even at low volume, it can increase to a level you wouldn't believe is possible. I am very serious about this and sorry to sound so sobering, but I think it's best you know what you're dealing with. Noise-induced tinnitus can changed fast.

      If you follow my suggestions you will probably be able to live a fulfilling life doing everything that you want to within reason. Keep away from headphones and loud sounds through speakers. Use hearing protection when using power tools etc. Please click on the links below and read my posts.

      Go to my started threads and read the following posts: The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset. Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      Start using low level sound enrichment especially at night by placing a sound machine by your bedside. The volume should be set slightly below the tinnitus. The benefits of using a sound machine and sound enrichment are explained in the links below.

      All the best,

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
    3. jecamp1

      jecamp1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Conductive hearing loss; Acoustic exposure
      Hey, @Jaybait2.

      I am 28 and I have acute tinnitus in my left ear that started after a concert on 5/27 and was put on Prednisone as my initial treatment. Same dosage as you. 6 day taper. I took my first dose 5 days after the concert and took the last 4 days ago. I am pretty sure it helped, but like Michael warned against I did continue to use my AirPods for a total of like 5 hours in the initial days that followed. I do think this set me back so please do heed our warning about using headsets/earbuds/AirPods for the indefinite future.

      Generally speaking, everyone here (myself included) has had a similar experience to you in feeling such as hopeless, grief, and depression in immediately following tinnitus onset. I'm only 14 days out from my onset, but I'm already in a better headspace. The key is to be mindful about how you are feeling. Do not force anything. Wear hearing protection in noisy environments, etc.

      I also have moderate-severe conductive hearing loss in my left ear at between 40-60 dB. I know a large part of my tinnitus is connected to this, but I also believe that a major lack of sleep is playing a role as well. I am also a medical marijuana user and have been smoking for most my life and people claim that it may have an impact too, but know one really knows. Many say that tinnitus is connected to stress, anxiety, and depression, but I hardly experienced any of those things pre tinnitus. My tinnitus has made me an anxious person and learning to cope with it has been super important. Do not sit idly by and think this will go away like a common cold. You have to be deliberate in taking care of your ears especially because ours is noise induced. Tinnitus is subjective so everyone's pathway to "recovery" is different. I put that in quotes because I know that I may never recover. Being a realistic is just a part of who I am.

      Since 5/27-today, my tinnitus has decreased in intensity from a 6/10 to a 4/1o and it has only affected my left ear. I can not adequately mask it due how bad my conductive hearing loss is so sleeping has been hard. I have always been hard at hearing in my left ear, but I am sure that last concert was the straw the broke the camels back. Like I had mild-moderate and now it is moderate-severe. Thankfully it is not an issue with the inner ear, but I know the more hearing loss I have, the louder my tinnitus will get. Anyways, I am considering hearing aids and sound therapy (two different doctors recommended hearing aids).

      All said and done, I have faith you and I will be okay. Sending love your way and I'll circle back to give you an update on my journey as well as to check in on yours.

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    4. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Give your ears a good rest and stay away from noise for a few months. Eat healthy and make exercise.
    5. CrazyBison

      CrazyBison Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earwax irrigation
      Hey @Jaybait2 & @jecamp1,

      I'm 36 with tinnitus for a long time now. It's gotten slowly worse with more sounds occurring over the years, but I've grown accustomed to them by now. (It usually takes about a week to get over that there's a new noise in my ears). Recently (5/29) I've developed what I believe is hyperacusis. My symptoms are about the same as what you described and I just went through the same exact treatment of Prednisone for sudden hearing loss just these past couple weeks.

      In my case, I just woke up one day and suddenly engine noises from cars driving down the street were very clear in my left ear. I thought it was just impacted earwax since that is a reoccurring issue with me for several years. But when I tried to clean my ears, nothing was coming out. I went to the doctor but they said my ears are clear and found nothing physically wrong, which had me worried because now it wasn't something easily resolved. My audiogram showed a slight decrease in my right ear on lower frequencies, but still within normal range, so they gave me trailing prednisone to prevent potential permanent hearing loss.

      At first listening to anything was very uncomfortable. I didn't want to shower for a few days due to the sound of water hitting the tiles. Over the course of about a week of listening to things very quietly, I was able to be outside with ambient road noise without much discomfort. I thought things were going great and decided to hang out at a friend's house. We just watched some TV at a normal volume, with A/C and fans on in the background. I had very mild pressure feeling in my ear but nothing seemed alarming. Though at the end of the day, my right ear had a constant vibration in it. Fortunately I was able to still fall asleep.

      The next morning the vibration was thankfully gone, though I think my noise sensitivity had completely reset; I turned on my macbook computer, and the start-up "dongggg" felt so uncomfortable. In my excitement to go back to normalcy so soon, I believe I over-exposed my ears with noise and set back my progress.

      I say give your ears a rest. Listen to things at a VERY low volume. In my case, I felt a very slight improvement to my volume threshold each day. Be cautious not to overdo noise exposure. Be patient. I've come to terms that this is probably going to remain a life-altering condition. But I know now that it's something I can slowly build up tolerance to and hope to some day return to some normal activities. Although I'll probably never try going to loud places like the the movie theatre ever again.
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