Anyone with history of weak hearing in the family?

Discussion in 'Support' started by DougPL, Dec 5, 2013.

    1. DougPL

      DougPL Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey guys, my first post here!

      First of all, I am super happy I finally found a place like this and will be able to talk to people who struggle with the same condition every day. I've been reading some of the threads recently and I must say - it already feels like home. So much positive energy and optimism around!

      I've decided to write because I haven't yet found anyone in the situation like me, or similar, who is quite older than me and could help me understand how this condition develops, taking under consideration my profession and plans for near future (about which in a moment).

      So, my familiy (from the father side) always had problems with hearing, which could be described as increased sensitivity for louder sounds, long revocery times after loud sound expositions, which leads to heavy tinnitus (lasting longer than usual), higher susceptibility to hearing damage, and faster hearing loss in the elderly stages. My grandfather was wearing hearing aid for 20 years, becoming almost deaf in the final years of his life. My dad (who is 54) can't talk quietly anymore, can’t understand others, and says he can't wear headphones anymore because of tinnitus which "drives him nuts".

      And then there's me.

      I am 24 now, about to defend my masters in acoustic engineering. I compose and produce music most of my life, and always wanted to live from it, writing for film, games or interactive media overall. I did too, as many of you, had these stupid moments in life where I did not realize how weak my hearing is, which resulted in some permanent damages, but most importantly - constant buzzing in my head. I know I’ve lost everything above 16kHz range (one of those parties where I did not take ear plugs; 25dB loss; not audible in every day life), and I have a difference of about 2 decibels within 5kHz to 9kHz range in both ears (the result of serious damage to left ear - 30db of loss - I thank god I did decide to immediately go hospital that day where they kept me under IV with medication for a week; most of it came back). My ringing shows itself in three different tones: 11kHz sine, 3,5kHz sine, and some weird 200Hz buzzing, something like square wave, or sawtooth.

      I believe, my ability to hear is actually not that bad (taking into account the circumstances). I do a tonal audiometry myself every now and then, with descent headphones, testing whole range of audiable frequencies, and the numbers seem solid (we did some professional testing at my university in an anechoic chamber too). I do feel comfortable with what my ears can “deliver” to my brain, so to speak, and what kind of damage is there and what is not.

      The thing is, none of these matter because of beeeping in my head, which has started to successfully overcome sounds getting into my ears every single day.

      Since about a couple of months some weird things start happening to me. The tinnitus, which is present since about 6 years, but always have been rather quiet and present only at night, starts getting louder. Most of the “jumps” in it’s loudness which I had happened of course directly after the exposure to loud music, and to prevent that, since about two years, I keep defending myself in every single way - always have earplugs with me, avoid loud places, and most importantly I don’t work loud anymore in the studio. Having that in mind, there should be no reason for it to go worse. But somehow it gets.

      I noticed, too, that my sensitivity for any louder sounds, of any kind, whether this is an impulse noise, or smooth and cosy bass sounds, is getting worse. My ears start to hurt, I fell uncomfortable, and the tinnitus is going crazy. Music doesn’t feel the same as before. I am in no mood for composing. I have tons of ideas, but whenever I sit on the project I end up doing nothing. I’m slowly losing the ability tell if the sounds I make actually sound good. I could say, music somehow starts being repulsive to me.

      After some reading I now believe I’m getting into the “first stages” of hyperacusis.

      You can probably imagine how I’m feeling right now. I’m about to start a life, get on my own, find great job, and try to tell people stories through my music, whether it is through todays games or movies. I always wanted to do just that, never imagined anything else. Well, hell, I still do! But my condition is successfully preventing me from being happy about my plans, and gets me worried how things can turn out to be. Will I be able to do my job at all? Can I be sure that 5 years from now, being successful composer, I won’t have to quit my job and lifestyle because of what happens with my hearing?

      This leads my to my question in the topic. As I mentioned, I have no clue why these things started happening to me lately. All I know is the problem runs in my family, and probably that is the issue.

      Hence the question to all of you guys: do any of you come from family which has the same problem, the weak hearing? Do you know how this problem developed in you, your parents, grandparents, how did it changed and evolved through time? Are any of you maybe musicians, composers, DJs? If yes, how do you fight your problem and how does this affect your work?

      Your answers will be very helpful to me, since as you can see I am trying to figure out whether I should pursue my dreams and do what I always wanted or should I leave them alone. I’m in that moment of life, where I still can change my destination, start something else. Forgetting about my dreams would be a damn painful process, I admit, but I rather do this now if I have to, than in couple of years having the feeling of failure and facing huge, maybe unbearable, life changes.

      Hope I didn’t bore you guys :) I really hope there are some among you who share similar story and will be able to direct me in some way. As I mentioned it would help very, very much, since as you see I’m running out of options, and have to make that life changing decision very soon. At this moment, I just don’t know what to do!


      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      i wouldn't be worried about these high frequencies while composing music, after all the listeners can"t probably hear these frequencies unless they are teenagers, remember the 17khz sms ringtone that teachers couldn"'t hear?

      ps: i'm 32 and can hear until 16khz at normal volume, 17khz if i pump the volume up, my friends without tinnittus(we're around the same age) don't even understand how i can still hear that high.

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