Attended a Concert with Earplugs — Worried I Did Damage (Experienced a Small Tinnitus Spike)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Laz, Aug 8, 2022.

    1. Laz

      Laz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Fluid/Noise induced
      Hey guys, this is my first post here.

      I have suffered from tinnitus going on for about 2 and a half years now. The main cause of it is noise induced trauma from so many years of going to shows without hearing protection and listening to loud music along with having a small hobby of music production and guitar playing. One day I was messing around with music and boom, tinnitus. I had worn earplugs during the later years of my concert going life, but I was still listening to loud music in the car or at the gym but I managed to just live with it.

      After almost two years, I was confident that my tinnitus had gotten better as I had not had any real issues with it bothering my day to day life until one day (during the week of my two year anniversary of my first tinnitus incident weirdly enough), I was messing around with some music for a music class that I was taking and boom, my "good ear" began to have a loud screech. That was April of this year, since then I have been taking it easy with loud noises and even got back to a comfortable point where I was able to think of it less and less and sleep comfortable again.

      Fast forward to this past weekend. I attended a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Vegas, and brougth with me my Eargasm earplugs which cut out about 21 dB. Ever since my tinnitus began, I have been a strong advocate for hearing protection and noise reduction all together. As the show began, the band was LOUD. The dB reader on my phone was measuring and average of 105 dB. All in all, I was at the show for about 3 hours. I didn't really feel any issues until the end of the set where I felt that it was beginning to be a little too much. The show ended and luckily I didn't really feel any huge difference in my hearing. My friends on the other hand said their ears were ringing as they hadn't brought any earplugs with them even after I warned them about the danger of loud events.

      Fast forward to today. Last night I went to bed rather easily, no real issues. I woke up this morning after a few hours of sleep with a new tone in my left ear. I was a little startled as it was noticeably annoying and knew that it could just be a small spike due to lack of sleep or it could be something more serious. I went back to bed and ended up sleeping another good 4 hours. When I woke up, the new tone seemed to have disappeared, and the "normal" tinnitus was still there. As I type this, I still hear the normal tinnitus that I have, which I hope goes down to a more tolerable level.

      Has anyone else experienced small spikes after going to shows with earplugs? Would you advise that I stay away from shows altogether to avoid any more damage?

      Best of luck to us all.
    2. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      I find it odd that tinnitus sufferers go to concerts - night clubs etc. Very odd. It's like someone who is allergic to peanuts eating a Snickers bar.

      I have had to come to terms with never going to any more operas - classical concerts - and I listen at home on very low levels.

      As you suffer from tinnitus - it might be an idea to avoid these concerts ear plugs or not. You probably got away with it but try to be careful in future. Your head banging days are over.
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      My advice is to take more care of your ears and keep away from loud music because you risk your tinnitus getting much worse. You have noise induced tinnitus, as you've noticed it improved quite a lot after 2 years which is not uncommon. This doesn't mean one can return to the old lifestyle of attending venues where loud music is played thinking they are safe wearing earplugs and monitoring sound levels on their phone using a decibel meter. This is a false believe and anyone with noise induced tinnitus that thinks this way is playing with fire.

      Noise induced tinnitus often improves with time, with or without hyperacusis. In some cases specialist treatment is required by seeing an audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. A person with this type of tinnitus needs to be careful when attending venues where loud music is played and not put their trust in earplugs thinking they are safe no matter how good they are. The reason being loud sounds can pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus. If the person is fortunate the spike might reduce and the tinnitus returns to baseline level. However, if one continues to go to places where loud music is played, there might come a time when the spike won't reduce but increase the tinnitus to a new permanent level or completely change into what I call variable tinnitus. This is a more severe form of noise induced tinnitus, which I explain in my thread: Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? in the link below.

      You also need to be careful of listening to audio through any type of headphones, something I don't recommend even at low volume as you risk making the tinnitus worse. This applies to earbuds, headsets, AirPods, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones. Please type headphones in the search box at the top of this page and read the posts.

      It is possible to go out and have a good time and listen to music providing it is played at sensible listening levels. I hope that your tinnitus settles down, and please take more care in future.

      All the best,

      Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
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    4. AnthonyMcDonald

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Don't go to concerts if you don't want to risk getting permanently worse. Honestly it's pretty obvious lol.

      Hope your spikes subsides, cheers.
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    5. tpj

      tpj Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      probably noise
      I think when you have mild, stable tinnitus, especially when it's been that way for years, you drop your guard and take risks you really shouldn't take.

      I saw 2 concerts when my tinnitus was mild and it didn't spike but it was a dangerous thing to do. It's just hard to get your head around, things you never thought twice about and always did, you can't do anymore.
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    6. SmallRonnie

      SmallRonnie Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      H since 2018. T since 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      It really is difficult to gauge how quickly your tolerance is improving. I pushed myself too much recently and I'm not even sure what it was that pushed me into this setback. I think it was maybe my dog's barking a lot plus driving, maybe music a little too loud, really not sure. What a curse this is.
    7. kingsfan

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      A town near you
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Eargasm claims 21 dB, while the EPA rates them at 16 dB NRR.

      Remember the attenuation is not 16 dB across all frequencies. Some are attenuated more and some less. I can't seem to find any kind of chart for the Eargasm earplugs to see, but certain frequencies are probably attenuated less than the average number on the packaging.

      You also have to take into account the subwoofers. Low frequency sound is going to reverberate through your bone structure and into your cochlea, bypassing the earplugs altogether.

      You may be safe going to shows or you may not be. Hearing damage is cumulative. Spikes may be an indication that some damage has been done, but it's difficult to tell if you already have tinnitus since many things can cause spikes. With that in mind, you may never truly know until it's too late. It's up to you to determine whether the risk is worth it.
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