Call Center Summer Job — Will It Be Safe? Wearing Headphones Most of the Day

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa123, Jun 17, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Will this be safe? I'll be wearing headphones most of the day and making calls
       
    2. Kittyl
      Disapproved

      Kittyl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/01/2014
      I was told by the audiologist that as long as there was sound going into my ear it was fine, but ear plugs were not okay. I would double check that's right though.
       
    3. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Well, sound is sound and headphones are pretty bad...There's people I know who got tinnitus by having jobs in call centres. I used to play a lot of xbox online, so a lot of shouting and swearing, which I'm partly blaming my tinnitus on.
       
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    4. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      Is that a full-time job over the summer? If so, I wouldn't do that. Not really a suitable job for someone who has had an acoustic trauma and has T. Overusing headphones can worsen your T.
      My grandma worked her whole life every day with headphones (back then there were telephone stations where you connected people) and is almost deaf. Sure, we're talking about a summerjob...but still.
      Moderation should the key when it comes to consuming music/headphones etc. That job seems beyond that.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    5. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I'll be working there for about 3 weeks, where I'll be wearing headphones for about 8 hours a day (5 days a week). I'll probably set the volume at a reasonable level, so I'll be able to hear the customer but not overdoing it at the same time. I really need the money. They're headphones not earbuds, so that's better I guess

      edit: and apparently I'll be able to only put the headphones over one ear if I wish. which will probably be my left since my right is my tinnitus ear
       
    6. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      Thats about 120 hours of headphone usage in 3 weeks...thats a lot for someone who already has strained ear(s).
      Do you have the option to quit daily? You could see how your ear/s feel after a days work. If you feel pressure or your t is aggravated then I would reconsider going on. I understand that you need the money. I would just be careful, people do mistakes all the time when it comes to protecting their hearing and then they regret it for a long time.
      Personally, If my T was bearable then I'd avoid such risks, knowing that a worsened T / hearing can really destroy your life (speaking from experience)
       
    7. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      But some people here still listen to music daily with headphones or even use earbuds to mask their tinnitus with rainsounds. My T doesn't really get aggrevated by sounds and my audiogram is perfect. I have no hearing loss whatsoever
       
    8. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Is there an audiologist on this forum who could give me accurate information? I really get it that most of you are very careful with your hearing etc. But we were meant to hear, noise isn't bad. Avoiding it by all costs is how you develop H. Also I refuse to let T depict my life. I'm chasing my dreams, I'm attending university, I'm partying, I go to concerts, I listen to music (with headphones!). This is the only way you'll habituate to T, not by rolling in self-pity and letting T control your life and preventing you from doing things. But then again you should always protect yourself from unreasonable levels of sounds. Just use your head ;) I love the fact that you guys are concerned and are trying to prevent me from further damaging my ears. But I'm looking for an accurate respons in the sense of "it is medically a risk using headphones for 8 hours a day at a reasonable level" . I hope you guys get what I mean, in no way am I minimizing your contributions :)
       
    9. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @Lisa123
      I guess every T is different. Mine does not react on any sound and I only have a slight H (when I am shouting loud).
      So I see no reason why I could not wear a headset the whole day. I am also doing support over the phone, but most of the time via eMails. But speaking on the phone never does something on my T.

      People with reactive T or H are in a different situation and need staying away from loud volume.
      So I see no reason why you should not take the job. It is more the opposite that you should not let T dictate your life. Also being on the phone maybe covers your T (in my case T is too loud to be covered).
      Of course I am no Audiologist.
       
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    10. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      Since you cleared that up. You have a mild T and perfect hearing. So I guess you can go for it.

      You should be careful with such general statements on this board...There are many people here, who dont have a baby T like yours. Some people have the worst of all (reactive) Ts, extreme H and can't do all those things you're able to do.
      Consider yourself lucky.
       
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    11. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      Correct. I think that it's all a matter of volume. Keep it low and there's no reason for damage to happen.
       
    12. Silvio Sabo
      Pooptoast

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think
      Isn't this a matter of volume? I mean sound is sound. How it gets into your ear is of no importance. If you set the volume at a low level it shouldn't make any difference? Right?

      I mean I've had to use in ear headphones for masking when I go to sleep lately but I set it at a very low volume (just so that I can still hear my T. but not as much). That shouldn't be harmful?
       
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    13. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Sound isolating headphones would be the best. Call centers get very loud with everyone talking at the same time so it makes it hard to hear the phone. Then you have to turn the sound up and it becomes dangerous.

      If possible I would avoid it altogether. Cell centres are notoriously bad for your hearing. Even people with healthy hearing develop problems due to working in such environements. People with existing hearing problems should be extra careful.

      The proximity of all these audio devices and telephones increases the likelihood of loud feedback accidents occuring in headphones. This is potentially very dangerous.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_shock
       
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    14. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Sure it will be safe, when you just keep the volume levels moderate
       
    15. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      You have no idea what kind of T I have, I think it's a bit offensive calling someone's T "baby T" as if I haven't struggled at all. As if I haven't felt the despair of a life shattering condition. My T fluctuates, sometimes it's barely audible and sometimes it's roaring above everything. I guess I'm lucky that I don't have roaring T all the time. But please don't patronize my condition by calling it "baby T", if I'd had "baby T" I wouldn't be roaming this board ;) And my statement isn't generalizing everyones condition. I'm just stating facts. What help is self-pity? I've been there and I can tell you it didn't help me one bit. It just made me feel worse. I had to get to the positive side of things. Which a lot of people aren't ready for yet on this board. But they'll get there! And that's when habituation kicks in and you'll have a much better life :)
       
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    16. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      Thats a contradiction...and these are not facts.
      You're saying "Dont let T and self pity control your life". Well let me tell you again, that there are people who dont have a say in that matter because they have an unbearable T and H, which stop them from having a normal life.Not because they are weak or miserable, but because they're simply fu***.
      And you dont seem to know that side of the coin. (how could you?)
      And at what point did I write that self-pity is helpful?

      Its easy talking being on the high horse.
      I've been exactly in your situation. I had a normal T for more than 7 years, it took me more than a year to habituate.
      I could do all the things you can do with the T.
      Then I got the extremest of the extreme T. More than deep 5-6 sounds, fast and loud as a washing machine. Hyperacusis (the old high T sounds are still there). I cant even listen to music. I had to give up everything.
      The T is so extreme that you can't habituate to it. And there are some people on this board who are im the same position. So excuse me if I get agitated when I read such absolute statments as yours.
      Your statment is not wrong, but these "facts" do not apply to everyone with T.

      But good for you, I guess.
       
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    17. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      possibly noise
      Usually, call center jobs also involve a lot of shouting and swearing.
       
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    18. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Alright Alright I'm not looking for a fight. I'm sorry for you that you are in that certain position, and I really hope things will get better. But there is nothing wrong with being a bit more positive. I'm just trying to help out. And apparently you've habituated before, so I'm sure you'll do it again. Even Dr. Nagler habituated to his extremely loud T. And trust me i've been there (so I know that side of the coin). When I first got tinnitus it was terribly loud, luckily it went down after the first few months but it never went away completely.
      And I always try to think that there are people out there in the world who have it worse than us and that we still should be grateful for what we have and still can do.
       
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    19. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I worked some tech support jobs with headsets before I had T; I do not know if it was a factor, but I would not take that kind of work again if I could possibly avoid it, for a variety of reasons. These jobs tend to be extremely high stress for a whole set of reasons, and I personally would be a lot happier working a customer service job at the mall, or doing dishes at a restaurant, than I would to be on a headset all day again. (I have done mall jobs and dishwasher jobs, too, and while they are overall a lot more stressful than what I do now as a web software engineer, they were definitely less so than any of the three call center jobs I've had).

      I think what you're bumping in to here, is something I've noticed a lot: some posters on here write in such bleak, stark and frankly distorted, negative ways, that it is obvious to someone reading them that the way in which they are consciously and willfully thinking is literally making them feel worse. However, having been in that state myself, it's very difficult for someone to point this out without the person reading it as "your problems are in your head and they will go away if you can just look on the sunny side!" Obviously that's not true, but it's also not what you're trying to communicate, so, it's just difficult.

      There's a lot of good research into this with fMRI studies and the like now, and it's inescapable, clearly demonstrated fact that certain kinds of thinking increase the stress response on a physiological level, and that having an increased physical stress response causes the brain to restructure itself in unwanted ways which make unpleasant stimuli more painful than they would be otherwise.

      However, I think people more or less have to figure this out for themselves, sometimes you cannot even lead a horse to water.

      And yet there are people who have posted in this very forum that they hear multiple, unpleasant, high frequency sounds, at a volume which is clearly unmaskable and clearly perceivable over jet engines and Niagara Falls, who none the less feel that they are habituated to the sound.

      I am not suggesting that everyone is capable of this kind of habituation; distress tolerance is tied to different brain structures than tinnitus volume is (which is almost certainly why some people have extreme difficulty habituating to even relatively quiet tinnitus). However, the statement that "tinnitus volume is all that matters, and there is a level of volume which it is not possible for anyone to habituate to", is just wrong -- because people have done it!
       
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    20. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      I did not write that volume is all that matters. I wrote that my T is extreme. And beside that I wrote that I have deep, low sounds, which have rotating/alternating nature. Like a washing machine or some kind of wind storm.
      And I say I cant habituate to that because I have also 3 high frequency sounds in my head which dont bother me. But those low sounds are far worse because they're really torturing me. There are only few people here who are suffering from low frequency sounds. Its not that common,
      So no, volume is not all that matters but also the nature of sounds. Constant Tonal sounds are one thing. But add rotational/alternating speed that changes all the time and its a whole different story.

      But let it go, I read many of your posts and were not gonna be on the same page about mindfullness (mildfullness ;) ?) and habituation. I wish you'd be right though ;)

      but this thread is not about me. Clearly Lisa is in a good place and doesnt need any habituation.
      now we have captured this thread. Lets stop ;)
       
    21. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      To what extent have you actually, you know, tried this stuff?

      Very much on topic, here's a study that was published last month, and it's the first one I've seen that's used mindfulness practices for tinnitus specifically and also used before-and-after fMRI studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25715350

      Their conclusion appears to be that the (very brief but fairly time-intensive) practices, did not cause detectable changes in cortical areas associated with the tinnitus percept itself, but did cause detectable changes in the structure of attention networks believed to be associated with conscious perception. That's more or less what I'd expect from such a short study, since other research has shown deeper changes in perceptual processing only after much more long term effort... but it's still pretty fascinating to me that 8 weeks is long enough to see reliable neuroplastic changes of any kind.

      I should have the full text of this article shortly for anyone who is interested.
       
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    22. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I completely agree with what you've posted here! I've been there too! The dark days where nothing or no one could console me. I would have none of it. My life was over, I was sure of it. But magically enough my therapist really helped me with some CBT techniques and just overall positive thinking. It put everything much more into perspective. But reading these bleak, stark and dark posts really upsets me because I know when I was reading them I felt worse. I didn't want to read them nor did I want write negatively on this forum. I know that it is a part of this forum to support each other, and by not telling how you feel you can't really create a support group. But some posters really overdo it and crush all the hope some people have. I mean isn't hope of a better life the thing that keeps us going? And reading positive encouragements and stories really helped me get through the day. They gave me hope. And I know it's hard to make people who are really miserable see that there is also another way to it..
       
    23. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I have a larger and larger number of people on ignore here, because I know that I don't benefit from consuming negativity, and if I am incapable of communicating with people stuck in that mode in a way which is beneficial to them, then, what's the point? Wearing rose colored glasses is overall not a great strategy for me to approach the broader world with, but it has its utility.
       
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    24. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Lisa,
      People here are desperate and look for relief. Therefore, sometimes they post dark, negative things.
      I guess we are all friendly people the one way or the other. And we try helping each other. But sometimes we really have to moan letting out our frustration. Comparing one T with another is impossible. We do not hear what others here. I guess, only a few here have mild T. I think that @snow86 has it really bad - as he describes. My T is "only" one tone, but it is so high (higher than a dog whistle) that it simply hurts hearing it. If it becomes loud (like today), it is more surviving than living. Nevertheless, I try doing my job as good as possible and hope for habituation. But I am also not that optimistic that I can habituate to this.
      Back to you: You do very well and if your T went down, even better. Working with headsets will be fine. I have read many times here that normal, everyday sounds are ok. Only if they hurt a person without T, we should also avoid.
      Take care.
       
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    25. eldudebro
      Doh

      eldudebro Member

      Location:
      Glasgow, United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      31/07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma/Loud Music.
      You'll be fine.

      I've been working in a call center for the last few months and I had a few concerns about it going in, but I haven't had any issue or worsening of my condition.

      Call centers are noisy places it's true, but so is any place you may find yourself where there are lots of people. Just keep the headset to a reasonable level.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. I don't understand then..why are you here asking if you only want answers that make you feel good? Don't you want to hear both sides to make an informed decision?

      Anyways..wouldn't catch me in a call centre. Look up Acoustic Shock Disorder. It's very real and it only takes one phone call.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    27. Atlantis

      Atlantis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      It seems she wanted reassurances, not doubts. Is that so unusual?
       
    28. Well I guess I was ill equipped to reassure her then..guess my knowledge of call centers and the harm they can do is useless info..Sorry for posting.
       
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    29. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      I've met a woman lately who developed T working this way. No matter how low the sound, it's 8h per day. I will never do this kind of job again . ( I did it a few times for a few months. Who knows how it put me in my current state..)
       
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    30. Lisa123
      Overworked

      Lisa123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Okay I got enough info out of this, I'm passing on the callcenter job. Already got an offer to do a promotional job where I have to sell things on the street. So that'll probably be less risky. And it pays better :)
       
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