Can a Single Dog Bark Near Ear Cause Hearing Damage or Make Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Slambonie, Feb 4, 2023.

    1. Slambonie

      Slambonie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      So last night my two dogs were sitting on either side of me and out of nowhere my older dog looked over across my lap at the younger dog and unleashed an extremely loud, high pitched bark. Just one, like a warning. She is a 25 pound mini Australian Shepherd.

      Question here is, can a single dog bark like that (especially being high pitched, not sure if the pitch of the noise matters?) either cause hearing damage, or cause/worsen tinnitus on its own? Also, is it only decibel level that would impact damage to ear or also the pitch? For example, would a sound at X decibel level cause more/less damage if it's higher pitched as opposed to a lower pitch, or is decibel level the only thing that matters?

      I feel like my somatic tinnitus has been more noticeable since this happened and am scared that some damage was caused, and it's really upsetting because I felt so good the past couple of days since I started working on jaw stretches and now it's back to how it was before (but, maybe I slept with poor posture or with neck bent so I woke up with aggravated ringing and it has nothing to do with her bark, too many variables to truly know).
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    2. Ngo13

      Ngo13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baby scream (acoustic trauma)
      @Slambonie, theoretically yes, the dog bark could cause damage if it's loud/close enough. A lot also depends on you, how much damage you already have, if you have hyperacusis, etc.

      But just from the damage perspective, it would probably have to be directed right into your ear. Sound is just pressure waves. Higher frequencies tend to do more damage as they have higher energy. Also, the receptors for higher frequency sounds are closer to the outer portion of the inner ear, so they are also more likely to be damaged first by sound.

      Most accounts I've seen of very short, sudden sounds causing big problems show up very quickly or instantly. You could be experiencing a spike from this incident, but it is likely to go back to baseline.
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    3. AnthonyMcDonald

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
    4. Sammy0225

      Sammy0225 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      COVID-19, ear infection, stress
      Yup, sure can.

      Dog barks reach in the 95-100 dB range.
    5. SmallRonnie

      SmallRonnie Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      H since 2018. T since 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I was living with a dog who would bark in a very high pitch, sometimes in front of me, and I think it was making my tinnitus/hyperacusis worse when I was exposed to it, but honestly can't really tell because I had an ear infection too so almost impossible to tell what was causing the issues.

      There's a big psychological part to tinnitus and hyperacusis so if you are believing that this actually made you worse, then you could just be making it worse with those types of thoughts, in fact, those types of thoughts are very likely to be making any tinnitus worse.

      If you adopt the mindset that this did not cause any harm, really, it's very unlikely that it caused any long term damage, then you would perhaps start to feel better.

      Of course it might have actually spiked your symptoms too but that always eases eventually.
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    6. Christian82

      Christian82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      If the bark's a short burst, I guess it depends on the distance, but I would not say it causes any permanent damage.
    7. Ken219

      Ken219 Member

      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Dogs are like kids, they get excited, scream, jump around. Love them. Soon as a dog barks, they get the first one, then fingers in my ears!
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Amv

      Amv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It is highly improbable that a simple dog bark can damage your hearing. You will be fine! Obviously some people's ears are more sensitive than others'. Two people can be at the same concert, one get tinnitus, the other one not. But it's very unlikely a dog bark damaged your hearing.

      Some scientific papers show that NAC, Magnesium + vitamin ACE can help protect your hearing.

      If you are worried, you can have an audiogram to see if you damaged your hearing.

      Stay calm. Hearing damage is a combination of decibels and time of exposure.

      Best regards.
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    9. Nobody19

      Nobody19 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
    10. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It's certainly possible, at night when it's quiet, I can hear dogs barking from what sounds like a mile away. Best thing to do is find a good home for the dogs and get a cat.

      No worries there, as long as you know your place. The old saying is that dogs have owners and cats have slaves. As long as you know your role, which is To Serve The Cat, you should be fine. My wife used to say about our cat "She is worse than a baby! When the cat is happy everyone is happy. But when she is unhappy you better believe everyone in the house will be unhappy".

      So I got rid of the wife and kept the cat. You have to have standards.
      • Funny Funny x 1
    11. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      Why people suffering with tinnitus have an animal in their homes capable of producing 100 dB at any time is beyond me.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. SaraK18

      SaraK18 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound exposure
    13. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member Benefactor

      Pennsylvania, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      It was a dog bark that I believe was the leading straw that broke, or damaged, inner ear hair cells for me when I had my really bad middle ear infection. It’s like the bark vibrated my round window enough that the infection went into the inner ear and did its damage. Thankfully, my dog rarely barks, it was the neighbor’s dog that was right next to me. My point is if you already have inflammation of any kind, a loud bark could definitely make its negative mark, imo.

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