Can Everyday Sounds Cause Further Hearing Damage with Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jaysterk, Jan 28, 2020.

    1. Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      Hi guys,

      I have hyperacusis. It is severe in my left ear and moderate and mildish in my right here.

      My question is whether everyday sounds (under 75 dB), such as soda cans opening, doors closing, dishes clanking together, people laughing, bags of chips opening, can cause more damage?

      All these sounds I mentioned above sound very loud to my left ear and cause slight pain. I really don't want to make things worse by using plugs for these types of sounds but I am concerned that I might get more damage from these types of exposures.

      P.S My ENT and audiologist both insist on the fact that these sounds DO NOT cause more damage. I also have tinnitus.
       
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    2. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Ah yes, I was given that advice by doctors. Unfortunately they know next to nothing about tinnitus and especially about hyperacusis, which in my experience they tend never to bring up the subject unless I do.

      You can use plugs for short term around sounds that make you uncomfortable. It won't make you worse to use plugs. It could make you worse for a few days or longer if exposed to a particular sound.

      The only way it would make you worse is if you wear them habitually for long periods of time - say more than an hour.

      I used them when I first got hyperacusis and I think it was key in protecting my ears and allowing them to settle. You can taper off as you find you don't need them so much.

      This is not fear-mongering or paranoia - this is born out of practical experience of many hyperacusis sufferers on these forums.
       
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    3. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      No, they cannot cause more damage but they will for sure give you discomfort and may trigger pressure on ears and tension.

      The sounds that can damage you are objectively loud sounds, generally 90 dB+.
       
    4. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Short answer: No one knows.

      Long answer: "Normal" sounds will most probably not cause hearing damage in the sense of the word that it kills hair cells = hearing loss (which is what I think your doctors are refering to). But the tricky part is that there are more types of hearing damage and ENTs and audiologists are often not up to date with the research. It might be possible that the nerve synapses or the nerve fibers are more prone to damage once they've been damaged once. I personally believe that once you have hyperacusis and/or tinnitus, less volume is needed to cause further damage. Seems only logical. But again, no one knows and everyone is different. "Hyperacusis" isn't even a legit diagnosis anymore but rather an umbrella term for several types of decreased sound tolerance with different pathologies. There is no way to diagnose these things so the only way to know if you're more prone to damage is by finding it out the hard way, sadly.

      Protecting your ears while doing the dishes (which have quick peaks well above 90 dB), or any other sounds that physically hurts, is not the same thing as overprotecting.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    5. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Doing the dishes? 90 dB? Really? C'mon...maybe if you have many and clang them around recklessly? I initially used plugs or muffs when doing dishes but now I do them when the number is low and I am overly careful. I try to make the minimum noise possible. I haven't had any problems, knock on wood.

      I agree generally with what you are saying although there is no way to confirm how much is correct/accurate.

      My relative thinks normal sounds won't cause further hearing damage. So, I try not to argue. No point. I hope he's right. I hope that our ears state won't be further damaged but then it's difficult to know - are normal sounds the noise you hear in the country and suburbs? Or is a busy city considered normal sounds? My tinnitus got worse and can't be explained but I think particular noises worsened it in one case, at least. Who can tell me if I am right or wrong? :-/
       
    6. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      In my personal opinion, pain hyperacusis (noxacusis) is a different animal compared to tinnitus or tinnitus with fear hyperacusis, loudness hyperacusis or annoyance hyperacusis.

      Avoiding setbacks with pain hyperacusis is important, so it’s likely that those afflicted will be extra careful around moderately raised sounds. There isn’t enough research in this area to provide all the answers we need, though. More needs to be done in this respect.

      If one is dealing with tinnitus or any other type of hyperacusis, then it’s important to try and rebuild a healthy relationship with sound.
       
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    7. LanaK

      LanaK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? Concert?
      That's a question I myself am struggling with. My doc also said there will not be any future damage done with moderate noises. When I argued that even lower than moderate sounds hurt me, she said it's irritation, but not damage. But we all know what is irritation like: pain has no time to go away if it is repeated over and over.

      I am struggling with such things like shits of paper on my table while doing paper work... by no means it goes beyond 50 to 60 dB, but it irritates me to pain ...also my own voice or whispering too close to my left ear cause irritation and pain...
      On the other side I can withstand louder noises without pain, like traffic (if there are no breaks, horns etc.), driving on highway, deep men's voices, doors slamming (not too loud of course) etc.

      One can not wear plugs in such situations, but it irritates ears to pain. I am thinking that ears will have no time to heal if they are irritated over and over, even if by very low level sounds.
       
    8. Autumnly
      Wishful

      Autumnly Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      July/August 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      "Most learn from painful experiences that a key to progress is to minimise setbacks. Clinical advice rarely comprehends setbacks or the risk of making the condition worse. These findings provide key characteristics that need research to understand the underlying mechanisms. Importantly, clinicians should exercise caution at making such ambiguous claims as ‘everyday noise can’t make your condition worse’." source
      I'd say listen to your body. Do these sounds cause setbacks? Do you feel like your symptoms worsen for hours, days or weeks? If it's just short-term discomfort that seems to go away rather quickly, you might not have to protect yourself against those sounds. I used to wear hearing protection around those sounds until my pain-hyperacusis had decreased enough. But every case is different and there isn't a "one size fits all" answer to your question, unfortunately.
       
    9. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
    10. Phat Tuna

      Phat Tuna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hygienist
      No. They can cause setbacks in your hyperacusis depending on how sensitive you are, but they won't damage your actual hearing cells. If they do cause setbacks, then wear earplugs and gradually reduce the level of protection over time. For example start at -25db, then move to -20db, then later -15db, then -10db, then no plugs. This is just an example. Do what seems right for you.
       
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    11. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      This is actually what I meant, a more elaborate answer. Basically it is good to be on the cautious side. When my hyperacusis was severe I did wear ear protection to do the dishes.

      But on the other hand lasting setbacks in my case were only caused by very loud sounds, and I will provide some examples:

      1) After listening to ENTs opinions I was trying to cope with sounds without hearing protection. Things were going well until one day, during siesta time, at a dead quiet street, I didn't notice a house where there was some minor renovation... well... a power saw went off like 150 metres away. That was a killer... I had very bad hyperacusis at the time.

      2) Wearing earplugs and earmuffs, very short walk on busy street, just to do an errand. Again, there was some minor stuff being repaired on the sidewalk, ahead of me. Couldn't see it through the pedestrian traffic. A jackhammer went off maybe 60 metres away. That was just terrible, such pain… and this time I was wearing double protection, just due to the fact that I was walking on a busy street, and anything unexpected could happen.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      My hyperacusis has been pretty mild for the last 6 months (onset). I have since then protected as much as I could. Unfortunately, I dropped hair clippers onto my tile floor and this caused a tinnitus spike which subsided 48 hours later. 96 hours after the incident severe hyperacusis developed in my left ear only. Now everything bothers me, literally almost everything. Even the key strokes on my mechanical keyboard as I write this. Hence my question on this post. I went back and recreated to clipper drop with ear protection on and it scaled in between 70 - 76 dB. My ENT said it wasn't the decibel but the frequency of sound what caused the tinnitus spike.

      Now I'm left with severe hyperacusis in my left ear. OH and my tinnitus is better than ever, very quiet for the most part. Go figure.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
    14. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Not sure I understand what you mean? You don't do the dishes for 24 hours do you?
       
    15. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I do the dishes every day. I eat meals every day (danger of someone or myself dropping utensils or clanking dishes), I go to school every day (people open soda cans, open bags of ships, laugh loudly in the break room, etc), I drive through L.A traffic, etc.

      So my point is, I would have to wear my plus all day everyday based on those findings.
       
    17. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      No one here can answer these questions for you, I'm afraid. You have to decide for yourself what feels right or not. It's a balance act and everyone is different.
       
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    18. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I can handle the loud tinnitus since I’ve been through this before. This hyperacusis sucks.

      I have to wear an 1/2 earplug in my right ear everywhere but in the car or at home. Out and about, you never know what surprises one will have.

      Has anyone seen posts by people where their hyperacusis finally stopped and went away?

      I would always wear earplugs for loud places, movies, etc... now I have to wear them for place that may have certain frequencies... taking my supplements kills me with the pills rattling around din the plastic container, for example.
       
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    19. Earing
      No Mood

      Earing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Doing dishes without earplugs is risky. Drop a plate or accidentally CLACK a glass onto a bowl. Ouch. I had a plastic cutting board fall off the counter and it landed flat on the ground so loud my tinnitus spiked and I got that fullness in my right ear.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Absolutely. I don't think I would call it intense "pain", but for me the sound dishes makes is the worse. Very uncomfortable. It does not have to be loud or a lot of clanging around. Even when I reach into cupboard to grab a cup I try to be careful so the cup I am grabbing does not touch other cups. Yes, it is that bad. Fortunately the discomfort does not last.
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jaysterk
      Blah

      Jaysterk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I drop things all the time. Just this last week i dropped hair clippers that caused me to have fullness which lasted 3 days. A few days later, I dropped an ajax bottle from not very far up and again the fullness. Impossible to predict these things. I guess I'll have complete and totally destroyed ears in a few years.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Earing
      No Mood

      Earing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Or wear earplugs a lot for a number of months. That's what I did and mine got better. Not so I can listen to loud music blaring, but I don't wear earplugs all the time anymore. I was even finding the sound of my tires on the road too loud when I was driving. I wore muffs and plugs for about 6 months driving. Then after a bunch of months I found myself forgetting to put in the plugs, because I didn't need them anymore. But I still use them when I go to Walmart, or the weekly trip to the dump etc. Anytime I can predict noise, I wear them.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. Flyingsheep
      Sheepish

      Flyingsheep Member

      Location:
      Cleveland, OH
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine went away. I started noticing it 2 months after onset of tinnitus and it got bad to where I had to be careful with dishes. Broke a plate once in a sink and my ears rang for a while, and it also hurt. Then I spent a long time in Hong Kong with endless loud sounds in the city all around me and stopped caring, and the hyperacusis basically went away. I don't react to really loud sounds anymore except for a scare, and it doesn't spike my tinnitus. Was it in my head? I don't know. But I stopped wearing ear plugs unless it's something I should definitely wear them for (lawn mower, loud power equipment, concerts, etc).
       
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    24. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That's not so bad... when my hyperacusis was at it worst sounds would cut through earplugs plus earmuffs like a knife on butter. I could feel the sound cut through my head. I wouldn't have dreamed of going to the movies, and I did need earplugs when driving.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      I didnt’t know it was a contest... lol. Gladly, you win!

      Ok, Juan, how did your hyperacusis stop and did it go away?
      What did you do and how did you continue to work and communicate?
      How did you learn to live with earplug cutting sounds... it sounds debilitating, even though I have no idea how loud these sounds were that were able to cut through your earplugs.

      As the thread says, do everyday sounds cause damage or are they just painful?
       
    26. Christopher805

      Christopher805 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I’ve had tinnitus and hyperacusis for roughly 9 months. I underwent TRT with wearable noise generators emitting pink noise for 8 plus hours a day. It was recommended to wear them to treat my tinnitus and hyperacusis. Also, instructed to expose ears to all sounds with the exception of excessively loud sounds (concerts sporting events etc). My hyperacusis comes and goes. One day stepping on leaf ok, next day I cringe. I’ve graduated from annoyance to soreness in ear. Luckily it does not last long. I discontinued TRT and now listen to broadband noise on tabletop or phone app to treat both tinnitus and hyperacusis. Actually @Dr. Nagler endorsed my alternative approach. My hyperacusis is so bad at times I cannot stand to piss in toilet. Humbling and humiliating. But this too shall pass.
       
    27. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Haha this is a contest I don't want to win!

      My hyperacusis changed and morphed into tinnitus + less hyperacusis + hearing loss, so my big issue now is hearing loss although any objectively loud sounds are still a killer for my ears, and that's why I am stuck in a sort of vicious cycle losing hearing progressively. The bright side is I can do more things now, and life feels more "normal" despite my hearing problems.

      When my hyperacusis was severe there was absolutely no problem communicating. I could hold a conversation with earplugs plus earmuffs on top. I would hear everything. So you can imagine that a loud sound like a car honking or something falling on the floor, or a door closing, would just cut through hearing protection.

      "Everyday sounds" is not a very good way to describe sounds. There are objectively loud sounds (around 80 - 90 dbs +) and other sounds. So sounds are not less noisy or less loud because they are ordinary. An electric coffee grinder is loud, and it is commonplace and an "everyday sound", a siren is loud, a motorbike is loud, and those are "everyday sounds". Objectively loud sounds like those can damage your hearing further, and have damaged mine. Sounds that are under 75 dbs are unlikely to damage your hearing further but can still trigger hyperacusis symptoms, discomfort, pressure etc... but shouldn't provoke hearing loss.
       
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    28. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Let’s take this further... if the consensus is any sound that is below 75 dB won’t cause hearing loss, could those same sounds cause a tinnitus spike for those with hyperacusis?

      Did you do anything to help your hyperacusis go away? Or was time the answer?

      Using earplugs and holding a conversation you didn’t have severe tinnitus?

      I have pain hyperacusis whereas it sounds like you have hearing sensitivity... or do you have both?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    29. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Time wasn't the answer, but there is no treatment for pain hyperacusis. Hyperacusis just changed into hyperacusis + tinnitus + Hearing loss. Tinnitus appeared years after developing severe hyperacusis. I had severe hyperacusis for several years without tinnitus.

      Using earplugs and even earmuffs was no problem at all for holding a conversation.

      I have pain hyperacusis, where the pain and pressure can linger for weeks after noise exposure.
       
    30. Christopher805

      Christopher805 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I have tinnitus and hyperacusis. I was told that TRT with ear level generators emitting pink noise would get rid of hyperacusis. You method of wearing ear plugs for no more than an hour seems to contradict TRT, which is certainly sound exposure to broadband noise. I just want to know how to get rid of hyperacusis. If your approach worked great. Please provide any additional information and experience with treating hyperacusis. Thank you.
       

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