Can I Live a Normal, Active Life Despite Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by CB7x, Oct 14, 2020.

    1. CB7x

      CB7x Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have had mild tinnitus for many years from being inconsistent with ear protection and exposure to loud noise, though this year it got worse after being careless about ear protection during several brief exposures to noise after the draconian government response to coronavirus began. I cared less about safety of any number of things, as government was threatening and doing violence to peaceful people across the country and I could be the next victim. Regardless, I survived and here I am.

      Here I am, 9100 Hz or thereabouts 24/7 and more sensitive to loud noises. Experiencing what was mild tinnitus, often not noticeable, occasional spikes with unexpected noise but not overly loud and manageable with reasonable precautions turn into a debilitating constant noise has been traumatizing. Working in a quiet office most days, getting through some days has been a real struggle over the past six months. I yearn for the end of the day to go home and sit outside listening to crickets or soft music. All my hobbies involve noise. Fast cars, motorcycles, watersports, all things that involve noise when using or maintaining them. I had a wake up call and have taken measures to quiet the exhaust of my vehicles, challenging on motorcycles and it does nothing for the wind noise which is louder than exhaust at speed.

      Into the realm of all sorts of ear plugs I went. Cheap foam disposable and reusable silicone 3m that I've used (somewhat) regularly for years, and into plugs with filters, musician ear plugs, etc. The cruel reality that the more effective the ear plug the worse my tinnitus is for a while after using it, but if I choose less effective than required my tinnitus can be permanently worse... It's quite the struggle.

      Give me hope or a dose of reality. Can I still enjoy all the things I enjoy? If so, how do I do it? I've been trying, and wearing plugs through most of it, but I have bad days sometimes despite it. Is living an active lifestyle enjoying my hobbies just a matter of picking the right plugs and accepting there will be good and bad days? Or am I causing permanent damage I will regret and need to find new hobbies?
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @CB7x

      I am sorry to hear of the discomfort that you're going through with tinnitus.

      Noise induced tinnitus and being around loud sounds do not go well together. This is the reason you are still having difficulty managing the condition even though you have been using various types of ear protection. Having hobbies is a good and worthwhile thing but if you continue with the hobbies that involve being around loud sounds then your tinnitus will get worse this is the sobering truth I'm afraid. The reason being if sound is loud enough it will pass through your head/skull and transfer to your inner ear by bone conduction. No form of hearing protection can stop this happening.

      You need to reduce your exposure to loud sounds and your tinnitus spikes will start to reduce. You may also need treatment with the help of an Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. For now please click on the links below and read my posts. Take your time and read through them perhaps more than once to fully absorb the information and refer to them often.

      If you're serious and want your tinnitus to improve then you need to change your lifestyle and reduce your exposure to loud noise/sound. The answer is not to be wearing hearing protection continuously or for many hours of the day as some people do, as this makes the tinnitus and hyperacusis worse causing a lowering of the loudness threshold of the auditory system, making the ears more sensitive to sound.

      Hope you start to feel better soon.

      PS: It is quite possible to lead a normal life doing everything that you want to in moderation.

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